Unlike an advertisement from a jewelry store “to pray for rain so that the diamond you purchased at their store would be free”, my prayers were for sunshine. God answered! It was a beautiful spring day, with perfect temperatures and sunshine. Our tiny church was filled to capacity with wedding guests on this day fifty -three years ago.
From a “pretend” bride as a young child to an actual bride walking down the aisle to become Mrs., I couldn’t have been happier. I prayed for this day for as long as I could recall. I longed to be a wife and a mother; to love, honor and cherish my husband until death and to love, esteem and encourage my children so they could fulfill their goals and dreams.
Although our wedding was small and modest compared to weddings of today, it was extravagant for my then husband, Charles and me, paying for the entire wedding ourselves. I chuckle when I recall our pastor’s wife stating she had never been to such a large and formal wedding. My gown and those of the wedding party had all been hand created by me and my mother. The bridesmaids flowers were a single rose to minimize the expenses. Our reception consisted of punch and cake; typical for a wedding of the 1960’s.
At ages twenty-one and twenty-two, we would be “growing up” as we also “grew together.” For me, love was not only “in the air”, but I felt my heart would literally burst with the love I had for my husband. Because our love and abiding as “one” was saved for the time we would become husband and wife, I was innocent and naïve to the life ahead of me. My pastor’s recent sermon on extravagant love caused me to pause and reflect on the love that embraced our marriage and home. Was our love for one another extravagant?
The definition of extravagant is exceeding what is reasonable or appropriate. Can we possibly give too much to someone we love? Life is never like a fairytale or Hallmark movie; perfect days-perfect endings and always receiving what we desire. Yet what do those wedding vows represent?
As my pastor shared about price versus value, what is that? The passage for his sermon had been when the woman poured the expensive oil over Jesus’ head. Those around her were upset for this oil was costly; worth up to one year’s wages. They touted to her that she could have sold it and given to the poor. Jesus reminded the gathering that the poor would always be with them, but He would not.
What if, we viewed our commitments to others in the same manner? What if we valued our relationships as though they were purchased with wages far beyond our financial means or what if we valued them as though they would not always be there? Our love was not extravagant for it is no longer. Perhaps it was “price versus value” when Charles chose another. For me, the value of our love is not only the memories of that union, but it is displayed with each moment I share with our children and grandchildren. Proverbs 21:21 NIV “whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.”