The one thing to tell your daughter on her wedding day

Author: Jenny Baker

Photo: Seralyn Keen

The one thing to tell your daughter on her wedding day

She looks the most beautiful she has ever looked, shining with expectation and excitement for the new life she has been waiting for.

The wedding day brings all the months of prep and endless lists to a close, so much thought and detail has lovingly gone into it. We have stitched, stuck, sprayed and baked, everything is ready – is she?

A wedding is such a romantic event (or at least it should be) but all of us who have a number of years of marriage under our belt know that life is not all plain sailing!  We have to navigate through both calm and stormy waters.

So if there was only one thing I was asked to say what would it be?

Well I think its FB, no not facebook! Flesh and Bone.

I once heard a priest at a wedding speak about the comment Adam makes in the book of Genesis. This I have to admit, had passed me by as a practical marriage tip.

Adam on looking at Eve for the first time said: “She is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”

The priest explained: the reference to bone means strength and flesh means weakness.

Adam is saying we have become part of each other “When I am weak she will be strong, when she is weak I will be her strength”.

I have never forgotten this easily missed line, and after more than 30 years of marriage I now know how true a statement it is.

In a married relationship we need the other to be the bit we have missing to be able to balance each other.

When one is falling the other can carry, when one needs to sit the other will stand, when one is running too fast the other says slow down.

It is in honest communication of this that we will then complete each other and become one.

The question is how realistic is this? How do we maintain this oneness when the going gets tough?

A wedding brings together the strands of two separate, independent lives and ties them into a knot, and slowly over the years they begin to wrap around each other, twisting and turning to become interwoven.

But the honest truth is it’s not easy to stay together without unravelling, fraying or breaking. That’s why we are told: “A cord of three strands is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

There is a third strand, a third person in our relationship, God is at the core of Christian marriage. This means we don’t have to rely on our own strength, own patience, we don’t have to lean on human will power alone – phew!  

So as my daughter stands on the threshold of her new life, do I need to tell her this - I don’t think I have to, why?

Because my hope is she has experienced it, she has already lived within it through the marriage she has grown up in, mine. She has heard the laughter, crying, shouting, door slamming, and the prayers, and please God, she so knows what she is in for.

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