Tomorrow evening our son will be the groom. He is getting married. The woman he will marry is everything my wife, Tammy, and I could have ever hoped or dreamed for him. In fact, we prayed for Emily long before we even knew she existed. We prayed that both of our children would find faithful, Christian people with whom they would share their lives. We are grateful the Lord has answered that prayer…doubly so.
When I stand up there in front of everybody to perform the ceremony, with Ben and Emily facing me, I’m sure I will feel a rush of emotions. I will think about the moment he was born. I’ll reflect on the little boy who always wanted to wear his “red and blue” outfit. His first day of kindergarten is seared into my brain. My mind will go back to all those days out on the baseball field, he the player, I the coach. I’ll remember him in his catcher’s gear fearlessly defending the plate against players bigger than he.
My thoughts will be directed to the moments he spent on stage in plays and musicals, the struggle it was to get him to do his homework, and the first time he picked up a guitar. I’ll remember the time we spent playing catch in the front yard on 58th Street in Milwaukee. There will be memories of the fish we caught together at the lake near Eagle River, Wisconsin. I’m sure I’ll ponder that day we dropped him off at Belmont University, and the times we came back to Nashville to hear him play with his band. I’ll relish the times we hit the links and played golf together, especially as his skills improved.
Now he will be the groom. What I will finally remember most as he stands before me ready to get married will be two other incredibly important days in his life:
- The day he was baptized, and
- The day he was confirmed in the Christian faith.
Those days have great bearing on what will now happen as he begins a new life as a married man. He will do so as a baptized and forgiven child of God. This groom (as all grooms) will be a sinner in need of forgiveness. And he will be a husband who delivers the very forgiveness of Christ to His wife, who will also find plenty of occasions to forgive him. I pray that he will show and share the light of Christ to His wife, and if God sees fit to give them a family, to their children as well.
So, how’s a dad to feel when his son is the groom? I suppose you could say it’s the ultimate mixture of emotions. There is pride, there is sorrow for days gone by, there is happiness for the joy of a newfound life, and there is thankfulness for the gifts of faith and forgiveness.
What emotions do you have at weddings?