I got married just over seven weeks ago. It really was the best day of my life. However, on a day when it was all about Jacqui and I, a day when everyone wanted to come see ‘us’, celebrate with ‘us’, and take photographs of ‘us’, we made sure to divert the attention elsewhere.
Praising God for all he has done
The passage we chose for our wedding sermon was Genesis, chapter 3.
We picked Genesis, chapter 3, to show that without God, we wouldn’t have made it to our wedding day.
When Jacqui and I first started dating, I spoke to a wise brother in Christ who said that it is very hard for two single children from single parent families, with no experience of a successful and happy marriage, to stay together. Yet, we were never discouraged.
Furthermore, Jacqui and I are truly incompatible. We have different interests, different food preferences, and completely different fashion attires (she was never too keen on my collection of track pants). Yet, we confidently exchanged our vowels knowing that ‘this was going to work out’.
And we knew this because of Jesus.
Jesus showed us grace, he showed us compassion, and he showed us unconditional love, and it is the same grace, compassion and love that we will try replicate and display towards each other in our marriage.
Yes, Jacqui and I are strong willed, but Jesus never waivered in his will to save us. Yes, Jacqui and I do fight, but Jesus never stopped fighting for us. And yes, we are going to go through up and downs in our marriage, but Jesus gave us something worth persevering for – seeing each other in his eternal kingdom.
And that’s why our wedding day was just as much about Jesus, and what he has done, as it was about us.
Mates for life
I know I said that my wedding day was the best day of my life, but trust me, the days leading up to the wedding were not too shabby either.
I spent three days and three nights in an Airbnb with my groomsmen. My groomsmen and I don’t see each other much. I mean, we literally don’t talk to each other for 6 months at a time, and that is why the days leading up to my wedding were magical.
The conversations that we had, the memories that we rekindled, and the laughter we shared are things I’ll cherish forever.
And on the wedding day, my pastor told me that he had ‘never seen the groomsmen cry when the bride walked down the aisle’. I didn’t notice them crying because I was too busy soaking up my own tears but knowing that my groomsmen have always stood by my side meant so much to me. They were invested in my wedding, and that is why my wedding was also about them.
Thanking our families
As noted above, Jacqui and I come from very broken families. We both don’t know our fathers.
Yet, on our wedding day, as we started a new family, we realised that we never felt disheartened that our fathers were not in our lives. We never felt like we lacked anything, and we never felt like we were neglected and that is because of the love and the commitment displayed by our mothers.
In the Chinese culture, you have to call your new mother in law ‘mum’. It still feels a little weird calling someone else ‘mum’ but being able to call Jacqui’s mother that namesake is something that I’m quite proud of.
And yes, marriage does involve leaving our parents and starting a new family, but on our wedding day, we couldn’t help but thank those who had raised us and got us there.
Jia Pan Xiao attends GracePoint Chinese Presbyterian Church and is an employment lawyer working in Sydney. In his spare time, Jia Pan enjoys watching American sports, drinking coffee and devouring chocolate mud-cake.
Jia Pan Xiao's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jia-pan-xiao.html