Congratulations to my nephew Brandon and his beautiful bride Candace. They were married Saturday and I had the privilege to perform the wedding. The following is the bulk of the message.
Scripture states that “A man will leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh.” The Apostle Paul explains fuller by writing that “He who loves his own wife loves himself, for no one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes it and cherishes it.” Brandon, Candice the two of you should be so close that the others best is your best. Brandon, if you love yourself you will love Candace. Candace if you love yourself you will love Brandon. Let me extend this thought further. Brandon if your friends love you they will love Candace. Candace if your friends love you they will love Brandon. For the two are now one. “For no one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes it and cherishes it.”
Scripture gives us a couple who demonstrate this idea of being one. They are a couple to imitate. Their names are Aquila and Priscilla. They are mentioned in Scripture only six times, but from those few verses we gain a wealth of information on how to have a strong, happy marriage, how to be one. They are never mention separately. Never just Aquila, never just Priscilla. Always Aquila and Priscilla together. And that’s how you should be known. Always Brandon and Candace, Candace and Brandon. Strive to let everyone at work and all places know who your spouse is. Be proud of them. Speak highly of them, because when you do, you speak highly of yourself. “For no one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes it and cherishes it.” You will be as Aquila and Priscilla known always together as one.
Aquila and Priscilla did two things that make for a strong marriage. First they worked together. Scripture first mentions the couple in the city of Corinth where we are told they are tent makers. It was a Jewish custom for families whether rich or poor to teach their sons manual labor. Tent making was one of those vocations they taught. And so Aquila probably learned tent making from his father. Priscilla probably learned it from Aquila. Marriage is work. Both of you will be working and building your own tent. You will be building a home. Each of you will bring to this marriage skills and abilities that are vital for the building of it. Whether it is something useful like automotive maintenance, cooking a meal or writing a budget you will, at times, learn a new skill from the other. We don’t know if Priscilla enjoyed the skill of tent making but she learned it, because it was needed for her family. As you practice self sacrifice you will love each other more. You will meet each others needs without expecting anything in return. You will think the other more important than yourself, but if you love the other you love yourself. “For no one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes it and cherishes it.”
The most important example from Aquila and Priscilla is that they worshiped together. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he sends them greetings from Aquila and Priscilla, together with the church in their house. Christ was at the very center of their home and their marriage. Let the worship of Christ and His work be at the very center of your marriage. Pray together at home. Read the New Testament together. Do not neglect gathering with other believers at your church, in the worship of God. The closer to Christ you become the closer you will be to each other. Do not neglect what scripture calls your spiritual act of worship. Become involved together at your church. Be active. You can be greeters at the door, pass out bulletins, teach a Sunday school, work the food pantry or the clothes closet, or sing in the choir. Find a place of service and serve together.
And so Brandon and Candace, as you leave your fathers and mothers and cling together, may you truly become one flesh, united in work, worship and love.