Updated: Jul 29, 2019
Hello, friends! This post is going to be different than my usual advice posts. This was written by a newlywed wife, Madison Sandhop, about her wedding day. I hope you enjoy her beautiful words as much as I do!
"As we’ve been picking pictures and reminiscing over our wedding, the song New Wine plays over the speaker. The object of this song is that before wine is made into the final product it is pressed. Just so, we are sanctified by the pressing of our Good Lord that we might become more like who we were meant to be and, in turn, who we feel most freed to be. Praise be to God!
We look back on this picture of when we took Communion – the first thing we did after we vowed to love and serve each other for all our days until death do us part. We did this as an inward and outward celebration of committing our relationship first and foremost to Christ, to serve and Love Him first. Not always an easy task, mind you. But, Grace! But, His Blood! But, His Wine! We look back and recognize our commitment to Him with that communion. Yet, we also look at that moment and go “What a picture to remind us of the pressing, of the making of New Wine.”
Before we sipped that glass of red wine together, God knows how many grapes had to be pressed. Just so, we are continually pressed to become Love in such a more deep and pure and rich and intimate way. We aren’t pressed to be made perfect for each other nor for the world. We are pressed that we might become more free and more pure in the blood that mingled in the dirt beneath the foot of the cross. God doesn’t press us that we might be perfect enough for Him to save. Rather, He saved us despite our need for pressing. The worst is over! Death has been defeated. Now, we approach the cross with Joy to become more like the One Who Loves perfectly. To Love like Him is a beautiful and glorious thing, an honor in which He is glorified and in which He longs to glorify us in too. The mysterious beauty of Grace. Yet, even in our deepest needs of pressing, He is glorified. And, boy, oh, boy! Will marriage show you how you need a pressing!
There is something quite unique in waking up next to the same person every day and unifying your ways of living under one roof, choosing to love someone in every season, each of you growing and changing more into the person you were designed to be, and creating a future, a life with someone you promised to be with n o matter w h a t. That will press you. That will challenge you. That will purify you. And that is the beauty of the vow. When things go upside down, when other relationships you cherished crumble or evaporate or are a struggle to endure, when the car gives out, when you both get nailed with the flu, when work places challenge you and make you question, when one of you loses motivation in daily rhythms, or when a vortex of emotions overtakes one of you, you do not back out on your word. You keep Loving and learning to Love.
You lay down your life for the other. You choose to press into the Lord and let Him mold you to Love like Himself. Oddly enough, as much as it is learning to Love each other, it’s also about learning to Love yourself. Despite all the ugliness you see in yourself while living so closely to another human being, despite seeing your own weaknesses or inabilities in contrast to them, and despite how much you grow and change by the Gracious Pressure of God - you are challenged by God and by the promise of your beloved spouse to remember that you are Loved and you will not be abandoned no matter how unlovable you feel.
Praise be to the God Who never leaves His work unfinished. Praise be to a God Who holds all things together. Praise be to a God Who is comedic and serious, gracious and firm. Praise be to a God Who presses us and makes us into a new creation. May He continue to press. May we continue to look more and more like the King of Love."