By Alyce Faye Bragg
The month of June comes floating in on butterfly wings, and trailing roses at her feet. She has always been a delightful month, leaving the colder weather behind, and bringing warmer days. It is a traditional month for weddings, with many couples choosing this month to pledge their vows. It seems to me that the term “marriage” is not the same as it used to be.
Back in my growing-up years, marriage was taken seriously. It was a life- time deal, for better or for worse, and entered into with that thought in mind. Now it seems that the act of marriage has become somewhat obsolete. It is common now for a couple to simply live together. If a couple does marry, many times, they divorce for the most frivolous reasons—then they marry again and divorce again, carrying the same character flaws and problems with them.
Marriage requires commitment. There will be rough places, differences of opinions and other baggage, especially in the early years of your marriage. You don’t have to throw up your hands and quit, but you can work it out and go on. I remember a young girl I once met many years ago, with a little baby. I have never forgotten what she told me. She had birthed the baby, and then married the father. She said, “We are going to get a divorce—neither one of us likes to be married!”
What about the baby? Each child that is born deserves a mother and a father. I realize that there are thousands who are not that blessed, but that was never God’s plan for a happy home. His plan was for parents to bring up their children in the way they should go; and when they are old, they will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22-6)
This does not mean that they will automatically be saved, but the Word that they are taught will never depart from their minds. When they reach the place where they need help, they will know where to find it. I am so thankful that my parents brought me up and taught me the way of salvation. Even though I veered from that way and went the way of the flesh, I knew the way back to the Cross. It is wonderful to know that “As far as the East is from the West, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalms 103-12)
God had a perfect plan for marriage from the beginning. When God created Adam first, He saw that he needed a wife. Genesis 2:18 says, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a helpmeet for him.” God caused a deep sleep (first anesthesia?) to fall upon Adam, and He took one of his ribs, made a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Did you ever wonder why God used a rib? I think it was because it was the closest bone to a man’s heart. Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Marriage was then commended by God. Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Mark 10:9 adds, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
I didn’t intend to preach a message, but the subject of marriage is dear to my heart. Christmas Eve of this year will make 66 years of marriage for Criss and me. There have been plenty of ups and downs, hard places to climb and things to forgive. We’ve witnessed births, deaths and family difficulties, but God has brought us through to this present time. We realize that we are the older generation, but we are leaving behind quite a heritage. I will have to say that the good days outweigh the bad.
At this point, we have six children, 22 grandchildren and 40 great-grands. There are also two great-great grandsons, and I am sure there are more to come! God told us to replenish the earth, but I don’t think He meant for us to do it all. The Lord has blessed us abundantly, and we give Him all the praise.
The month of June is a delightful time for weddings and honeymoons. Last night a whippoorwill called from a distant hill; it’s clear piercing voice bringing back sweet memories of other spring times and other loves. Roses are climbing up the porch columns, and hanging their lovely red and pink blossoms down for us to admire. When I was growing up, we had clusters of rambler roses that climbed up the old house. We girls would get carried away with June and weddings, and made many mud cakes decorated with the red and pink rambler roses. We also had mock weddings, with the brides wearing gowns fashioned from Mom’s old gauzy curtains that she had discarded. We daydreamed of our own future weddings, with our frilly, white gowns and elaborate wedding cakes.
It doesn’t always turn out that way, however. My wedding dress was charcoal color, and we were wed in a preacher’s home. Reuel Foote (now deceased) and my sister Mary Ellen were our attendants, and our wedding supper was at Kilroy’s. That was a teenage hangout during our young years, and we ate hotdogs. We played the jukebox, and I remember one song—“I’d rather die young, than grow old all alone, so tell me you love me, let me call you my own. . .”
We grew old together, and I would do it again.
By Adelaide Love
If you should go before me, dear, walk slowly
Down the ways of death, well-worn and wide,
For I would want to overtake you quickly
And seek the journey’s ending by your side.
I would be so forlorn not to descry you
Down some shining highroad when I came;
Walk slowly, dear, and often look behind you
And pause to hear if someone calls your name.
Congratulations to each bride and groom who are choosing this month to make their wedding vows. Let God lead you and overshadow your home, and you will never be sorry.