I recently officiated at the wedding of close friends, who chose Colossians 3:12-17 as one of the Scripture readings for their marriage ceremony. In this passage, the apostle Paul gives some wonderful spiritual advice on how a bride and groom might want to dress themselves spiritually, so as to approach their married life together as faithful followers of Christ.
First, the Scripture suggests that they will want to put on "compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." Good advice for a Christian life. Good advice for a Christian marriage.
With these as their garments, the reading advises them to continue "bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against the other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do."
My wife Belinda and I have been married for 26 years and, as any couple who has been married even half that long knows, forgiveness and healing play an important part in a Christian marriage, if the couple wants it to be honest and open and true.
The advice continues with how to dress spiritually with an outer garment: "And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one Body."
And Paul saves his best advice for last: "Be thankful, with gratitude in your hearts to God."
At the reception, the DJ played a song for a married couples’ dance. Gradually, all the more recently married couples were eliminated, until only the longest married couple remained on the dance floor.
When asked their secret to a long marriage, the husband said that it’s all about forgiveness and reconciliation: "We all make mistakes, and it’s whether we can forgive each other and move beyond them that makes or breaks a marriage."