Inviting God to Your Wedding: and Keeping God in Your Marriage

Overview

"God is the silent partner in all great enterprises."
-- Abraham Lincoln
"In the months before our wedding, I searched the shelves of my favorite bookstores for a wedding book that I never found: A book that would celebrate my joy and acknowledge my fears. A book that would be a silent friend that wouldn't overwhelm me with week-by-week checklists and endless pictures of table settings. . . . I knew that before I began organizing the most important event of my life, I needed to organize my heart."

Inviting God to...

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Inviting God to Your Wedding: and Keeping God in Your Marriage

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Overview

"God is the silent partner in all great enterprises."
-- Abraham Lincoln
"In the months before our wedding, I searched the shelves of my favorite bookstores for a wedding book that I never found: A book that would celebrate my joy and acknowledge my fears. A book that would be a silent friend that wouldn't overwhelm me with week-by-week checklists and endless pictures of table settings. . . . I knew that before I began organizing the most important event of my life, I needed to organize my heart."

Inviting God to Your Wedding is not just about planning for an event. It's about preparing for a miracle. Written with honesty, wisdom, and humor by Touched By An Angel Executive Producer Martha Williamson, with a special chapter for men by her husband and Co-Executive Producer Jon Andersen, this inspiring book is a "wedding handbook" for your spirit and your soul.

Funny, thought-provoking, and thoroughly useful, it is filled with ideas, suggestions, and commonsense advice that focus on the most important aspect of every wedding: the coming together of a man and a woman "in the sight of God." From wedding showers to the wedding night, this personal workbook will help create a three-way partnership with God from the start, one that will sustain couples in times of crisis as well as triumph and joy.
        
Inviting God to Your Wedding will become an encouraging handbook of comfort, and celebration in the weeks and months before your wedding, and a treasured book of memories throughout your marriage.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
According to Martha Williamson, inviting God into your wedding, marriage, and life is every bit as important as setting the date, configuring the seating chart, and booking the music. Inviting God to Your Wedding provides advice for couples who want to embark upon their marriage with a firm spiritual grounding.
From the Publisher
"Increasingly, couples today are searching for means to add dimensions to their marriage -- substance which can only be found in our Creator's wisdom and grace. Without religious pretense but with genuine spiritual insight, Martha Williamson offers a mountain of truth and a fountain of life available for practical application. There is even more than an angel touch here -- there is something of the promise of God's presence Himself available for your wedding."
-- Jack W. Hayford, Litt.D., Pastor/President The Church On The Way, The King's Seminary

"Marriages are made in heaven but ruined on earth. Martha Williamson and Jon Andersen show you, in precise and tangible ways and with the characteristic outpourings of their loving, generous hearts, how to make your marriage healthy, and sometimes even heavenly."        
-- Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide To Ethical Living

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307587695
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/26/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Martha Williamson is the award-winning Executive Producer and Head Writer of the groundbreaking inspirational series Touched By An Angel. In addition to her twenty-year career in television drama, comedy, and variety, she is also a popular speaker and author. Jon Andersen, Co-Executive Producer of Touched By An Angel, is a producer and director. He is a veteran of more than fifty television series, movies of the week, mini-series, and feature films. Jon and Martha were married in 1998 in Santa Barbara, California.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

The first invitation goes to God

You could get married in three minutes in front of two witnesses and someone with the authority to declare you legally married. You don't need a cake, you don't need champagne, you don't need a room full of spectators, and you don't need music or even a wedding dress.

You probably need a license and, of course, someone who wants to spend the rest of his life with you. That's important. I begin this book with the assumption that you are actually marrying someone for that reason--that you both are madly in love and can't imagine living life without each other.

But you are also reading this book because you have decided that you need Someone Else at the wedding. At some level you understand that a wedding between two people, an officiant, and two or even two hundred witnesses is certainly legal, possibly romantic, and definitely optimistic, but it isn't necessarily a spiritual event. However, if God attends your wedding, you are replacing optimism with faith and genuine hope. You are saying that you are aware of the challenges that marriage presents and that you are asking God to be there with you both at the very beginning and to stay with you on the journey until death do you part.

There is a ship and it sails the sea . . .
Give us a boat that can carry two
And both shall row, my love and I.

Marriage is not so much an institution as it is a conveyance, and I often think of these lyrics from a folk song when I try to describe marriage as a form of transportation through life. However, "Unless the Lord builds the house," or in this case the ship, "we labor in vain," says the Bible (Psalm 127:1). The time to construct the boat is not when it's in the middle of troubled waters. It makes the most sense to build it in fair weather before it ever has to ride out a storm. That's why you'll want to invite God from the very beginning, to help you design your ship and set your course. That means that a spiritual marriage begins with a spiritual wedding. And a spiritual wedding begins with spiritual preparation. It's not just about picking hymns and choosing readings from the Bible. It's about preparing your own heart to be as emotionally and spiritually ready as possible to step into that boat when the big day comes!

And so, the first wedding invitation that you send should be a very personal one, a prayer that asks God to attend not only the ceremony on your wedding day, but to be there for all the decisions and the details beforehand. Remember, God holds time in His hands. Whatever concerns you have about the months to come, He is already there in the future and He can give you peace about it. So it is perfectly right and appropriate to include Him today. Don't wait until the morning of your wedding to ask Him to show up. There is so much He can do right now to help.

I know, it's hard to imagine. Why would God care about your wedding? People make the mistake of assuming that God is too busy with "really important issues" to be bothered with somebody's nuptials. But that was never my experience. I love this line from a popular hymn that I sing to myself whenever I think my needs are too trivial for God.

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

His eye is on you, too. And I know He is watching and waiting for your invitation.

Ideas to ponder
The Greeks described love in three forms. The first two are "Eros" and "Philia." Eros is the love that expresses itself romantically. Philia is friendship. H. Norman Wright describes the two this way: "While eros is almost always a face-to-face relationship, philia is often a shoulder-to-shoulder relationship." Finally, the third form of love is "Agape"--the love that is unconditional and asks nothing in return. That is, perhaps, the best love of all. Beyond face-to-face and shoulder-to-shoulder, there must be heart-to-heart. When you marry "for love," are all forms of it present in your relationship? As you prepare spiritually for your wedding, ask God to bring all three into balance.

Write it out
Your first wedding invitation is going out to God. Before you invite Him, however, be clear on the reasons you want Him there. Write it out:
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________

Say it out loud

Call to Me and I will answer you.
And I will tell you great and mighty things which you do not know.

JEREMIAH 33:3

God wants to attend your wedding, but He's a gentleman. He won't go if He's not invited. Take a private moment to ask, out loud, for God's presence not only at your wedding but throughout the planning process.

Dear God,
Even with all the friends and loved ones I have who want to help me, I need Someone who will really make the difference between a wedding and a miracle. Will You help me? Will You teach me and my fiancé how to truly become one? I believe You will.  Thank You.
Amen.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

I rivers in the desert 7

II preparing spiritually for your wedding 33

1 The First Invitation Goes to God 35

2 Wait a Minute, I Feel Like a Hypocrite! 41

3 I Don't Want a "Religious" Wedding 47

4 Celebrating Our Happiness Is Celebrating God 54

5 Is God Going to Make Me Do Something I Don't Want to Do? 59

6 Gathering the Storm All by Yourself 66

7 Traditions or Superstitions? 72

8 Dousing Old Flames and Severing Soul Ties 81

9 Abstinence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder 90

10 You Don't Want To, You Don't Have Time, and You Don't Need It Anyway 98

11 The Couple That Prays Together 106

III the engagement and planning for big day 113

12 The Myth of the Dream Wedding 115

13 Wedding Books Are Not Bibles 120

14 Dates and Weights 125

15 The Fifty-Dollar Weddmg 130

16 Choosing Your Bridesmaids 136

17 Dress for the Best 142

18 Spiritual and Meaningful Themes for Showers 147

19 The Courage to Make the Guest List 157

20 Saying Good-bye to the Single Life 164

21 The Only Two Things That Will Finally Matter 170

IV the big day 177

22 It's Raining and the Police Are Still Here 179

23 The Best Thing I Did on My Wedding Day 186

24 God's Favorite Part 192

25 A Reception Means to Receive 207

V the day after your wedding 219

26 Good Morning! 221

27 The Honeymoon 226

28 And Now It Begins 231

VI a few words to men from Jon 237

29 Be Thou a Blessing 239

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