The Super Whites The ordinary life of a Super Mum

The Super Whites
Wedding memories

CAPTION: One of my favourite photos of Ron and I from our wedding.

Last weekend’s wedding really got me thinking about relationships and what matters. Ron and I will have been married for 5 years in January. Actually, if you count our first, secret wedding then we have been married for 5 years 3 months already – buts thats a story for another day. This year has been a hard year for relationships, close friends have split up, marriages have ended and new friends have been going through some tough times in relationships. Its made me think a lot about what makes my relationship work and now more than ever our marriage needs ongoing work in order to progress and develop. Next year our family dynamic will change all over again when we have our second baby and I want to ensure that the caring, communicative, loving relationship I have with my husband can weather these changes.

CAPTION: My Dad walking me up the aisle/lawn at our garden wedding.

Last weekend’s wedding had two very simple, but very lovely readings which I am going to reproduce here for thought.

Adapted from St Paul to the Ephesians.
Give your self to each other completely.
Be generous in your giving and make no conditions for these gifts.
Love each other constantly and fully.
Be humble in your acceptance of your partner’s love.
Be honest with each other.
Be thankful for each other’s love and strive to develop its richness day by day.
Respect each other in every way.
Be patient with each other’s weaknesses and accept each other for what you are, not what you wish one another to be.
Communicate constantly with each other.
Be calm, patient, tolerant and reasonable in your communication.
Be capable of good listening.
Share with each other misfortune and fortune alike.
Be compassionate and express your love for each other constantly.
Know your limitation and be honest with yourself as you are with each other.
Fuse your souls into one another and be happy with the love you have been so fortunate to find in each other.

I think this is a wonderful thing to say to a couple on their wedding day. I also think that there aren’t many of us who can honestly say that they and their partner tick all these gentle instructions. Relationships are about compromise on many levels but these are such basic and necessary instructions for an honest and happy relationship, be it with your life partner or even friends and family. Listening to this read out in the church at the wedding of two people I don’t really know forced me to look at myself and identify a few shortcomings that I really should pay more attention to correcting.

CAPTION: Dancing with my new husband on our wedding night.

The second reading at the wedding was slightly more instructional but equally as relevant.

In the art of Marriage the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together to face the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right partner –
It is being the right partner.

A wise blogger wrote today about how her ex never seemed to show an interest in her hobbies and passions and its only with the gift of hindsight that she is able to see how selfish and self-involved he actually was. I think its very easy to slip into being selfish without even realising it. Ron and I are both very careful to ensure that we both have individual time on our own to pursue our hobbies and passions, be it playing a game of touch rugby, or in my case, spending an afternoon with my camera or working on some photographs on the computer. But that isn’t enough, we need to ensure that we have that alone time together to share these passions and hobbies so that we don’t forget what makes up the other person in this relationship.

CAPTION: My most special friends who acted as my bride’s people on my wedding day.
I live a long way away from all of these friends in this photo above and am guilty of neglecting my friendship with them on occasions. Its hard to stay in touch emotionally when communication happens on the internet and this translates into relationships I have right here and now. Ron and I have promised to make time for each other in the coming months, to talk and discuss our goals and aspirations, to listen rather than pass the time together and to remember why we decided to take the big leap of faith and get married in the first place.
I wish all my friends could have the same simple love and happiness within a relationship that I have with Ron.
And now our wedding ceremony in case anyone was interested. It was performed in my parent’s back garden in South Africa by a cousin of my Mum’s who is a minister and Ron and I wrote it together.
Will you, the families and friends of Ron and Sarah, support and uphold them in their marriage now and in the years to come?
All: We will.
Reading from 1 Corinthians chapter 13
“I may be able to speak the languages of men and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains – but if I have no love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burnt – but if I have no love, this does me no good.

Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.

Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.

When I was a child, my speech, feelings and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am a man, I have no more use for childish ways. What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete – as complete as God’s knowledge of me.

Meanwhile these three remain; faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.”

Declaration of intent:
Robert: Ron, in the presence of your family and friends do you promise to take Sarah as your wife? Do you promise to love her and respect her, to stand by her as a true companion so long as you both shall live?
Ron: I do

Robert: Sarah, in the presence of your family and friends, do you promise to take Ron as your husband? Do you promise to love him and respect him, to stand by him as a true companion so long as you both shall live?
Sarah: I do
Robert: Ron and Sarah have declared their intention towards each other. As their parents, will you now entrust your son and daughter to one another as they come to be married?
Both sets of parents respond: We will.

Poem ON LOVE by Thomas à Kempis (1379-1471)

Love is a mighty power, a great and complete good.Love alone lightens every burden, and makes rough places smooth.It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders allbitterness sweet and acceptable.Nothing is sweeter than love,Nothing stronger,Nothing higher,Nothing wider,Nothing more pleasant,Nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God.Love flies, runs and leaps for joy.It is free and unrestrained.Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds.Love feels no burden, takes no account of toil,attempts things beyond its strength.Love sees nothing as impossible,for it feels able to achieve all things.It is strange and effective,while those who lack love faint and fail.Love is not fickle and sentimental,nor is it intent on vanities.Like a living flame and a burning torch,it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle.

Ron and Sarah’s Vows:
Ron: Sarah, today I join my life to yours, not merely as your husband, but as your friend, your lover, and your confidant.Let me be the shoulder you lean on, the rock on which you rest, the companion of your life.With you I will walk my path from this day forward.
Sarah: Ron, today I join my life to yours, not merely as your wife, but as your friend, your lover, and your confidant.Let me be your source of comfort and of strength, your safe haven to come home to, the companion of your life.With you I will walk my path from this day forward.

The Blessing of the Rings:
Robert: The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond which unites two loyal hearts in everlasting love. It is a seal of the vows Ron and Sarah have made to one another. Bless O God these rings that Ron and Sarah, who give them, and who wear them, may ever abide in thy peace. Living together in unity, love and happiness for the rest of their lives.

The Exchange of rings:
Ron: Sarah I give you this ring as a symbol of our vows, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honour you. With free and unconstrained soul, I give you all I am to become. Take this ring, and with it my promise of faith, patience, and love,for the rest of my life.
Sarah: Ron I give you this ring as a symbol of our vows, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honour you. With free and unconstrained soul, I give you all I am to become. Take this ring, and with it my promise of faith, patience, and love, for the rest of my life.

Declaration of Marriage:

Robert: In as much as you have each pledged to the other your lifelong commitment; love and devotion, I now pronounce you husband and wife, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.Ron. You may kiss your bride!
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