I am forty-years old and I am soon to get married for the first time. My fiancé is in her mid-thirties and never married either. I’d like to do something very special when I propose to her.
By the way, I am an ex-con who is now serving as a full-time youth pastor. (But, that is another story.) It’s a lot more fun serving the Lord in ministry than serving the state in prison. I had a lot of time to think about the chance that I might one day get married. Now that it has actually come true,, I want to make my marriage proposal something special.
My plan is to take her to our church worship Center around 9 o’clock in the evening. All will be dark until I turn on the lights focusing on the front platform. We will walk down the aisle and I will invite her to sit on the front step.
Then I will ask her to take off her stockings. I know she will protest but I’ll ask her to trust me.
Under the front pew I’ve is hidden a basin of water and a towel. I’m going to take the wet towel and begin to wash her feet. Then I’m going to say, “I want to wash your feet for the rest of your life.” Then, I plan to pull out the ring and ask, “Will you marry me?” Since we’ve already discussed marriage I know she’ll say, “Yes”.
Here is where you can help. I’m asking several friends to share with me their favorite love poems from the Bible. I want to use several as expressions of my love and faithfulness to her.
Could I be so bold as to ask for your creativity? People always quote 1 Corinthians 13 and Ruth’s commitment to Naomi as examples of love and commitment. But I wonder if you can find a poem or passage that is seldom if ever used in a wedding context.
I know you’re busy but the right passage could make my proposal both loving and memorable.
Thanks for the consideration.
Sincerely, Torch (don’t ask)
I’ve performed approximately 400 weddings in my career as a pastor. I only had two ceremony outlines. I chose one or the other based on the couple but there was little difference between the two. I just didn’t have enough time to make up a new ceremony for every couple. So, I use the same three or four passages in every wedding service.
When I read your email I immediately thought of a passage in the book of Habakkuk. I have never used nor heard it used in any wedding ceremony ever. However, it has some of the most touching and loving words in the entire Bible.
Let me give you a little context that you may find helpful in crafting how you use this passage with your fiancée.
In the Old Testament book of Habakkuk the Lord told Habakkuk that he was sending the Babylonians to punish Israel because of their sins. Habakkuk asked, “But what about the Babylonians? How could you use them to punish us? They’re worse than we are. What are you going to do about them (That’s also a story.)?
For 2 ½ chapters God details the fiery destruction, murderous invasion and torturous circumstances that soon will be unleashed upon Israel by the Babylonians. Habakkuk tells us that he was terrified. In fact he describes the shaking of his body and the thinking feeling in his stomach as he anticipates the destruction to come.
He is about to lose everything he had. He’s going to lose his house, his family, his friends, his job, and most likely his life.
He closes his book with one of the greatest love songs of faith and commitment that’s ever been sung. Listen. Can you hear it?
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
This is what you tell your fiancée: “I don’t care if all of nature goes crazy. I don’t care if everything goes wrong in the whole world. I’m going to love you and rejoice in you forever.”
Of course, you’ll want to add to this and spice it up with the words of love and commitment which will be in your heart no matter what the circumstances that may come to you in life.
I hope you find this helpful. Let me know how it all works out.
Sincerely, Ask Roger