we are gathered here for the nuptials of Patrick and Cora
A delightful event, for sure…but how does one proceed?
You see, I am in a conundrum. It has been my pleasure…well…usually a pleasure, to have known Patrick for many years…since middle school in fact.
I also had the chance to be his basketball coach.
Patrick had, as my dear friend and colleague, Ike Arribena once said, (dear Lord, Ike is so polite)
A “unique skill set”
Sometimes Patrick would not be at top speed...it was more of a “competitive saunter”
In basketball one is oft otherwise engaged, so when a shot goes up, someone indicates this so that the team can box out and hopefully get the rebound. Patrick took this task to heart and developed the unique ability to yell, with amazing volume “shot” as the ball fell through the hoop
With all of this in mind, I am inclined to start with humor.
On the other hand…
The wedding is about the bride
Would Cora want me to tease her soon to be husband?
Now is the time when I should give sage advice and one would think that I would have some to give.
Since it took me over 5 decades to figure it out…I am guessing “no”
It’s okay to laugh…this is a joyous occasion
So let’s turn to the bible
Proverbs 31:6 “Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts” –
Hmmm…maybe that wasn’t the best choice
Here is the one that I was looking for
Genesis 2:24 - Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one
Other than God, you two are now the center of your world. You are the foundation of your family. No one is more important than you two and your relationship. Not your family, not your children. You two, are the foundation of your family. Never forget that as this is extremely important.
Don’t allow parents, friends family or anything come between you. Let no outside forces be a difficulty in your marriage.
It is not selfish. Just as you are the foundation on which you build your family, your friends and neighbors are the foundation of theirs. your children will become the foundation of theirs. The resulting community is strong, unyielding and is the architecture is substantive, beautiful and a testament to Him.
Ephesians 5:25 - Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
Patrick, you are the protector, the provider, the man of the house. It is an awesome responsibility and it is, perhaps, your greatest duty.
As a protector you must use all means to protect your family, not just with arms, but with the intelligence to prevent danger from approaching. “Good fences make good neighbors” is a poem about communication and an understanding as to what is yours. That there is a barrier between you and the outside world. A fence, that barrier, is a symbol of your commitment to your family.
Just the communication that you will protect your family prevents not only danger but quarrelsome outside forces from sowing dissent.
As a husband, you have to know when to insist. Let the small things go. Save your insistence on the things that matter. There is no way that you care about the color of the towels in the guest bathroom. Only assert yourself when it matters. And do not call it picking your battles. Never battle with your wife.
When a conflict arises, step back and look to the real problem. Take a moment…or an hour…and let the pressure subside. As the man you are expected to act as a leader.
If memory serves, it was Ralph Walso Emerson who said “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way” That is an important lesson on staying humble and respecting your fellow man. As to women…remember that women are smarter than men. They are also tougher. Ask Cora’s advice. Take it.
And spoil her. Start every text with “hey baby” or “hi gorgeous.” Learn the phrase “if it makes you happy.” Hold her door, coat and chair…as well as her purse.
May you never make her jealous…but rather make other women jealous of the way that you treat her.
Genesis 2:18 - Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
Cora, this is one of the most misunderstood verses in the bible. This does not mean that your are inferior in fact, just the opposite. It is said, Behind every great man there is a great woman and that has always been. Whether it was the caveman hunting the sabertooth tiger, the cowboy on the trail drive or the computer networker doing…well…whatever the hell they do…knowing that you have his back, keeping the hearth warm, taking care of your child, allows him the comfort to fulfill his duties.
Celebrate your inequality. While men are generally bigger and stronger, women are smarter, tougher and more intuitive. We men tend to be blunt instruments and women nuanced.
It is not chauvinism that he does not let you change the tire, unclog the toilet or open the door when a stranger knocks. It is chivalry. Accept it with grace and reward him for it.
You are a team, each with strengths and weaknesses. With your superior intuition, you will know things before he does. When men screw up, they usually do so epically. Don’t say “I told you so” but rather, as is Peter “Above all keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
You are his jewel and he is your champion. Revel in it. Be kind and true and loving. If you do that, you two are unstoppable.
Remember that Psalm 85:10 – when Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.
You two have taken on a lot. A new marriage is no small matter and adding a small, demanding little human who you haven’t met makes it more difficult. And in the end, it will be more rewarding. Be kind to one another no matter how sleep deprived you are.
Remember, that how you treat one another is how your child will view a good marriage. Patrick, the way you treat Cora teaches your son the way that to treat his wife and your daughter how to expect to be treated. Make a joyous home. Fill it with laughter. When appropriate, steal a kiss, pat a butt and always smile.
Every day thank Him for your blessings, and they will multiply.
Know that in every difficulty, it is as it should be.
And to paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, treat every moment of every day as an unspeakable miracle
And this moment is quite the miracle. Cora, just think about all of the people that made this moment possible. Your mom Adrienne, your Dad Grant and JoAnn, Mary & Carney, Frankie & Ron, Dave & Connie. They are smiling right now, either here or from above.
Patrick and Cora
Today is a new beginning.
At this moment, you are two separate people, but joining as one. Each bottle of sand represents you as you are now. When you pour them together, they cannot be separated. You are forever entwined.
Patrick, do you take Cora, to be your wedded wife. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do you part.
I now pronounce you husband and wife
May I present Patrick and Cora Finnigan