I recently got to say, for the first time, “I pronounce you husband and wife. As Jesus said, ‘What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.’” That was a heart pounding privilege, responsibility, and joy.
The last sentence of the pronouncement comes from Mark 10:9, and I thought about it throughout the week leading up to the ceremony. The groom had proposed. The bride had planned the wedding. The coordinator had run the morning. The guests had arrived to celebrate. The caterers were setting out the buffet. The attendants were ready to sign the license. In fact, I was the one about to say, “I pronounce you husband and wife;” yet, Jesus said, “What God has joined together, let not man separate.”
The passage reminded me that though a lot of human actions make up a wedding, God is the one who makes a marriage. Two individuals walk down the aisle, but one couple walks back up, not solely because of their vows or the witnesses’ presence or my pronouncement but because God has made two into one.
This should humble us before we take marriage too lightly, those of us who are single, those of us who are married, those of us who have been married. However, it should also encourage us, because God joins two together. The same miraculous power that forms a marriage can keep and renew it, too.
There is a God, and He is here. He is really at work, and He really does delight to work through people’s actions that align with his will, including his commandments. For example, “let us love one another, for love is from God.” The same God who made the marriages we’re in and surrounded by can resurrect and refresh them. After all, he takes our human words in a wedding and makes a marriage. He can take our human attempts at love and make a marriage that pleases and honors Him.