Sunday, October 6, 2013

Loving Sharing

Last night, Saturday 10/5, I officiated Ariel and Paul's wedding ceremony at the historic Belmont Hotel, overlooking the downtown Dallas, Texas skyline. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

In life, from the large moments to the small: what does it mean to share? Of course, the context here today would be what does it mean, specifically, as a foundation for a successful marriage. I believe that this couple has more than an insight or two we can learn from, regarding this pivotal question.

Paul talks about going on mission trips in the Yucatan at a young age, and sharing with people who had much less. This sense of giving and sharing is vital to the marital relationship. This is not only because giving is so important in marriage, but because when we learn to give selflessly we receive much more.

However, sharing of yourself means more than that. It means sharing ideas and your most deeply held beliefs and thoughts. Paul talks about the ongoing open dialogue with his parents on faith and reason. It is this love and openness that he desires to share with Ariel as they learn and experience life together.

Ariel too has had an ongoing dialogue with her world view, from growing up in Schenectady, New York, through spending extended amounts of time in China and Israel, to living in Dallas, four places, which to say the least, offer very different viewpoints. Through these different experiences, Ariel has been flexible and adaptive, picking up pieces from each culture and sharing a bit of her own as well.

Ariel and Paul’s larger views are often captured through smaller moments. Ariel talks about Paul and the first stages of their relationship: making her laugh with his witty jokes and Simpsons references. He introduced her to Dallas – even kept a straight face while she ordered dumplings in Mandarin, utterly confusing the waiter, who kept staring at Paul. He taught Ariel how to eat craw fish and took her to see Elvis Costello perform with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Something that starts small - devoting a Sunday night to a home-cooked meal, building a record collection together, or discussing an interesting article from the radio -  creates new shared traditions in the larger context of their life. Through their loving sharing Ariel and Paul create the ideal situation for every couple standing before their family and friends on their wedding day.

Ariel and Paul, I always frame my remarks around learning something from every couple. I feel, personally, like this is truer than ever here today. With the story of your relationship, you remind me how deep love for sharing can really be. For that I am profoundly thankful.

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