Sunday, October 18, 2015

Actions Speak

Saturday evening I co-officiated Jennifer and Noah’s wedding ceremony with Father Milt Raybould at the Hilton Park Cities, in Dallas, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

I love origin stories. If you think about it, some of the greatest stories ever told from the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt to the Christmas story to the American Revolution. So, I was intrigued by Jennifer and Noah's origin story, the origin story of them as a couple. How did they arrive at the place they are today, where Noah's words ring mutually true, when he says: "I want to marry her because I love her, she is my best friend, and I can’t imagine my life without her. I love the way I feel about her and the way she makes me feel." It sounds pretty extraordinary. So how DID they get there, or if you will, here?

Noah writes: "I remember our (initial) email conversations and eventual phone conversations – I enjoyed talking with Jen and we had a lot in common. I felt a connection with her instantly – I joked, but it is true, that after our first date, I cancelled my other dates!" Humor definitely adds to an origin story, and Noah has that in spades!

I really love the literary aspect of their origin story. I think our grandchildren will find it shocking that most of us, in our generation, did NOT  begin our romantic relationships like Jennifer and Noah. (I can them say, "What? You just met by accident? You didn't email, text, tweet, Facebook etc. first?! That's so weird.) Anyway, listen to Jennifer describe the beauty of this:  "I waited for his responses with great anticipation each day and savored reading every one (even multiple times)..."

It is this type of origin story that allows you to get to know another person on a much deeper level. So, not surprisingly, Jennifer writes what she discovered pretty quickly: "We have many of the same values and life goals which made the first, sometimes awkward-getting-to-know-you emails lots of fun and enjoyable."

And what did they discover about each other during that time and as their relationship developed? Well, Jennifer claims the following is true of Noah, but again, I am pretty sure he would say this is equally true of her: "What we wrote at that time is as true today as it was then, which only makes me love him more. I can easily say he is kind, honest, enthusiastic, etc. and it is all true. What exemplifies it to me, though, is how he conveys it to his friends and family. (Actions always speak louder than words.) He takes the time to make people feel special and to let them know he is thinking of them in his own unique way. This is true for both friends and family, new and old. This sign of loyalty and love he shares with me, too."

Wow! When I taught high school and middle school, I would always advise kids to not look at just what the other person says to them. Rather look at how he treats the server. Look at how she treats the valet. That can tell you a lot, because actions do speak larger than words, and in these actions a person shows their true self. When they do, their words either become, to borrow a phrase from today, richer or poorer.

So, for all of us married couples, present and future, let's keep Jennifer and Noah's message in mind. Actions do speak louder than words, and go ahead and make the other person feel special. Because that is not a bad recipe for a happy marriage, is it?!

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