Saturday evening, I officiated Rachel and Tom’s wedding ceremony, at Hotel ICON, in
Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests: Houston, Texas
There is an interesting thing we do as humans: We often assume that the way things were in “the good old days” was the right way, and that for all of history things were done that very way. To top that off, we usually “remember” the past not as it really happened, but some idealized version of it.
Take, for example, the much-maligned generation Rachel and Tom belong to, the Millennials. You would think that every generation prior to this generation was hard working, responsible, and serious, but these kids today! Of course, if you read anything like a newspaper or magazine from 30-40 years ago, they were saying the exact same thing about that generation. There are even instances of this in archaeological records, because apparently even thousands of years ago, all the young people wanted to do was munch on avocado toast. Who knew?!
One of the things we hear is going to hell in a handbasket is marriage. Apparently, Rachel and Tom’s generation are destroying that institution too. (Not really.) And, yet, when you look just at the anecdotal record from this one couple, it seems like we may be headed in a better direction, than any other previous generation has.
Not that you would know that from the first thing Rachel says about how they met, which is (I am not making this up), “This is my version… He tends to fabricate the story of how we met; FYI.” She does concede that, “I was captivated by his blue eyes,” (Tom claims it was his muscles too), but she still says, “He seemed entirely too young for me.”
Still Kim, her roommate, was determined to set them up, and Tom was patient. Rachel eventually gave him a chance, and they became a couple. Rachel tells us that from, “the beginning of our relationship, I knew this was something special… organic and natural,” and Tom says, “It was effortless... She gave me that feeling, and it hasn’t gone away.”
Now, I don’t just quote them saying those things to be corny, though corny is almost a requirement in wedding ceremonies. What is hiding in these quotes, what this generation takes so much for granted, is that sense of equality between the partners, and the recognition that the ideal marriage, one that actually only fully came into being with this generation, is a partnership of equals.
I’m not sure even Rachel and Tom realize the enormity of this. They just take this as a given. When speaking of the fact that they spent two of their four years in a long-distance relationship, Rachel says, “We made long distance work, simply because we respected each other’s desire to succeed and become great.” And, she adds, “He continues to motivate me to accomplish my goals.”
This would be unfathomable in previous generations, and I often think about what how much potential was wasted in previous generations, because marriage was not such a partnership of equals. This is true for both women and men. It is this type of true and equal partnership, after all, that enables Tom to say, “She has been by my side, during the most challenging times in my life, and (has) simply been my rock.”
This is why Rachel says, “I am incredibly blessed to have him in my life, and I couldn’t be… proud(er) to call him my husband.” And, this is why Tom says, “She is my ride or die, and (is) the only person I could say, ‘I do’ to.”