Two weeks ago we had the honor of capturing Justin and Alyson’s wedding at the Omni Amelia Island Resort. Who knew that a two by four and a flat tire would lead to a wedding. You see one day as Ally was on her way home from a long shift she drove over a four by four, got a flat tire and although this would normally ruin or greatly slow down ones day, this turned out to be the most magical obstacle she had ever encountered. Right when she probably thought, “GREAT” is when the very chivalrous Justin stop and offered to help her out. The rest was history.
If you spend just five minutes around Justin and Ally you know that these two are the real deal! Even you will get butterflies! When they are together it seems like the rest of the world truly disappears. Aside from every moment that we got to spend with these two lovebirds being a complete joy, our favorite moment of the wedding day happened during the ceremony. They say it takes a village to raise a child but I say it takes a village to hold accountable and support a marriage. When their good friend Hans stepped in front of them and began to speak at their ceremony, we knew that these two had not just a once in a lifetime type of love, they also have a once in a lifetime type of tribe.
We were so moved by Hans words that we asked his permission to share here in their blog the beautiful words and advice he shared on Justin and Ally’s wedding day. We will leave you with Han’s amazing words of wisdom which we truly believe will be a blessing to every married couple that reads them.
“…Rich and fulfilling love in marriage involves commitment and sacrifice.
We can see this truth in the definition of love we just read in 1 Corinthians 13. The love defined here is the love that characterizes God. This is also the love which God calls us to pursue in marriage. God’s love is willing to sacrifice for our good with no thought of personal gain. It sees the best in the other person and endures all things. When we see this type of love portrayed in marriage it is a truly beautiful thing.
If we are honest though, such a high calling to love like God loves makes us uncomfortable, and it often seems impossible to attain because it is in direct opposition to our selfish tendencies. But God offers us the resources to love like this. He gave us a perfect example in Jesus who offered himself up on a cross to pay the penalty for our sin. He gave no thought to Himself but was willing to die for our good. When we recognize and accept this sacrificial love Jesus has demonstrated, God goes even further by giving us his Spirit to produce this love in us.
Justin and Ally, with these truths in mind, I want to encourage and challenge you in 3 things that have been valuable to me over the last 10 years of marriage as you enter this new and exciting phase:
1. You are choosing to give up your old life in order to gain something much greater together. Remember this is not just a one-time event, but a choice you must make daily as you pursue each other in love.
2. Marriage is the most character building relationship you will ever have. The biggest obstacle in your marriage will be your own individual selfishness. If you recognize that marriage can be God’s primary tool in your life to reveal where He wants to refine you for your good and the good of others, it will keep you humble and ready to ask each other for forgiveness. (I have a lot of practice at that, but my wife Joanna is wonderful and very patient!)
3. Remember that in marriage there will be obstacles in the road, like the 4×4 that seemed to wreck your plans, things you must deal with that seem frustrating and inconvenient at the time. But God uses these things to stretch you in new ways, draw you out of yourselves, and produce a depth of love that would otherwise not be possible. This truth is really transforming, because it gives meaning to any hardship you may face together, and makes the good times that much more rich and joyful.
In closing, I pray that both of you will seek these things and experience the richness and joy of God’s blessing on your marriage. ” ~Hans Beutel