T=Trust – Trust is a fragile thing, perhaps more fragile than we regard. The two of you should guard the trust you have for each other, and build on it. Trust is earned, and cheapened when given away. TRUTH builds trust, and trust gives hope. Remember the God of all hope will keep you in His peace as you both trust in Him. When other loyalties fail, your spouse should be one person in whom you can have confidence. Unity in marriage grows on a foundation of trust.
U=Unity – Unity doesn’t mean uniformity. It doesn’t mean one spouse does everything as the other wants. It means the two of you know the difference between preferences and principles. Preferences are flexible, but principles are the foundation of a marriage. It means that when you have a “discussion” you never go to sleep angry with each other; you agree never to let the sun go down on your wrath. I believe one of the great mysteries of Christianity is that of a man and woman leaving their parents, cleaving to one another and becoming one. To paraphrase Mary Evans, marriage is the deep intimacy, the oneness, of sharing life’s silent, unspeakable memories.
For now, I’ll skip the letter “L” and go to “I”.
I=Imagination – Some day, maybe several years from now, long after the newness and novelty of this day has long since faded away, and when the two of you have settled into a routine, and perhaps married life has become monotonous or even a drudgery, do yourselves a favor. Stop at a store on your way home from work and get the nicest bouquet of flowers you can for your wife, for no reason at all. Bring them home to her. Lead her into your living room. Put on some Weather Channel jazz, and dance with her. And on that day, let your imagination take you back to today, and the reason you’re here. Let creativity have its way in your marriage. Stir your imagination, and be ready to win her all over again.
P=Patience – Preparations for weddings are brief, like the sprint of a runner. Marriages are marathons, and require patience. You’ll need a lot of it. The scripture says, tribulation produces patience, and patience, character. You two will have your share of tribulation, but take heart for Christ Jesus has overcome the world. Remember, any sufferings of this life are nothing compared to the glory that is to be revealed to us in Christ. I believe that as a work of art becomes more priceless with age, the beauty of marriage becomes more apparent by the passing years.
And so I come back to the “L”, which I’m sure you know stands for “Love”.
L=Love – it’s fitting that the letter “L” is in the middle of the word TULIP because love should be at the center of every motive, and every impulse in a marriage. Remember that truth without love is judgment. Confess your faults, and be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Love is the power that fuels all the other qualities. Love trusts. Love unifies. Love expresses itself in boundless creative imagination. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not jealous, proud or boastful. Love is not selfish or rude. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in truth. Love protects. Love hopes. Love perseveres. Love is eternal.