A Groom in Flip-Flops

by | Jun 30, 2008 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones


It was obvious these two were made for each other.
My oldest daughter, Margaret, made it clear from the beginning that she didn’t want me to perform her wedding ceremony. She knows me too well. She figured that as soon as the mothers and grandmothers were seated and the first song began, I would lose it.

Sure enough, my manly tears started flowing before Margaret and I started down the aisle. I was trying to stay focused (left, right, left …), but my mind was buzzing with so many random thoughts. Is this princess on my arm the same little girl I took to Disney World every year for her birthday? How much did all these flowers cost? Why are my son-in-law and his groomsmen wearing flip-flops with their tuxedos?

Then came the dreaded words: “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” This was my ultimate father-of-the-bride moment. It was my last chance to question the groom about his salary, health benefits, career plans and car insurance.

Yet I did what all fathers do under such pressure: I swallowed hard and coughed up my expected answer: “Her mother and I.”

I put Margaret’s hand into Rick’s and whispered to him: “She’s all yours now.” I sighed with relief and sat down. Then my wife handed me a Kleenex.

I was not crying because of the cost of the flowers. I cried tears of joy because I was so happy that Margaret and Rick had made Jesus the center of their relationship since they started dating in 2005. It was obvious these two were made for each other.

I was not the only one with wet eyes. All the bridesmaids got tearful when Rick’s voice cracked as he repeated his vows. I heard people sniffling as Rick washed Margaret’s feet—revealing that she, too, was wearing flip-flops under her wedding gown. (Hers had fake pearls on them.) I shed more tears when Jason, one of the officiating ministers, told how Rick and Margaret had touched the lives of students at Emmanuel College.

I suppose if I were bound by tradition I would have been upset that Rick and his college friends hadn’t rented shiny black leather dress shoes for this solemn occasion. After all, if you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars for candles, calla lilies and chocolate fondue you might as well pay for the proper footwear.

But honestly the flip-flops didn’t bother me. They were the perfect symbol of Margaret and Rick’s playfulness—and of a God-ordained romance that started on a college campus in Georgia and culminated in a wedding in the same school’s auditorium.

I was reminded of three things during Margaret’s wedding that seem appropriate to share now, since our cover story this month is about marriage.

1. God can put couples together. Since my four daughters were little, my wife and I have prayed that they would find the right husbands. We saw that prayer answered for Margaret. In a crazy, confused culture characterized by crass dating shows such as The Bachelor, Christians should prove that God is the perfect matchmaker and that sex is still worth saving for the honeymoon.

2. It’s not about a fancy ceremony. I’m told that every wedding has at least one major glitch. Sometimes a bridesmaid faints. Sometimes a groomsman’s sleeve catches fire. In our case, we forgot to give the corsages to the mothers, and no one said anything until we found the flowers on the floor after the wedding.

But in the end, who really cares whether we had enough finger sandwiches and strawberries at the reception or if the bridal gown was a designer original? What matters is that God was there—and that He smiled on the occasion.

3. Marriage is sustained by servanthood. When Margaret began to wash Rick’s feet I realized that flip-flops were perfect for this ceremony. (No socks or shoestrings to worry about!) That prophetic act of footwashing provided a picture of the mutual submission God expects a husband and a wife to show each other.

I can assure you that this dad rejoiced that day, knowing that Rick and Margaret understand Jesus’ humble, selfless approach to love. And I might even start recommending flip-flops for every wedding ceremony.


J. Lee Grady is the editor of Charisma. You can read his online columns, as well as comments from readers, at fireinmybones.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Why There is Power in Your Song

Why There is Power in Your Song

Do you have a great voice? If so, then sing! Do you have a horrible voice? If so, then sing! There is power in the song. God gave you your vocal cords, voice and ability to sing. There has never been a culture in which music was not part of society. We see music...

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

Have you ever wondered what heaven was like? What does a person see and experience when they are in heaven? Is the arrival in immediate when a believer dies? These are great questions and ones that Rabbi Felix Halpern can answer. A mix-up in medicine brought about a...

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Learning to listen with discernment means that you begin to recognize the voice of God so well that other voices sound unfamiliar. In John 10:5a, Jesus told his followers, "Yet they will never follow a stranger." This statement needs to become a reality in your life....

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

The definition and purpose of leadership are directly tied to organizational models and the five stages of building an organizational model. Let’s talk about those five stages. What we say here may sound somewhat like what you may have heard before about building a...

Mario Murillo Compares America Now to Israel on Mount Carmel

Mario Murillo Compares America Now to Israel on Mount Carmel

America stands in a crucial moment, much like the moment where Elijah made Israel choose between Baal and Jehovah. Elijah said to the people, "How long do you halt between two opinions? If Baal is God..." That's according to Evangelist Mario Murillo, whose ministry...

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

RECENT ARTICLES

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The...
Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Praise be to Almighty God, righteous judge, holy of holies, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The earth is His footstool, and to His kingdom there is no end! Breached Births The Spirit of the Lord says this day: “There has been a breach—breached births, My...

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose, peace and, if he can, our future. Jesus knew it was important to warn us...

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose, peace and, if he can, our future. Jesus knew it was important to warn us...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]