The date was supposed to be August 11. A family members brother beat us to it and took that date. I couldn’t ask my sister and her husband to choose between going to my wedding or his brothers wedding, so it was a week later. The year was 1990, the year of weddings, three Laubers and two Gantzes married.
The church was all set up, the food ordered, the musicians practiced up. The relatives were in town, a family reunion taking place. The temperature rose along with the humidity. I’ve never been more nervous driving as I was that weekend, as in, this would be the worst time to have an accident. The guests were shown to their seats, Dave Claus putting on a wonderful concert on the piano. Then it began. The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba signaled my brides entrance. We heard our friend Ron Hall’s charge to us. Love her as Christ loved the Church.
OK, so love her as Christ loved the church. I may not be up to this task. He gave Himself up for her. The words struck. What am I to give up for her? My money? Easy, I didn’t have any. My car? I was glad to marry someone with a decent car! My sports? No more basketball at church 2 or 3 nights a week at church as I’d been accustomed to doing. So what did Christ give up for the church? Everything, “but (he) emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant”. Ultimately Christ gave up His life for the church. Is this preacher telling me I’m supposed to do that for her?
The day progressed nicely. The cake was cut, the rice thrown, relief that it’d all gone well. We were off to unbeknownst to us would become our future homestate of Wisconsin. The symbol I wore on my ring finger was on the bottom of Lake Michigan 3 days later. We headed to Stormy Lake actually stopping in some one horse town called Lily (where we’d buy our first house) for a cold drink and snack. (Some of the family was at Stormy Lake and I had a unique experience. Grandpa Schell and his new wife Florence were there with mom and dad. A few years previous when Grandpa was married he honeymooned at Stormy Lake and I was there. So Grandpa and I were with each other on each of our honeymoons!)
We arrived to our new apartment along the tracks in Downers Grove and life as a couple was under way. Have I fulfilled the love her as Christ loved the church call? Well 22 years of marriage has increased my love and appreciation of her. No one’s ever had it better in a marriage! (and I hope each of you who are married say the same of your own marriage.) I pray that people, our kids, relatives, friends, students see our marriage as an example. Not of me or us, but of what Paul intended when he wrote those words that struck me that day.