a memorable prenuptial ceremony

Since I would not be able to attend my daughter Kerstyn and Caleb’s wedding last Friday, my challenge was to create, prior to the wedding, a moment between us so special and intimate that it would take away some of the sting for all of us because of my absence.  Their wedding was to be a joy-filled experience and my absence could not hinder that objective.

After four daughters leaving the nest, you’d think I’d have this whole father-daughter and father-fiancé conversation down pat … but alas you would be badly mistaken.  In this I have failed my daughters more often than not.

IMHO … whenever I see the adjective prenuptial, the noun following should be addressing  some sort of commitment to marriage … not the exit strategy from marriage.  Keep that in mind as you read …

Thursday morning we had Kerstyn and Caleb come over.  My wife Sheryl and I sat in the love seat with the about-to-be-weds sitting in chairs facing us.

Gift of remembrance – Caleb

“Caleb, for 23 years I have been Kerstyn’s Daddy and ‘the man in her life.‘”

“While I will continue to be her Daddy, the mantle of ‘the man in her life’ will officially pass from me to you tomorrow night at your wedding.”

“Many years ago Kerstyn gave me this gift as ‘the man in her life’ on Father’s Day and it has been a gift I have treasured and carry with me daily.”

“As a symbolic gesture of the passing of the mantle of ‘the man in her life’ from me to you, I would like to give you this pocket knife.  May it serve as a daily reminder and an agreement between you and me that you’re now the man primarily responsible for the love, care, protection and provision for my daughter Kerstyn … all things I am trusting you to do … all things I am confident you will do in an excellent manner!”

Gift of remembrance – Kerstyn

“Kerstyn, as father-daughter, we have shared in many adventures.  Four typically come to mind:

  • Lunches at Taco Bell followed by a movie
  • Trips to Grandma and Granddad’s cabin
  • Your first trip to the Renaissance Festival
  • And this special adventure

While Caleb has now shared in the first three adventures and memories with you, he has yet to share in the last one.  So I am giving you this silver pewter dragon figurine I got at the Dragon Museum in Chattanooga as a token reminder of our dragon adventure.

May it …

  • Remind you of the few hours that day we spent making memories
  • Prompt you one day to also share this memory with Caleb
  • Encourage you to fill your life with Caleb pursuing new adventures and making new memories


Reflections in the Rear View Mirror

We spent a little time reflecting on their past individually and together.  After all, they have known each other since Kerstyn was in 2nd grade.  His parents taught her Sunday School class in 2nd and 3rd grade.  They both successfully completed their homeschooling education.  As teens, they both became employed and were hardworking employees committed to their jobs.  Kerstyn has experienced success pursuing her artistic and creative passions.  She and Caleb were able to save up the down payment and at the ages of 20 and 23 respectively purchase their own home a few months ago.  Yet they maintained the purity in their relationship by their wedding night being the first night Caleb spent there.  Caleb has been working on his computer technician education for the last couple of years … already acquiring A + certification.  Finally, they have been in a committed relationship for the past 4 years … a relationship filled with love and so giving to one another.  So to sum up we just shared some of the things (and I know I’ve forgotten something) we are proud of them for accomplishing.

Key Scripture on Marriage

“Caleb, Kerstyn; marriage is about a lot of things but one key characteristic of successful marriages is out of love and respect being mutually submitted to one another and no passage of Scripture more clearly explains this than Ephesians 5:22-33.”

‘Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.’

“Caleb, many a man has heard the preacher read these first three verses and celebrated pre-maturely.  Kerstyn, many a woman reads this and in her heart says ‘No way!’  In the last verse Paul hints at what’s coming for the man.  So let’s continue …”

‘Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

“So it’s really simple to explain … just challenging to live.  Wives be submissive to your husbands as believers in the church are called to be submissive to Jesus Christ.  Husbands be submissive to your wives as Jesus Christ is submissive to the church … remember He came to serve not to be served. Does that make sense to you?”

“One more passage of Scripture and we’re done.”

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)

All throughout this passage Solomon writes about how the two have a much greater return on their labor and efforts than one.  Then suddenly … A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

That third strand is Jesus Christ … he is the strand that strengthens the one marriage cord making it virtually indestructible.  While Jesus and the church played an active role in your lives as children and teens … that role has been diminished somewhat in your young adult years.  Sheryl and I are praying that you both together will find your way back to Jesus in the very near future.

The Prenuptial Giving of Kerstyn’s hand in marriage

“Caleb, we take very seriously the commitment made between husband and wife in marriage.”

“It is with our deepest love and heartfelt blessings, that her Momma and Daddy, Sheryl and I give, Kerstyn to you in holy matrimony, to be one in marriage as God intended.”

May God bless Caleb and Kerstyn in their marriage!


About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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2 Responses to a memorable prenuptial ceremony

  1. jimdavenport says:

    Bernie and Sheryl, so moved by this post. What a wonderful way to pass the mantle and to put your blessing on the marriage of Kerstyn and Caleb. May God richly bless their lives with all of HIS love. And may God give you both peace that you have done well in raising your daughter in the nurture and admonition of the Lord! Love to you both, Jim

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