Family: For Better or Worse

“I, so and so, do take you, so and so, to be my lawful wedded husband/wife…I also take your family, with all it’s warts and dysfunction. And I take it for better or for worse, and I promise that I will not hold it against you, as much as I may want to….’I now pronounce you husband and wife and part of this extended family, You may now kiss the bride and say hello to your new family'”

I don’t care what anyone says: family is a part of the wedding and marriage process. It is the ostrich that says otherwise and then wonders why there is trouble in the future. I don’t mean that’s where our loyalty should lie. I think it should lie unequivocally with our spouse but to ignore the natural byproduct, called family, is at best unrealistic, at worst plain silly.

This weekend we are surrounded by family from as far as Kazakhstan & Cairo and as close as Chicago all here for the wedding. They are everywhere. Big, little, old, young, fun, serious, intellectual, artistic, contrary, gracious, opinionated, agreeable, cooperative and not so much!  As much as there is potential for hurt feelings, frustration or outright conflict, I am grateful. There are 4 large family units involved in our son’s wedding. My husband and I both come from families of 5 kids and Lauren’s parents both come from large families – one with 7 kids, and the other with 4. There are relatives everywhere. Darling, weird, engaging, volatile – all with one thing in common – they belong with this event. They are family.

At the end of the day, despite wanting to run away and having a blog post already started called “When a Mom Locks Herself in Her Room,” I believe in this unit called ‘family’ at the core of my being. My rough edges and tendency to be egocentric, my selfishness and my propensity to see myself as always right, are uniquely challenged through this unit  and just as I need grace to live up to my vows with my husband, I need grace to somehow live up to my vows  “For Better or For Worse” with family.

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9 thoughts on “Family: For Better or Worse

  1. Every family has its fair share of battiness but how glorious when it all comes together and shambles along letting everything hang out. And how much we miss the kookiness of it all when we can’t be together for beautiful things like weddings! Hope you’re having a wonderful day celebrating!

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  2. A WEDDING PRAYER (author unknown) for Lauren & Micah

    “Far more than passion’s passing flame has fused our single hearts. The vow we make in heaven’s name one common future charts. Through sorrow, joy, temptation, strain, affliction, rapture, tears; Lord, let our vows endure and gain their meaning through the years. If time dilutes what we feel now and rich desires grow thin, May we by grace draw from our vow the strength to love again. Then at our death, O God, accept this life-long gift of praise: The witness of a promise kept through all our married days.”

    May the joyous hilarity of this day cement all family members (as diverse as they might be) with love.

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    1. This is so lovely. I can’t wait to read this to them. Thank you so much. Was this given to you at your wedding or did you come across it at another time? Lovely.

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      1. Marilyn, I can’t remember where I got it. I read it now and then for perspective. I’ve been thinking of all of you today and I’m sure everything is going well. Can’t wait for photos, but I guess I will have to wait….other more important things are going on, like dancing your feet off!

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  3. Oh Leslianne! You will be missed and I will pour love out.
    So glad you use that in your wedding ceremonies. It really is huge and the west, being as intent on the individual as we are, forget that it really will and does matter.
    Thanks for the wishes and the comment. Will post pictures.

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  4. Not too long ago I was watching one of those dreadful wedding shows I am so addicted to. At the exchange of rings, the vow was, “With this ring, I thee wed, and I join my life and my family to yours.”
    I have, without shame, stolen that for weddings I perform. It is soooooo true.

    Have wonderful time. Pour lots of love on all my cousinettes for me.

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