Wedded Bliss

Joy is getting married!!

My firstborn daughter who wiggled her way into my heart after 3 rambunctious boys has met the love of her life and when that boy asked … she said “YES!”

Where did the years go?

Where did the years of pony tails … piano recitals … and pink cupcakes go?

When did I pack away the last American Girl doll book … go to the last ballet performance … and hold her on my lap one final time?

Joy- Belle … when was the final time that we twirled around the kitchen … that you read “Little House in the Big Woods” out loud to me … and that I tucked you in?


Now you are grown.  

Grown and beautiful.  

Grown and lovely.  

Grown and in love.

Carolyn Joy McLeod will become Carolyn Joy Barker on July 11, 2015.  Christopher Joel Barker has found a good thing and she, this incredibly good thing, is about to bring such joy to his life!

“An excellent wife, who can find?  For her worth is far above jewels.” – Proverbs 31:10

I will never forget the day when Joy was about 4 years old and we took her into the Disney Store.  We told her that she could choose a prize and she took her time gazing longingly at princess dresses, stuffed animals and signature t-shirts.  Craig was following her around the store and I was watching them from the entrance.

They had stopped by the purses.  (Joy has always had a “thing” for purses … Chris Barker … take note!)

Joy lingered over a light blue purse with a pearl handle across the top.  On the front of the purse was a picture of Cinderella dancing with Prince Charming.  Joy picked it up … and looked into her daddy’s blue eyes and exclaimed … “Look Daddy!  There is me!  And there is you dancing with me!!”

Joy’s daddy will always be her first love … but Chris Barker will be her final love.

And so … in honor of my little girl in love … I thought that I would share a few words of wisdom concerning marriage.  This is between Joy and I … but if you want to eavesdrop … feel free to read on!

  1. Pray together every day.  Hell shakes and heaven applauds when a married couple chooses to talk to God daily together.  Your prayer life together will build a solid foundation of power, gratitude and intimacy that nothing else will build.
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” – Mark 11:24

2. The first one to forgive wins!  Oh … I know that it is hard to believe during this spring of 2015 that there will be anything that you will have to forgive one another for … but there will be.  There will be a thousand little things that require forgiveness … and hopefully not many big things.  A marriage is simply a union of two good forgivers.

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” – Mark 11:25

3 – Hold hands.  Hold hands when you go for a walk.  Hold hands when you pray.  Hold hands when you are at the mall.  Hold hands when you are disagreeing.  Hold hands when you watch a movie.  Hold hands.  Holding hands is a symbol of unity … of tenderness … of intimacy.  Holding hands reminds you that you are more than you.  You have now become part of him.

4 – Always tell the truth.  Don’t lie to him about anything.  Don’t fudge on the details or feign innocence.  Great relationships are always built upon a foundation of genuine truth.

“But speaking the truth in love we are to grow up in all aspects into Him Who is the Head, even Christ.” – Ephesians 4:15

5 – Say “I love you” every single day.  Say it more than once a day.  “I love you” should be the first words out of your mouth in the morning and the last words whispered out of your mouth as you drift off to sleep.  Type “I love you” when you are texting and say it just before you say, “Good-bye” when talking on the phone.  “I love you” should be the theme of your marriage and the song of every ordinary day.

“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.” – I Peter 4:8

6 – Don’t just say, “I love you”, but demonstrate “I love you”.  Show Chris in a thousand little ways every day just how much you love him.  Serve him.  Smile at him.  Cheer for his team.  Stand up for him.  Scratch his back.  Watch his favorite shows.  Make his favorite meals.  Listen to him.  Look into his eyes.  The investment that you make into demonstrating true love will come back to you 100-fold.

“But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – I Corinthians 13:13

7 – Never talk unkindly about Chris to anyone.  Ever.  If you need marriage counseling then go to a counselor but never complain about your husband to anyone.  Ever.  Don’t go to your friends, your sisters, your parents or his parents with your marriage problems.  Don’t talk disparagingly about Chris to his brother, to your brothers or to his friends.  Make a commitment from this day forward to only say kind, loving things about your husband to anyone and everyone who will listen!

“The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.” – Proverbs 31: 11 & 12

8 – It’s true that Chris will be the head of your home … but never forget that you, his bride, were fashioned by God to be the heart of the Barker home.  Which would you rather live without?!  Your head or your heart?!  Your role in leading the home and in setting the atmosphere of the home is every bit as important as Chris’ role.  Your home will only be as joyful as you are … your home will only be as peaceful as you are … your home will only be as Christ-like as you are.

“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.” – Martin Luther

9 – We are planning the wedding of your dreams … but never forget that you are planning a marriage and not just a wedding.  Make your marriage more beautiful than your wedding day!  This will take hard work, creativity, and the input of many people.  But don’t stop planning beauty and extravagant detail just because July 11, 2015, has passed.  Continue to give your marriage your highest priority, the utmost of planning and intense creativity.

10 – Serve the Kingdom of God together.  Teach Sunday School together.  Have people in your home who need encouragement.  Tithe and give together.  Go on missions’ trips together.  Worship together.  Having God at the center of your marriage is not just a Christian platitude … it is a life-long commitment.  The hours that you spend together in service to Christ, to His church and to His Kingdom will be the richest hours of your married life.  Trust me … I know!

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20 & 21