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The honorary position held by “Best Man” seems to be an outdated tradition that lends no real significance. Were my responsibilities as a best man supposed to carry some lasting value? When you think about a bachelor party, it cost so much money; does it really prepare the groom? And why rent or buy a tux? You end up taking most of it off at the reception or it collects dust in the closet. At the ceremony I had to stand for an hour in one position (my left foot got so numb, I couldn’t feel it) to finally hand the rings to the pastor. Couldn’t he just keep them in his pocket and I watch from a comfortable chair? Then there is the toast. A few jokes, some memories and some words to slosh down a drink. Would anybody really miss that part? Really, what is a best man for?
The groom for whom I stood for as best man thinks otherwise. He chose me to hold that honorary spot because he values something more than the motions that the responsibility carries. He values the heart; that which is the core of our being, our values, motives and beliefs. Jesus said that the heart is where the truest reflection of ourselves lies, be it good or evil. Jesus also knew the heart of each one of his disciples and why they were by his side. The groom knew my heart and had invested a lot of time with its development. He may have had me go through the perfunctory motions of tradition, but what he really saw was a man whose heart was passionate about the life he was beginning with his bride. He chose a friend whose heart won’t stop beating for them after the festivities, but will continue to pray and fight for them throughout life. I stood by a man who knew I valued something more than the functioning role of a best man.
The groom asked me to offer some counsel on love and marriage. It is this; keep going the way you have started, with an open mind and heart to learn. Most couples take on life by themselves. You and Ann have continually opened yourselves up for comments and advice. Solomon reminds us, “He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be home among the wise.” Your willingness to open yourselves up for correction and advice is a good habit to keep, especially for growing in the art of love. Since our first parents missed out on an intimate relationship with the God that created them, Love has become elusive and infected with self obsession. It is a natural tendency to find it on our own. God showed us again that He is the one that defines love and shared it with us through his son Jesus. We find it first in his son and then through community. In closing, I share Paul’s prayer to the Philippians, “May your love abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what’s best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.”
The Best Man