Lighting the Way when Two Become OneWritten by M J Plaster
Whether you want to add a little extra romance to an evening reception or a little glow to your house of worship, candles are a natural, effortless addition to your wedding theme. You'll have no trouble finding a role for candles at wedding ceremony, at reception, and even as part of floral displays.
Join growing number of couples who include a unity candle as part of wedding ceremony. Perhaps you think that unity candles are steeped in a rich history of religious tradition, or perhaps you think that unity candles are invention of candle makers to sell an extra candle or 10,000. Neither is case. The exact evolution of unity candle is uncertain, but since it began 30-40 years ago, it seems that we have that ever-lively 60s generation to thank for yet another custom that has wormed its way into modern life.
I'd like to propose my own idea of unity candle's origin—an unlikely science experiment. You can perform this experiment yourself. Light two tapered candles, or use whatever candles you have handy. Note height and brilliance of each flame. Now, join two flames together and look at single flame. The united flame is taller, stronger and brighter than sum of two individual flames. Isn't that what marriage is supposed to be—a single unit stronger than sum of its parts?
The most traditional of variations on theme is tall, thick white candle in center of a candleholder surrounded on each side by a white taper. During wedding ceremony, bride and groom light center unity candle with two tapers, creating stronger flame as a symbol of stronger unity gained through marriage.
Beyond traditional unity ceremony, today's weddings provide opportunity for many variations, particularly second weddings that include children. If each partner has children, children may light unity candles. Sometimes, parents from each family light unity candle. You'll want to preserve moment in a picture, because it's unlikely you'll find this level of cooperation again.
Cultivating Spiritual IntimacyWritten by Omaudi Reid
When two people - destined for each other, come together, there is often an incredible amount of combustibility. Combustion occurs when two or more substances react chemically together, resulting in giving off of heat and light; often called burning. In same manner, two people joined together by God can spiritually set each other on fire.
However, after being married a while that sense of combustibility can easily be lost if spiritual life of marriage is not cultivated. But, a couple that intentionally, and actively engages in maintaining spiritual life of marriage continues to be a strength one to another, and ignites new sparks that blazes through every area of marriage and family. I believe that through personal devotion, mutual support, joint devotions, spiritual dialogue, and spiritual activities, a Christian couple can maintain spiritual intimacy in their marriage.
First, each spouse must keep their fire burning. Each partner keeps their fire burning by maintaining a growing and intimate relationship with Lord Jesus, through personal prayer and Bible study. When we first got married, my wife and I mistakenly thought we could depend on each other’s spiritual life for our personal growth. I thought to myself “my wife is such a great Christian, she will be able to help me solve my spiritual struggles”. The mistake we made was instead of pursuing Lord for our personal growth, we began to depend on each other. Eventually instead of helping, we began to drain each other. What we learned is that we must maintain intimacy with Lord in order to have true spiritual intimacy with each other.
Once our personal lives are burning with spiritual fire, then we can conduct that heat to our partners. If you have ever touched a hot pot, then you understand what a conductor is. Metal pots are good conductors because they transmit heat coming from stove. The person whose spiritual life is hot and on fire can conduct that spiritual strength to their partner. To be spiritual heat conductors we must intercede for our mates in prayer, and support them with our encouragement. An effective intercessor believes God for success of their partner. Exercising faith in prayer for your partner is crucial. Why? Well, we know more than anyone else strengths and weaknesses of our partners. We see their faults, joys, and sadness. Thus, not only do we have opportunity to intimately intercede in faith for them, but also our encouragement means a lot to them. Essentially, we must be our partner’s own spiritual cheerleader – fanning flames.