The 30-Second Honeymoon

19 Oct

In Happily Ever Laughter: Discovering the Lighter Side of Marriage (Editor Ken Davis, Focus on the Family/Tyndale House, 2010), comedian Kendra Smiley tells the story of her very short “honeymoon period,” which lasted for just thirty seconds after they kissed at the altar as man and wife.*

Long Bridal Veil“Do you, John, take Kendra to be your wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer ….” [You know the lines.]

“I do.”

And then Kendra took her vows … and they were pronounced husband and wife … and the minister told John he could kiss his bride.

It was a serene kiss ~ “Kendra, the radiant bride in a flowing white dress” standing beside her husband. But I’ll let her tell the rest of the story.

“We turn toward the congregation of family and friends who are smiling delightedly, a few even brushing away a tear of joy as the organ plays. (End of scene 1.)

“Now fast-forward to the first conflict between us, the newlyweds.

“Stop! Don’t hold that fast-forward button down too long. Our first clash was not weeks later or days later or even hours later. It occurred just as we turned and took three steps back down the aisle. … To help you understand, let me describe my bridal veil. It was a full-length one that trailed elegantly behind me and was attached to a small hat perched on top of my head. The hat was secured to my hair, and I suspect to my scalp, with bobby pins ~ many, many bobby pins. Conservatively speaking, I would say that there were between two and three million of them doing the job. This was not an ideal situation.

“After the pastor pronounced us husband and wife, we turned to march to the back of the church. Before we had gained much speed, John inadvertently stepped on my veil. The forward progres of the veil ceased immediately, and my entire head jerked backward.

“The bobby pins held their ground (for better or for worse), but I had an instant headache. Knowing that John was unaware of the pain he had just inflicted on his new bride, I smiled bravely and said in a tense, pain-induced whisper, ‘Don’t step on my veil again. That really hurt.’

“It could not have been more than another two steps before he unknowingly repeated the pain-producing act. My head jerked back once again, and in a quiet but much sterner tone, still smiling for the crowd, I simply said, ‘If you do that again, I’m going to have to kill you!'”

Kendra said John probably wondered whether the “for worse” part was coming too quickly, at that point.  They have celebrated more than 30 years of marriage ~ so she obviously didn’t kill John ~ but she concludes, “That trip down the aisle was just the first of many times when we’ve both had to learn where to step, and to be aware when our steps might end up hurting each other.” *

How do you solve conflict in your marriage or in your relationships? Certainly, the Love Chapter, 1 Corinthans 13:4-8a, gives us insight, as do many other scriptures aimed at preserving unity and encouraging others.  We’d love to hear your practical tips for oiling the friction in everyday relationships.

[Note: Bill and Pam Farrel offer some great conflict-solving hints in Marriage in the Whirlwind and Love, Honor & Forgive. Order here.]

*Adapted from Do Your Kids A Favor…Love Your Spouse by Kendra Smiley, published by Moody Publishers. Copyright © 2008, Kendra Smiley. Used by permission.

Do not reprint without permission from Focus on the Family.

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