Welcome to the Bates family blog! Gil and Kelly have been married since 1987. They have nineteen children with four in heaven. Seven of their children are married. Two children are engaged. One child is in a courtship. They have eighteen grandchildren. They have five grandchildren in heaven.
Wow… less than three weeks away! It’s hard to believe that the day we (Brandon and Michaela) have been waiting for is almost here! Nerves and anticipation are all heightening as it’s beginning to sink in that the actual wedding day is about to happen! We are SO EXCITED! As the last details and preparations for the ceremony are being finalized, it’s been good to step back from time to time and look at what is happening from the grand spectrum of things!
All growing up, when it came to the topic of relationships, it always seemed that a wedding was the height and pinnacle of all that a relationship could be… a wedding was the “ultimate” thing for a man and woman to experience. However, in recent years it’s really been impressed on both of us how false this view is. Yes, weare so excited about our wedding… but we did not start our relationship just so we could have a wedding. We are having a wedding so that we can experience a deeper relationship with each other! It’s not just about the wedding, but about a new life shared together. And that new life, if it is to be blessed by God, takes place through the making of a covenant.
Covenant… that word always seemed to have such a boring air about it. But in recent years it has exploded with new meaning, and wehave found it to be one of the best things that has ever been! At its heart, a covenant is not about getting all that “I” want; it’s about giving all that I have and am. As we prepare for our wedding day, we are recognizing that it’s not about us getting satisfied by taking away from each other, but rather giving for each other. As we prepare to make our wedding covenant, we pray that God would fill us with the life of His Son, whose act of love sealed the greatest covenant that ever was and ever will be.
In fact, that is the very purpose Jesus came to this earth… to make a covenant. Yes, many people know that He died on a cross, and that our sins can be forgiven through His sacrifice. But that’s really not the ultimate purpose of why He came. Jesus came to make a covenant… so that He could be one with His “bride.” He is the ultimate example of what every husband should do for His wife… laying self aside, even to the point of death, for her well-being. And now, in this present world, today, He calls humanity to respond in the way that a wife should to her husband… respecting Him in laying self aside, so that they can receive all that He is. Covenant is not about the man and woman trying to impress each other by “appearing” to look like what the other wants to see, but about laying “self” down and receiving each other. So it is with Jesus… we do not enter into covenant with Him by trying to impress Him with our good behavior, but in giving up our self-as-boss existence, and asking Him to be the Lord of our life. Jesus didn’t die on the cross just so we could be forgiven for the wrong things we did; He did it so that He could also share life with us, and we with Him! When we find our death to self and life to oneness with Jesus Christ, we have entered into the blessed covenant that will last beyond the limits of time!
We pray our wedding is a reflection of this awesome reality! Thank you for reading, and we hope to share some more posts soon! God bless!