On Wednesday night our church did something a little different for our midweek programs. Instead of being split up all over the building according to our age, we joined together for a powerful evening. We recently showed the movie “Courageous” as a family movie night. Out of showing the movie, we felt compelled to do a resolution ceremony of our own. For those that haven’t seen the movie, 4 fathers make a resolution about being a man of God and what that means as a husband and a father. The resolution ceremony gives men an opportunity to stand in front of their families and commit to being the spiritual leaders of their households.
There were a couple reasons this night was so cool for me. The first would be that we got worship together as a whole church and that meant my hubby was by my side. I don’t often to get hear Jeremy singing next to me so I always enjoy the times were the two of us can praise the Lord together. It was also great to be there with all age ranges. I normally attending the earliest service at our church on Sunday mornings. As you can imagine, not a lot of youth are in that service because of the time and because they have a Sunday School class at that hour. The energy that comes from worshiping together as a whole church is very exciting and one I wish I would experience more often.
The pastoral staff were invited up to the stage first to lead by example. This would give the guys a chance to see what the ceremony would look like and have the men of our team going before our congregation. I’m not usually the type of person that likes to get up and hang out on stage. I’m much more in my element in a back classroom with kids. Lucky for me, I just had to stand there… and not laugh. That was tough!!! The men turned to face their wives and children (no children in our case). Jeremy took my hand and repeated after our regional presbyter, Myron Ness, the word of the resolution. Now here is the kicker – Jeremy has been ill all week with a high fever. Jeremy was cold medicine to get through the evening. Jeremy doesn’t do well repeating after others… add all these things together and you get a very funny moment. Jeremy tired his hardest to follow along, but couldn’t keep up. I’m standing in front of the entire congregation in what is supposed to be a hallowed moment and I’m trying not to lose it and totally bust up laughing. Jeremy was in the same boat as me. We held it together, but wow, it was hard! That is a memory I won’t soon forget!
After the pastors took their vows, we called over 50 guys up on to the stage. We have a big stage at our church and it was completely full of men committing to this resolution. It was quite the sight to see. My favorite part of this ceremony was the young men who are not married and do not have kids that came forward. These men are making a conscience decision while they are young that they want to be men of honor and are going hold themselves to this high standard. I was extremely impressed with them. One of the young guys up on stage used to be in Jeremy and I’s children’s ministry a long time ago. As a kid he had a lot of anger and was working through some big issues that life had dealt him. Now as a high school student, he helps us in children’s church each Sunday. It was great to see how God doesn’t leave us where we are at. I’m not sure 5 years ago, I could have pictured him on stage repeating those words, but there he was on Wednesday. It was awesome!
Now this wasn’t planned, but I think this ceremony was the perfect thing to do before Valentine’s Day. I would much after hear my husband commit to being a man of God and striving for God’s best in his life much more than I would like to receive flowers or candy(not that receiving flowers or candy are bad things). Flowers will wilt and candy was disappear, but the memory of those words will remain, especially for those who will hang the resolution vows on their wall as a reminder. It’s important to challenge men to lead in matters of faith. It’s important for the younger generations to see men fighting for their families. It’s important for kid’s to see their dad pray for them. Even though some moments of the evening involved humor, for the most part it was a serious evening as men agreed to a serious call. I’m so proud of all the guys who took part in the resolution ceremony. My prayer is now that their words are followed by solid actions and that families are forever changed for the better because of that night.