Choosing What Is Best
Increasing discernment by growing in love
There were about 20 of us: the engaged couple, their parents, the bridesmaids and groomsmen who were going to be in the wedding the next day, and Nell and me. We had just left the wedding rehearsal, and now we were seated around a long table in the upstairs room of a Mexican restaurant. It was the joyful celebration dinner that follows the wedding rehearsal.
The bride's parents had been members of our church for about a year, and they were wonderful people. Only a year or two earlier, they had become Christians. It was all new and exciting to them, and they were growing and serving the Lord. And now their daughter was marrying a fine Christian husband.
There was lots of laughter and fun at the table. I remember saying real loud to the father of the bride, so everybody else at the table could hear, "Hey Gary. I asked a man once what it was like to give away his daughter in marriage. He told me, 'It's like taking your finely tuned Stradivarius and handing it to a gorilla.'" Everyone laughed. But the mother of the groom stood up and said, "I'm the mother of that gorilla, and I resent that." More laughter.
Just then the waitress brought in margaritas and set one down in front of everybody. When everybody had one, Gary got up with his margarita in his hand to make a toast—a toast to the happiness of his daughter and her wonderful husband. Some people at the table reached for their margaritas; others looked down to see what I was doing. They all seemed to be asking, Is it okay to drink alcohol? What would the pastor think? What should I do?
Gary was finishing his toast, and my mind was spinning fast. Gary is absolutely innocent in what he's doing, I thought to myself. To ...
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Donald Sunukjian is Homiletics Chair and Professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California.