Photo Cred: Steve Martin.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (1).” Like all things that are of God, they begin with God and are for His pleasure. When He first caused the universe into existence, it began with a bang. I refer to this as the big beginning, but you may know it more commonly by “The Big Bang.” This ripple effect began with God and continues to go onward with God’s guidance. For the expansion of the universe is the echo of Creation. From here in the first few verses of the Bible, specifically the book of Genesis, we would assume that with starting on such a powerful note of God’s mighty majesty that we would continue to read of more magnificent cosmological descriptions of our universe. From the stars to the galaxies, but that is not what happens.
For unlike literary material inspired by men, this is not a story of spectacle. Rather it is a story of the spiritual interacting with the physical. In other words, a love story between the Creator and His Creation. From Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:25, the historical narrative of Genesis narrows down to what truly matters most: the relationship between Man and Maker.
This is signified in the model for marriage that we all are familiar with in Genesis 2:24. Creation started with a bang and ended with its centerpiece, that is, us humans living out the marriage model, which is our own most precious relationship that exists. As Ravi Zacharias proclaimed, there are three sanctities in life: worship, relationship, and stewardship. Marriage is the utmost relational sanctity amidst both the familial and non-familial relationships that we all partake in day in and day out.
When we first met, I thought you were weird and Egyptian. After many years of being your friend, I still think you’re weird. Also, I now know you’re not Egyptian. From our Midnight summer camp experiences to our thrift store crawls after a bustling night of vending at Coors Field, you have never seized to be instantaneously fun when the time calls for it. With that said, the attribute that I will always associate with you is diligent perseverance when it’s time to go to work. The way you buckle in and finish everything you do in life with excellence is an admirable trait that the majority of men our age sadly are severely lacking, including me.
In remembrance of this admirable trait, I am reminded of Genesis 2:15. A verse I uphold with the greatest significance in the grand scope of Scripture as to what it means to not only be human, but more precisely how to be a man after God’s own heart. For God created Creation with the intent that we would take care of His Creation. If we know anything about our world and gardens in particular, it is that they require a good gardener to “cultivate it and keep it (2)” from becoming overgrown or branching away from the original design.
Every person that is of Christ has been given a garden from God to cultivate and keep together. Hence, our lives are our gardens. Even those who are not of Christ have been endowed with a garden to cultivate and maintain, but those gardens bear fruitless trees. We ought to trim, maintain, and eventually will present what we did with these God-given gardens to the Gardener that wept for His Creation in the Garden of Gethsemane (3) not to long ago before dying on a tree.
Bradford, you’re a married man now. All that is yours is now also Rachel’s for she has been grafted into your garden as the ultimate helper to aid in a joint-partnership of sorts to further the betterment of your ever growing garden. Like all aspects of life, with the addition of time comes the addition of responsibility for the time we have lived. Be responsible and respectful of God’s garden and watch the fruits of your labor flourish as the years go by, which may include a quiver of children one day in the future. Hopefully, if it is God’s will, that you and Rachel would be fruitful and multiply the family tree.
Walk humbly before the true, triune God like our good brother Enoch when he roamed this Earth. May this new change in the dynamics of your garden be one of challenge, yet of great gain. In all things, be the husband your wife needs, not the one she wants. Unless of course her wants align with her abiding in both Jesus and His Word abiding in her (4). Above all, “examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good and abstain from every form of evil (5).”
Your brother in law and in the LORD,
Christopher D. Cribari
Your day has finally arrived. The one that you have dreamed of and prayed for fervently has come in a dashingly quick fashion. Now your wedding is the past, but the present is at hand and now is the time to seize time by taking every opportunity to glorify God in all that you do, which now includes marriage.
To be frank, it was a bit shocking to come to the realization that my sister, the one that used to eat tubs of ice cream and cover herself in nothing but mud just to chase our brother John is now a married woman that exemplifies the qualities of a God-fearing woman. Those moments of our childhood are alas mere memories of a more innocent time in our lives growing up together.
Yet, here we are with you being the bride of a godly man that has grafted you into his garden and has asked for your helping hand in preserving what the LORD has provided for you to tend to during your Earth-bound days. Aforementioned earlier in my letter to Bradford, I mentioned the fact that our lives that we live are gardens of sorts that must be taken care of before our days end here. Although marriage is very much a new dynamic to your life, it is a new fundamental tree that must be cared for on a daily basis from this day forth in your joint-garden with our brother in the LORD, Bradford.
From our long nights talking about the greater good found in God to the the obscure photo shoots we would have every so often, the attribute of yours that sticks out the most to me is how eager you’re to help others, even me. How when we were younger and my autism was much more prevalent in those days, you helped me figure out the world as a little boy that was not quite like the other kids. It was your kindness and ability to aid others and I that has to be your most celebratory attribute.
Just as Eve was made of Adam, so too you were raised in the household of men with our mother being the single, shining light of what it meant to be a woman in the modern world. So when Bradford came onto the scene to sweep you off of your feet, it fit perfectly with the groove of our family’s rhythm. With Bradford’s diligent perseverance and your elegant grace in helping others, the two of you fit excellently together as Bradford needs a woman like you and you need a man like him.
Be there for him when he fails and when he does, let him. After the dust settles, help him as only a true woman can and innately must for they were created for this very purpose (6). Take our father and mother’s greatest attributes, Dad’s gratitude and Mom’s grace, with you into your covenant with your knight in shinning armor. Never forget the lessons of our youth and remain in the pursuit of truth, hand-in-hand with the man leading the way to the final destination in the next life.
Our mother, Samantha, has spent over half her life with our father, Mark. Through the trials and tribulations, she stayed with him to celebrate when triumph dawned brightly on the two of them. May you achieve such a monumental goal one day of continual commitment. Now that you’re all grown up at the beautiful age of 21, here is to the first 21 years of marriage with Bradford. May each passing day with its inevitable challenges bring forth comfort as you rest in the fact that you never have to face these challenges alone. Oh, and happily ever after. Always and forever.
Your brother in blood and the blood of Christ,
Christopher D. Cribari
With that, Godspeed and Jesus bless!
- Genesis 1:1 (NASB)
- Genesis 2:15 (NASB)
- Matthew 26:36 (NASB)
- John 15:7 (NASB)
- 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 (NASB)
- Genesis 2:18 (NASB)