It was a festive first Christmas that my wife and I celebrated as a newlywed couple. So many firsts! Our first Christmas tree, our first Christmas service as a married couple. And a first public serenade!
My wife and I attended a hospital Christmas party with several of my partners. The gala event included a karaoke session with a live band. As we laughed at the various hospital staff and employees taking their turns as lounge lizards, an unexpected announcement was made by the hospital CEO.
“We would like call Dr. Shitabata to the stage! Your partners said you love to sing!”
I mockingly glared at my partners seated next to me who were hysterical with laughter. “Oh no!” I shouted back. Embarrassed, I politely declined. No false modesty here, I was genuinely terrified to sing in front of several hundred people. Although I had played many professional gigs as a guitar player, this was still many years before I took my formal voice lessons and regularly sang before an audience. But I would not be let off so easily.
“Dr. Shitabata! I understand you were just married in August. Surely you would like to serenade your new bride?”
That did it! No backing out now! I wasn’t trying to save face I needed to honor my bride! I tried to look enthusiastic as I lept on the stage, careful to not allow my shaking knees to precipitate a fall. I was handed a song book. Ok, I thought, must pick up an upbeat song, no ballads! Quickly shuffling through the pages, I found a song I was quite familiar, “I Saw Her Standing There“ the classic rocker from my favorite group, the Beatles!
“Let’s go!” I said. With a confidence that surprised even myself, I launched into the song. At that moment, I didn’t care about looking like a fool in front of a crowd, it wasn’t about me any longer. All I cared about was making my new bride happy, to let her know that she meant more to me than my inexperience, stage fright or being embarrassed. I wanted her to know that I loved her more than any feelings for myself!
In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Ephesians 5:28 (ESV)
Do I want to serenade my bride? Indeed, I do! From the moment I first saw her standing in my presence to this day. Thank you God for blessing me with a help mate and partner. I want to honor her every chance I get!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.