Today I give you away. Yet in giving you away, I gain more than I will ever lose. Today you will be wed to the love of your life.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of you. A young man starting out to build your own family and legacy. As I stand watching you at the altar waiting for your bride, memories flood my soul. Fresh from the womb, I held you in my hands, so tiny, so full of life. An extension of myself. You looked at me and a bond was formed, a bond that cannot be broken, a bond between a father and his son.
These first few weeks of life, you woke in the middle of the night. Letting your mother sleep, I would tend to your needs. After which I stood by your crib in wonder watching you sleep. This tiny human being that harbored so much love. Your first steps falling, getting right back up. You would take many falls in life. I wanted to shield you from them. From all the heartaches of the pain. But I knew I couldn’t and if by some miracle I could, you would never grow into the man God desired for you to be.
So I watched you stumble to make mistakes and learning. You became stronger because you overcame them. You learned to succeed through failures. When you discovered girls, I took you aside and taught you the gentleness and the strength of being a real man. To treat women as a wonderful gift from God. To always show them honor and respect. To keep yourself pure for that one special lady, the one who you were destined to share your life. Tears come to my eyes as I remember the night you came home from a date weeping because your girlfriend broke up with you. The pain I felt in my heart for you wishing I could take it away but knowing I couldn’t. All I could do was put my arm around you and weep with you. Slowly, over the next few weeks, you recovered.
Than that day at church the morning you met that special someone. Over the next few months, you grew closer as you learned more about each other. You grew to trust, to love each other, to laugh together. The night you came home so excited. You woke us up and told your mother and I you had asked her to marry you. The way your face shined as you told us her answer. Then the months of preparation for this wonderful day.
This day you two will become one. One in body, mind and spirit. In the years to come, you and your wife will have many problems. Never let them tear you apart, but let them bind you together. Let The Lord guide you through all your heartaches and you will discover joy comes after the darkest night. Share your love with those around you, but always reserve time for each other. Bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of The Lord. Teach them as I have, you the love of God. One day when you and your wife are at the end of your lives, it is my prayer you will look back with no regrets but joy. May God bless you on this wonderful day and may you always remember your father loves you.