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Honour your Father and Mother (4 of 12)

Mike Connell

Page 9 of 10
Of course, part of the wonderful wedding was that the presence of God came. It was her and the kids were grown up Christians and the presence of God came. But she didn’t understand any of that – she said: “I just want that for my wedding.”

So, we went to the wedding, and we had the night of the practice. It was very difficult. There was huge tension. Her adoptive father and mother were there, other members of her family were there, each of them were adopted; and there was this tension. There’s 1, 2, 3 families there. It was tense. The father, it was difficult for him I think. It was difficult for the mother.

I remember going out of that and going home thinking “Oh Jesus. This is so difficult.” I remember going to the beach and just weeping and saying: “Jesus, please help. What can I do? What can I say?” The Lord dropped something into my heart the next morning when I woke up. Sometimes God doesn’t answer straight away.

So I woke up in the morning, and God dropped an answer into my heart. We came into the wedding, she came down the aisle, she has her adoptive father with her and other family sitting here, and other family sitting there, and our family scattered in there among them, and you could feel tension in the air.

I can hear things sometimes in the Spirit. This is what I could hear: “What’s he going to say?” I could hear it – “What’s he going to say?” Her parents had tried to discourage her having me to do the service. They were not Christians and they did not really want me to take the service. But part of her journey was to stand up for herself and say what she wanted.

This is what I did – I thought through. They’re right in front of me, it was very tense. This was the day, her special day. So they’re all waiting for me to speak. This is what God said to me – “Honour her parents.”

So before we started the service, I spoke to the parents. I said: “I want to thank you for all you’ve done for Josephine. I want to thank you for the way you’ve cared for her and given her an education and a family. I want to thank you for the way you’ve picked her up and looked after her. I want to honour you for the role you’ve filled in her life. So we have no right to make any claims, but we appreciate that you have made room for us on this day.”

The atmosphere changed immediately. The presence of God came. You see people weeping. Just weeping. God moved in that service is probably the best of all weddings we’ve had. Because when grace is flowing, you feel God the most.

So then, we had the time of the reception and I remember thinking – “I wonder how the reception’s going to go. I wonder where we’ll all be sitting.” You know the tables, where you’re sitting tells you something. We went in there to see where we’re sitting. Now, get this – I had told my daughter – “You need to honour your parents on this day. You need to speak words to appreciate them just like you’ve seen in all the other weddings.”

When we got there, they had the main table where the wedding party were, and they had different tables around the room, and there were two tables right at the front. Not one higher than the other, both in equal places. One for her family, and one for us. I saw immediately what she was doing. She stood up and spoke. She honoured her father and mother for raising her, and then she honoured us.

God came. God always comes on honour. God always comes when there’s honour. And Joy stood up and spoke. She began to express appreciation to Jo’s mother. She was never going to stand up and speak, but she stood up and spoke. Then she told an interesting thing which we’d never known – that her own mother had pressured her not to take Josephine. She’d had to rise up against her own mother’s wishes and choose this child. She said every time she had a birthday, I gave thanks for the mother who brought you into the world.