With “Passing and Inheriting Love, Whole City Love” as the theme, Canada’s first Wedlock Day was held on Nov. 11, celebrating the everlasting marriage of a husband and a wife. Over 500 married couples held hands and read the vow before God to once again “love you, respect you, protect you…this is my sincerity and my undivided promise”, as if they were getting married once again.
With the entire church chapel decorated like a wedding event, Wedlock11.11 was held at Richmond Fraserview MB Church at 7:30pm. While the wedding music played in the background, children carrying flowers entered the hall and the entire crowd sang “I Believe Love is Eternal” and “How Great Thou Are.”
Then, the emcee asked the participants their marriage dates and invited them to stand, so they can receive the blessings from the brothers and sisters in Christ standing beside them. Among the participants were senior couples who have been married for over 65 years. They've walked past over half-century accompanying each other, which won the applause of the crowd. While there are many rise and falls in marriages, it is a precious thing to be able to walk together till the end of their lives. These senior couples are examples to the younger generations.
Furthermore, the recently elected Canada's MP and the first female Chinese MP Alice Wong although wasn't able to attend in person, she prepared a recording of her marriage's testimony with her husband. When she and Enoch first fell in love, she said that God's love was present with them. Her husband Enoch said that the most important factor of a marriage is to follow the biblical principles of putting others as the center and not seek for self-benefits. Alice added that the couple must be able to understand each other and treat each other like how you wanted to be treated. In addition, the couple must have the same goals in life, so they can walk together with the same heart.
Next, Pastor Yang Yu-guan, a retired senior pastor, and his wife shared the secret to thier love for one another. He first gave the audience four Chinese characters: “Respect” and “patience.” Husband must love the wife like how Christ loves and sacrifices for the church; the wife must respect her husband. The bible also says that “Love is patient.” This is the secret to a loving couple.
Yang shared that years ago when he was studying theology he left behind all the responsibilities of taking care of family and the financial burdens to his wife, which made his wife feel that he did not understand and could not empathize with her. He later reflected and made improvements through showing more concern and care for her, which improved their marriage greatly. After sharing, he turned to his wife and said “I understood you.” The secret to love is sometimes without any expressions.
Mrs. Yang then shared that she felt the most important thing is to have Jesus Christ in their lives. If that is the case, then no matter how difficult the problem may be their lives wouldn't be difficult.
Upon hearing the touching testimonies and words of wisdom, the 500 couples present read the marriage vows and Wedlock Day Declaration together, signifying their committment to maintain their marriages till death, hoping that God would bless their family and the society.
After the event concluded, numerous couples were excited on the establishment of Wedlock11.11 Day in Vancouver, for they had an unforgettable night. Shirley, who has been married for 15 years, told The Gospel Herald reporter that this event reminded her of God’s intended meaning for marriages and she was greatly inspired when she saw so many senior married couples that were married for more than half a century.
Oscar, a father of three, said that he and his wife’s biggest reward in participating in the night’s festivity is that they were both encouraged to become the role model for their children. He said that many kids today grow up in broken families, so these kids often cannot trust in marriages. Some even choose to cohabit. If a child grows up in a harmonious family, then he will naturally come to have a positive outlook on marriage. He also hopes that the Wedlock11.11 can be held in all the major cities where Chinese lives.
[Editor's note: reporter Joanna Wong in Vancouver contributed to this report.]