I had the privilege of presiding over Deenee and Robert in their recent wedding on October 8. Unless you’re a Las Vegas wedding chapel officiant, weddings are not everyday occurrences. Especially since most/many today skip the wedding part and go straight to living together.
I have very mixed feelings about this and fewer answers than questions. In the Bible there is no such thing as a marriage ceremony, brides’ maids, and engagement rings. We’re just told that David had multiple wives, and, of course, there is that very erotic love poem called Song of Solomon.
In the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, we only get a hint of bridal customs in the New Testament world. A bride waits anxiously in her parent’s home for the coming of her King Charming. When he arrives, he swoops her off to his home and a ravishing honeymoon. Somewhere in there is a wedding bash that everyone from town attends and Jesus turns water into wine.
All this leaves me confused.
On the other hand, there are some things that I have concluded, that the Bible does not expressly suggest. Some things that lend strength to the newly formed relationship. Here they are:
- In a fraught and perverted world, it is wise to call on wise people to tell you the unvarnished truth about life and relationships. The truth! It’s always helpful to find people who love God and live accordingly.
- Community is really important. Living alone (as a couple) outside the influence of a healthy community is dangerous. In that community, you will discover things you won’t discover by yourself. Or, at least, no discovery in a timely way.
- Removing divorce from the “table” as a possible solution for marital problems changes the dynamics of the relationship. Except in the case of abuse or some intractable problem, couples who are committed to the relationship seek help when they hit a relational stump. This often results in increasing maturity, giving wisdom, and building trust. What’s not to like about that?
I couldn’t find a suitable wedding picture to lead this article. Virtually all the pictures I found were dripping with pheromones but don’t show staying up late with a colicky kid, negotiating a financial crisis, grieving through death and loss, living with each other’s peccadillos, and a host of other life challenges. Honeymoon romance often fails to capture the honest truth about marriage.
Sure, marriage begins on the beach, but its path leads through the jungles and deserts of life. But on the journey, it stops at breathtaking Kodak moments that weren’t visible on the beach. That’s what I like about marriage.