Stripping Down the WeddingPosted: May 11, 2009
It’s wedding season. And as I am in my mid-20’s I find myself at a wedding ceremony ever weekend from May to August. It’s kind of a cool thing, but in some ways a bad thing. You get to celebrate one of the best days of your friend’s life with them, but it also takes a huge toll on your wallet. I guess in life, there’s nothing that doesn’t come with a price (accept God’s Grace, that is).
But as I sit through more and more weddings these days I’m beginning to evaluate our societies expectations of what a wedding is, compared to the Biblical model set forth for us. Ask any bride going through wedding plans and she’ll admit the pressures are unbearable at times. We need to top the last wedding we went to by adding another layer on our cakes, having a bigger dance floor, or more colorful flowers in our bouquets. It’s pretty ridiculous how much weddings actually cost. But is this all really necessary? I’m sure many brides will agree with me when I say ‘no’. And it seems that the Biblical model of a wedding concurs. So what are the essentials? Let’s see…
1. A Giving into Marriage (Gen 2: 22, “And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.”)
2. Exchange of Vows (Gen 2:23a, “Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”; Gen 24:58, “And they called Rebekah and said to her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ She said, ‘I will go.'”)
3. Name Changes (Gen 2:23b, “Then the man said…’she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'”)
4. Leaving of Families & Creation of a New Family (Gen 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”)
5. Exchange of Wealth/Gifts/Dowry (Gen 24:53, “And the servant brought out jewelry of silver and of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave to her brother and to her mother costly ornaments”)
6. Worship of the God of the Covenant (Gen 24:52, “When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the earth before the Lord.”)
7. Feast (Gen 24:54a, “And he and the men who were with him ate and drank”; Gen 29:22, “So Laban gathered together all the people of the place and made a feast”)
8. Consummating the Marriage (Gen 24:67, “Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her.”)
So what are we to do about the ornate wedding cake? floral archways? fancy centerpieces? satin chair covers? Still trying to figure that one out…but what I do know is that sometimes the main thing needs to remain the main thing. We can’t lose sight of what a wedding really is and that’s a making of a covenant between a man and a wife before the Covenant King, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.
Happy Wedding Season!