More about the Marriage, Less about the Wedding.

When my brother married me and Rachel a bit over 2 years ago, he shared a fine message about how our culture has made so much of weddings at the expense of marriages.  He used the front door of a house (and the house) as a metaphor.  One could spend a lot of money on a fine front door, but of one pays no attention to the house, it won’t get you very far.  (Marriage is the house, the wedding is the front door)

So this thought struck me the other day: what if weddings were held as part of a church’s normal worship service?  Perhaps that is why the actual ritual for a wedding service takes only about 10 minutes.

Some people re-mortgage their houses to pay for extravagant wedding ceremonies.  Churches are reserved, sometimes merely on the basis of the attractiveness of the sanctuary.  All these things lead together toward the notion that the wedding is a day for the bride and groom, and about the bride and groom; which makes it too easy for either, or both, later to think it is all about him or her.

Christian marriage isn’t just about bride and groom, though. It is about the two of them covenanting with each other, and with God. It is also about them making these covenants in the presence of witnesses.  What difference might it make (in supporting marriages) if congregations were made up of people who had witnessed to, and pledged their supprot of, each other’s marriages?

5 thoughts on “More about the Marriage, Less about the Wedding.

  1. It amazes me that a bride will spend endless hours looking for the “right” dress, and not spend three sessions in quality premarital counseling.

  2. This is a great idea. Let’s make that tradition before my TWO girls get married! That could save us a lot of money!
    Seriously though, I think having your church family witness your marriage might make it harder to give it up so easily….

  3. Right on, brotha.

    Missy and I have OFTEN discussed how if we could do it over, we’d just have it in a backyard or something. Nice and simple. Still all the God stuff we required (including communion, etc.), but without so much drama, money spent on things we barely even remember. Needless to say we have become a fairly outspoken supporter of the simple wedding…but making it more about committment, about what God is doing, about how marriage is a glimpse for us and others of God’s love for us…

    But ,then my mother-in-law wouldn’t have had the opportunity to live vicariously through her daughter!


  4. Gary,
    That is why I think it is so important for us as pastors to talk about what marriage really is. I know that I require 6 sessions of premarital counseling before I will perform the wedding ceremony for anyone. I go through a 250 page book with them too.

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