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?