Sunday, June 10, 2012
Wedding or Marriage????
Pastor's Thoughts: Wedding verses Marriage I blame childhood fairy tales for creating unrealistic expectations for a young couple planning a wedding. In the fairy tales, the wedding is the climax of the story and the beautiful couple lives "happily ever after". No more problems -- that has not been my experience. For those of you that have been married for more than 10 minutes, how realistic is the "happily ever after" concept? As a pastor, I have officiated my share of weddings. Getting to know the bride and groom is part of the officiants responsibility. This requires that we spend some time together. One observation that I have learned to look for is, "Do they want a wedding or do they want to get married?" Before you pass judgment on me and start throwing stones, YES, I know there are many other things that need to be addressed and dealt with, but for this article, I want to stay on topic. Often a young couple will approach me with endless wedding plans that are very impressing (and expensive) and fail to realize that the wedding ends up in a scrap book and the marriage is "till death do we part". Throwing massive amounts of cash at a wedding will result in a magnificent 30 minute service that fills scrap books with breathtaking photos. However, throwing massive amounts of cash at a marriage in trouble may confuse the issues but the problems will still remain and threaten the "till death do we part" option. And before you think I have lost my mind, there is a reason that 1 out of 2 marriages end in divorce. OK, truth is, there are volumes of reasons that marriages don't survive but I simply want to focus on the overall perspective of a marriage. So what is the spiritual take-away? Before the wedding..... do the bride and groom ever stop to ask some basic questions: Can they argue and disagree about a hot button topic without verbally destroying their mate in an effort to always be right? How do you resolve conflicts? Who do you talk to when you have a major disagreement with your mate? Are you comfortable with how your mate expresses anger? Can they remain quiet and attentively listen to their mate voice a position that is controversial? Do you live by a budget? Who will balance the checkbook? Have you ever had a savings account? What are the current debt balances? Who will purchase the groceries? Who will do the cooking? Who will clean the kitchen? Are you going to have children? (how many?) What are your views of child discipline? Do you currently go to church? When you have children, where will they attend church? How will you spend your weekends? How many evenings a week will you be home? Describe "quality time" with your mate? What is your mate's "love language"? What is your role in raising step-children? Should you discipline step-children? But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15