I attended a wedding this past weekend.
But the truth is…
I hate weddings.
That may come as a shock considering how many romance posts I've written.
When my mother first heard I was going she looked at me warily… even with amusement.
"Really? But you don't go to weddings. You hate weddings. How did this come about? I mean, you've done really well the past... how many years… getting out of them, except like one… your game is off… I hate to be the one to break it to you but you're slipping." She quipped.
I laughed aloud at that. The fact of the matter was… I went with a friend this past Saturday and it was an opportunity for us to spend some time together as we don't see each other very often. But, nonetheless… yes, my mother was absolutely correct… I try hard as I can to avoid them like the plague.
As I sat there in my seat Saturday, fidgeting in a black dress and nude heels before the wedding began... music played… music that resembled some sort of audio torture system... the lyrics immediately triggering some type of gag reflex within me…
"Wishin' and hopin'
and prayin'… "
You know… that opening song from the movie My Best Friend's Wedding… where those women sing like they've been wound up in the back in some sort of synchronized Stepford wife state…. fight or flight kicked in and I glanced sideways at my friend wondering if making a run for it would be considered taboo… I always feel like the wild card in these moments… maybe it's the impulsivity of the ADHD... but where on earth is an exit door (?) and please for the love for all... turn that music off! I thought to myself. However there was no escaping as the minister appeared and soon couples conversations hushed, children in tiny dresses and suits yelped for the last time and everyone turned back to look for the bridal party to begin their procession. Soon the doe-eyed bride appeared in white and made her way to her smiling groom awaiting her… colors of black and white were everywhere along with fresh roses and sprays of baby breath.
As the vows were spoken by the minister before the happy couple, inward I cringed… why do some of us take issue with wedding vows? I wondered. I know I'm not alone in this… because I googled "I hate weddings" and lo and behold there are plenty more like me…
Venting on message boards about them.
Watching brides speak those vows makes me feel sick to my stomach… it's like watching someone walk to the guillotine… I'm always silently rooting for them to not through with it… "Don't do it, just don't… Save yourself!" I think to myself… women give up so much to marry… much more than men, even today… maybe it's the rebel within me rearing her "expressive" outspoken mouth, er, head… but marriage benefits men so much more in my opinion… debatable… yes, I know… and at the end of the day that is only my opinion… hardly worth much considering God above is whose running this circus, er, great show on earth and also who created marriage and the covenant of exchanging those sacred wedding vows… binding man and woman together before His eyes.
On rare occasions maybe we dare to go there… to think... "What is the big deal, anyway? Why do we have to do this marriage thing, this exchanging of vows so as to live without sin in God's eyes? As opposed to just living together and if things don't work out you can walk your cold or angry feet right out the door… so long, bye, bye!"
Having sex outside of marriage
complicates and destroys
I didn't make the rules… of exchanging those vows that make us one before God in the spiritual sense and in the legal form before man. It's like marriage is a necessary evil… I sometimes think to myself with chagrin wondering... "Why do we have to take such a risk? How do we know this person is going to love, honor and cherish us? In sickness and in health?" There is absolutely no certainty, no guarantee. As the minister uttered the words Saturday… "Work hard every day and you'll have a good marriage"… my face showed skepticism and if I hadn't been in public I swear I would have snorted… Really? Despite concerted efforts, lots of grace, sacrifice and intentional love… so many marriages fail. One person can hypothetically do everything right and if the other one doesn't it still fails. Maybe there should be marriage insurance. You pay in a little money each month and then if it falls apart you can cash in when you file for divorce… it could pay for your attorneys fees. I'm kinda serious. A man who isn't controlling? I question if such a man even exists, I question if there is a man who doesn't fully expect you to utter "yes" to everything… (heck, I'm divorced and my ex still expects everything to go his way) … of course people continue to tell me otherwise, that non-controlling men do exist… and the age old scenario erupts where nearly every man wants a chance to prove you wrong (gentlemen, we know what you're doing, nice try, but no; anybody can be on golden behavior for a limited time)… people continue to inform me that I just haven't met the "right one"… Really? Where is he? Hidden under a rock? Because I haven't found him. It's ironic. We are to find a fellow believer who walks in love, care, kindness, loyalty… who is after God, who reads His word and applies it to his life… and yet we are simultaneously given free will in that pursuit.
It can feel
like a cruel joke
But this leads us to what God
views as necessary
versus what we may choose to do
or even what we like.
God believes the marriage of two people before Him is necessary… for two to become one… and yet so many want to jump to the consummating of the relationship (the fun part)… living together minus the vows. Perhaps some don't see the whole exchanging of "I do's" as necessary, they want to "save money" they cite as a reason for living together… or maybe they view vows as more of an inconvenience or archaic. Everyone is different in what they believe is necessary and yet what they ultimately choose to do in life. It's sort of comparable to going through the daily motions… we choose to eat that delicious bear claw for breakfast when perhaps scrambled eggs with fresh fruit would be a better, healthier choice for us. Or maybe we double check that The Good Wife, Scandal or Revenge is recording on our DVR (can't miss it) and come Sunday we choose to sleep in when God would love for us to attend church.
Without a doubt God sees marriage vows as a must do… a covenant of two joined in love before Him… exchanging vows… we may see it as a religious obligation of some kind… or maybe we do reach for it, aiming for marriage as the ultimate goal of faith… in Him. All I know is… I've been in the dirtiness of living in sin… I've behaved like I'm not His in the past, like an orphan without a Father and I don't want that chapter to repeat… maybe you feel the same… because we are called to turn from sin… and not subscribe to it anymore.
Maybe I avoid weddings because I hate seeing anyone risk stepping off into the deep end… taking that risk of drowning in the depths of divorce, heartbreak and disappointment. I love romance, courtship, even the companionship of marriage… but vows? Maybe just "Yeah, love you babe, I choose you" is a lofty yet preferable idea to a bunch of words spoken by a minister that only make my heart want to scream out "Nooooo!" and put the brakes on. Yet everyday I still follow God… choosing to stay on His path… knowing that there is a clearly defined definition of single life and married life… there is no in between… there is nothing that He condones where the lines are blurred… He believes sex stays within the parameters of marriage, that we don't live together before our vows are exchanged and for us to not give in… to not give in or chase something we know He doesn't want for us. I know He wants what is best for me… and you... living in His word. I may cringe at the thought of wedding vows but certainly if there is any vow I can make right now that sits right with me it's a general one…
I vow to live for Him.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014