Archive for the 'Marriage' Category

Page 2 of 7

It’s a Wedding, Part II

Since my husband is the one who actually officiates at so many weddings, I asked him for his top ten pointers. And here they are.

1. Don’t lock your knees. (He’s only lost one groomsman in all these years!)

2. Respect the customs surrounding weddings. (In other words, the mother of the groom doesn’t run the wedding).

3. Decorate according to your taste, but stick with what is the established norm. Don’t try to invent a whole new way of having a wedding.

4. Don’t use trumpets unless you have a world-class trumpeter.

5. Don’t make the bride look good by making all the bridesmaids look bad. (Okay, I must add an editorial comment here. My husband really thought for years that there must be some custom of making the bridesmaids look awful. I know, that’s sad, isn’t it? See my point #5.)

6. The attendants always face the bride, where ever she is. She is the crown, the focal point of the coronation.

7. Give mile-markers at the reception, such as, “The bride and groom will be leaving at eight o’clock…” That way your guests have an idea of how long the party will be going.

8. Just an observation here: It’s a lovely custom for the bride and groom to give gifts to their attendants at the rehearsal dinner.

9. Use standard vows; don’t write your own. And don’t be affected by egalitarianism and feminism when it comes to taking your vows. Stick to the Bible.

10. Honor the Word of God at your wedding: have it read, declared, and have your vows based on it.

It’s a Wedding!

A few years ago the church secretary made an attempt to count how many times my husband has tied the knot. She estimated somewhere between eighty and a hundred weddings over the past thirty years or so. That’s a bunch, to put it mildly.

Weddings are one of the few remaining events in our culture where we dress up and follow traditional rules of conduct. We receive and rsvp to formal invitations, we are seated by ushers and handed programs. We sign guest books and (sometimes) go through receiving lines. A wedding requires incredible planning and requires a lot of its guests. Here is my own little list of ten things a bride should think about while planning her wedding. (I wish I had read this before my own wedding!)

1. Make the invitation clear. Don’t make the invitation so colorful and cluttered that your guests may miss the main details (which are in 3 pt font printed up the side). And remember to write out all the names on those invited, so there is no ambiguity about the children.

2. When you go to buy a dress, keep the context in view. If you’re having an outdoor wedding in July, don’t buy a dress with a train that looks like you’re headed for Westminster Abbey! Stay on task, no matter how elegant everyone says you look in it.

3. Stay in your budget. There is nothing in the world wrong with a reception of cake, punch, and mints. If your parents are offering to buy you a full sit-down dinner for 400 guests, then God bless them, and go for it. But if you are operating on a different kind of budget, no one will mind a simple slice of (delicious) wedding cake and a cup of punch.

4. This is a party in your honor, but you still want to honor your guests, so  when you pick a time for your wedding, consider whether it will work for your family and friends.

5. Be kind to your bridesmaids and don’t ask them to pay $200 for a dress they’ll never wear again. And don’t pick a dress that only one of your ten bridesmaids will actually look good in. Remember that the first view most of the guests get of the dress is the back, so make sure the dress is cute in the back, not just in the front. Not everyone looks good from every angle  in a backless, strapless wonder.

6. Make certain if you invite five hundred that you actually have five hundred seats, not four hundred fifty.

7. Keep the reception moving so your guests can actually stay until the end. If you plan a lengthy reception, you’ll necessarily lose some of your guests. It’s always better to have everyone wishing it would last a little longer than have them wishing it would end, and fast.

8. Beware the open mike. It’s always better to ask a few very specific individuals to offer the toasts or wedding speeches. It is something to prepare for, not something to be given off the cuff.

9. Let go of the details, once it’s planned. If the bows on the aisles are not exactly what you had hoped for, don’t worry about it. Look over them to find the eyes of your groom.

10. Be sure to thank your parents and kiss them goodbye.

Submission When It’s Easy

I’ve written about submission when it’s hard. In fact, in the earlier post on unsubmissiveness, I said that it isn’t even submission if you agree with your husband. But I need to clarify that.

In a godly marriage, a wife is living in a respectful and submissive manner with a husband who is living in a loving and sacrificial manner. Both are sacrificing for one another, laying down their lives for one another, and they do this all the time. They may not even notice because it is such a pattern of life for them. Submission is an attitude of the heart, and it is a frame of spirit. So a wife could be living submissively day-in and day-out and never really be identifying it as “submission.” But it is.

I don’t want to give the word submission a bad rap by giving the impression that it is only applicable when it’s hard. It is sometimes hard. When Jesus submitted in the Garden of Gethsemane, it was very hard. But when He was doing the will of His Father day-in and day-out while on the earth, He was living in a submissive manner. God’s will was Jesus’ will. They agreed. And in the Garden, Jesus made the Father’s will His own.

So God has shown us how to submit when it is hard, and He has shown us how to live submissively all the time. Both are good. Both are required.

A Godly Unsubmissiveness

Married women the world over can fail to understand their standing and authority in Christ two ways. The first way is when they over-shoot and miss the mark by assuming headship over their husbands. Some husbands like it that way, and they go along quietly because, if they keep their heads down, life goes along peacefully enough. But “wearing the pants” is not all it’s cracked up to be.

The second way women fail to grasp their position in Christ is to cower and “submit” to a man who has forfeited his authority over her. In the first instance, I suppose the man should send up a flare for help. But no one really feels sorry for the husband who gets walked all over. After all, he’s the guy and should know how to stand up for himself. But when a woman gets walked all over, she should also stand up for herself. She is a free woman in Christ. Sometimes a Christian woman should be what some might call “unsubmissive.”

Now before you gasp and think I’ve gone over to the dark side, let me just clarify. Authority is a good thing. Moms Continue reading ‘A Godly Unsubmissiveness’

That’s What Husbands Are For

Sometimes, as I’m sure you know, wives can take on more than they can  physically, spiritually, or emotionally handle.  It’s absolutely humanly impossible, but they manage somehow anyway, and the family survives the craziness after all. Survives. That’s an interesting word. But there’s a toll. And the family or the kids or mom herself pays it.

When a wife is carrying a burden of responsibility that is simply too much for her, her husband is the one with the responsibility to notice. He is supposed to protect her from her own rash commitments. In fact, somewhere in the OT law there is a verse about how if a husband hears of his wife’s vow on the same day that she made it, he can overturn it. That’s a good one, and I fully approve. Three cheers for the husband who says, “You said you’d do what? Are you crazy? I don’t want you to do that!”

Wives tend to underestimate the impact they have on their very own families, and, at the very same time, they also overestimate their own ability to carry far more weight than they were designed by God to carry. (Did you follow that?)  A wise husband will Continue reading ‘That’s What Husbands Are For’

Hang on to Your Hat

Two things in this short post. First, a friend sent me an email she received inviting her to a Bible study for women on how to keep your marriage healthy. And, in closing, the study leader said something like, “Can’t wait to share all my husband’s faults with you!” Now it may have been tongue in cheek. I certainly hope so. But it still sent a shiver down my spine. And along these lines, here is a fantastic article that I’d like to commend to each and every one of you readers, whether you are married or not. And God bless the author of this piece. I always appreciate a solid exhortation, and here’s one for you. Hang on to your hat!