Oops. It’s been a month since I last posted… Summer sabbatical? I’m going to try really hard to keep writing over the summer, but thus far, I have failed.
I just got back to my parents’ house (where I’ll be settling in until August) from a quick trip to Ohio to visit Miguel’s family and a wedding. My dear cousin, Sarah, got married on June 14th (and is currently in Jamaica, and no, I’m totally not jealous…), and I had the honor and privilege of standing beside her and her husband Nick as they made their promises to each other.
On the long journey home, I had some time to reflect on that wedding, all weddings, and marriage. That reflection led to another moment of “Man. How cool is God?”
I started by asking why we have marriage at all. We don’t really need it. Animals don’t get married. In the animal kingdom, guy finds girl, guy and girl mate, guy leaves, girl raises babies, and repeat. Why should humans be any different? What’s the point of marriage?
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
God didn’t want man to be alone! That’s the point of marriage. God thought, which of my creatures would be best for this man, made in my image? And when none would do, what choice did He have but to create a helper from the man.
So, for humans, guy meets girl, guy and girl choose to spend their lives together, guy and girl get married. Solely because God thought Adam needed a helper.
It makes me sad when people have weddings without God. When the ceremony is performed by a friend or government worker, there are no prayers, readings, or blessing, and anything religious is completely left out.
Without God, why get married? Without God, what is the point? A tax-break? What is marriage without God at the center?
At a wedding ceremony, the bride and groom make vows to each other. They say something like, “I take you to have and hold in sickness and health… till death do us part.” Those words are pretty powerful. They’re big. And they aren’t always kept. Divorce is such an easy answer in this day and age. The divorce rates are dropping, but it’s still an answer to far too many marriage issues.
And if you just look at those vows, it’s easy to see why divorce is so big. Promising to stick with one person for the rest of your life, regardless of health, money, and all things is a huge promise, one that is impossible to keep. By ourselves.
With God at the center, those vows are doable. With God at the center, marriage has a purpose, a reason. With God at the center, marriage is an incredible blessing beyond all words.
My ongoing prayer for Sarah and Nick, and for all those getting married, recently married, or married for 50 years is that they keep God at the center. Marriage isn’t a two person job. Marriage was ordained by God and is kept by God and God alone. We humans are pretty weak and would ruin everything if left to our own devices. God is strong and faithful. God holds the world together. God sustains our marriages. Isn’t that amazing?
Photo Credit: Capture the Moment Wedding Photography