This past weekend I attended a wedding of a relative that I found to be deeply troubling. The bride and groom (my relative) was a beautiful young couple and the venue was very pleasant. But what I found to be so troubling was that there was no scripture read, no prayer offered and the name of God was never mentioned. As a pastor sitting in a chapel (where there were no Bibles) I found this wedding service to be very distressful. It would seem that this young couple decided not to invite God to their wedding service. Was this a mere oversight or something they deliberately chose? I would say it was a deliberate choice as it would be hard to leave God out by accident. Yet on the other hand, I wonder if their decision not to invite God to their wedding is any worse than other couples who invite God to their wedding, ask His blessing on that special day and then have no place for Him in their marriage. I wonder which of these two options offends the heart of God more – not being invited to the wedding or being invited to bless the wedding but not to have a place for Him in their marriage.
I am troubled about this godless wedding firstly because I believe that marriage was instituted by God as the union of one man and one woman for the continuation of the human race. In the 2nd chapter of Genesis in verses 22-24 we read these words, “Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called ‘woman’, for she was taken out of man” for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” In the section before these verses God brought the animals to Adam for him to name. I believe the primary reason that God brought the animals to Adam (in pairs) was to help Adam see that he is alone. When this self-realization came upon Adam he would have recognized his need for fellowship, friendship and intimacy from a creation similar to himself. It is then that God created Eve and brought her to Adam. I believe God is the one who puts love in our hearts for another of His creation. He is the source of all love even for those who don’t know Him personally. To not acknowledge God at a wedding is to deny the reality of the gift of love that has been given. The ability to love is a reflection of an attribute of God that even in our fallen state we are able to experience and share.
The second thing I find so troubling about this godless wedding is the question – what are you building upon? This young beautiful couple may be able to build on their good looks, health and wealth for now but I’d suggest they’re going to be amazed at how quickly those things pass. It is the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ working in and through our marriages that provides a lasting foundation. Thirty-three years ago this Saturday my wife and I were married. I was a postal clerk with no aspiration of getting a college degree or becoming a pastor. If our foundation had not been the Lord Jesus Christ there is no way that Deb would have supported me going to Bible College and eventually becoming a pastor. By our third anniversary we had 3 children, small children. Think of the changes that were happening and the challenges presented in our lives, but most of all God was at work. Even now, as we both have our share of health and physical issues it is the foundation that provides stability for our struggles. If the Lord were not a present help in the time of need where would we turn? And someday at the end of this journey isn’t it a wonderful hope to know that Jesus will be there to welcome both of us into His presence! This life we live is but a grain of sand in the hour-glass of eternity. But the questions must be asked, what foundation are you building upon and where are your treasures being stored?