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Weddings, Marriages, and Covenants (4 of 6)
Today, I want to explore the biblical understanding of marriage. Our text from Genesis 2 is where it all begins. It is this passage that is quoted throughout the rest of the Bible to explain why marriage is important and what it is to mean. I want to get to the topic by examining the differences between weddings and marriages. The Bible says a great deal about marriages and very little about weddings. In our culture, however, we tend to concentrate enormous planning and money on the wedding while giving only the slightest thought to the marriage that follows. Consider three differences between a wedding and a marriage:
Difference Number One: A wedding is for a day. A marriage is for a lifetime. Don't misunderstand. I have nothing against weddings. Quite to the contrary, I think weddings are wonderful celebrations. As a minister, I have probably been to more weddings than anyone in this room. I remember the very first wedding I ever attended. I was nineteen years old and I was the officiating minister. I have officiated at many since.
I, of course, remember my own wedding thirty-five plus years ago. I was twenty years old. In Illinois at the time guys were not of age until twenty-one so my mother had to go to the courthouse to sign for my wedding license. The wedding itself was uneventful except that Rose dropped her engagement ring just before she was to walk down the aisle and had to crawl behind a foyer door in her wedding gown to retrieve it.
Some of the guys in our wedding party attempted to make our honeymoon trip memorable. In addition to the string of cans behind the car and shaving lather on the windows, someone got the wise idea to put a handwritten note by our gas cap that read, "This wedding is a hoax. I have been kidnapped. Call the police." This was before self-serve gas pumps. Fortunately, someone had second thoughts at the last minute and warned me about it.
Of the scores and scores of wedding that I have performed, a few are memorable. I will never forget officiating for my three children's weddings, my brothers' weddings, and my brother-in --law and sisters-in-law's weddings. I remember a few others as well.
I will never forget William Hammers' wedding because he was eighty-four years old. He robbed the cradle, however, because his bride, Madelyn Smith was only fifty-seven. Leoni Rossi and Theresa Huchemeyer's wedding sticks out because Leoni was a cross-country truck driver. They planned their honeymoon accordingly. After the wedding, Leoni helped Theresa into the cab of the eighteen-wheeler and pulled out of the church parking lot with air horns blaring and a huge "just married" sign flapping from the side of the trailer.
Our biblical text from Genesis doesn't say anything about wedding plans, but it says a great deal about God's intended purpose for marriage. One man and one woman ...
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