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Old Wedding

Weddings: Wacky, Wrong, and Worthy!

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The U.S. Supreme Court used its combined wisdom to redefine marriage which it had no authority to do since God decided on marriages long before any judge, bureaucrat, state, or nation existed.

Marriage has been on a slippery slope since God performed the first wedding ceremony in Eden to Lamech taking a second wife to Christ’s appearance at the marriage in Cana down to the dismal state of marriage today.

Marriage scholar Lawrence Stone noted that in the Middle Ages marriage was “treated as a private contract between two families . . . For those without property, it was a private contract between two individuals enforced by the community sense of what was right.” Indeed, marriage wasn’t even regulated by law in Britain until the Marriage Acts of 1754 and 1835 as I have documented in other columns. Marriage is a family and church affair not a state function.

I refuse to obey the Supreme Court ruling. Same sex “marriage” is impossible no matter what they and others say. Declaring something does not make it true. The Supremes and their acolytes are living in a dream world. That means they are delusional.

Many pastors have taken the position that the state should have nothing to do with weddings: no forms, no application, no approval, and no involvement at all. Weddings should be done by churches that set their own standards. Of course, basic protection must be required such as age, relationship, etc. Couples, with approval of parents are writing their own vows and are united by their local pastor who signs a covenant along with the couple. Such weddings are then registered at the county courthouse.

While weddings should be holy, they are often turned into mockery with nutty “vows” spoken as a sappy couple jumped out of an airplane, vows taken in prison, and now the happy couple is a dead couple in South Africa! A dead Johannesburg “couple” was married recently! Seems a man shot his pregnant fiancée dead then killed himself. They were “married” posthumously a few days after the murder/suicide. The news account said their family and friends “wanted to remember them as a happy couple destined for a happy life together.”

Happy couple! What nonsense. To think they killed a tree to print such tripe.

In front of 250 guests, an Aussie couple was married nude wearing only their wedding rings and a stupid expression.

Another couple was married at T. J. Maxx; another in a morgue after the groom was murdered; another inside a shark tank with the groom wearing a traditional black wetsuit and the bride in an all-white wetsuit. Another couple vowed to be faithful “for as long as we can stand each other.” Still another promised to be faithful “through fat and skinny.”

Jerks, trying to be cute, or flippant, or profane, have taken their weddings into the dirt. But, at least, they did get married, except for the dead ones. That’s wacky but better than living like barnyard animals.

In ancient, uncouth civilizations it was a custom of young men to capture the bride of his choice usually from another tribe and when men became more civilized it became simulated, not actual.

Marriage by capture was common in many cultures being the normal entrance into marriage. Judges 21 provides a good example of marriage by kidnapping. Often a man had help from his friends and relatives to assure the success of the capture. That was wrong.

Kidnapping of brides is still practiced and is in fact increasing in the Caucasus region and in parts of Mexico, Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia. The modern honeymoon harkens back to the ancient couple hiding out for a few weeks from discovery. Hopefully within a month, the bride would be pregnant and her family would resign themselves to the marriage. Moreover, the family would acquiesce to the marriage because of the stigma of the couple living together for a few weeks.

From actual seizure they later thought it more civilized to purchase a wife. At times a man exchanged one of his female relatives for his desired bride and at other times he served the bride’s father for an agreed period of time. Jacob working for Laban to get his daughter is the first Biblical example. Of course, Jacob got more than he expected. He had to work fourteen years to get the girl he wanted. In Genesis 29 when Jacob told Laban, his future father-in-law, that he wanted his wife, Laban called for his neighbors and friends to come to a feast after which Jacob took her to his bedroom.

The same thing happened in Judges 14 when Samson was married and had a feast for his friends but Samson didn’t get her to his bed, but his best friend did!

Then there were festival times when it was acceptable for a girl to capture the husband of her dreams by “netting” him usually while he was asleep. The modern custom of females proposing to men during Leap Year is a carry-over of this custom.

It was also normal to get a wife by purchase as in the case of Jacob, Ruth, and Hosea. David also purchased Michal, King Saul’s daughter, with 200 Philistine foreskins according to I Samuel 18! Kings often gave their daughters to other kings (or their sons) to cement their national relationships thereby guaranteeing peace. No doubt many of Solomon’s marriages were political marriages. Of course, those multiple, heathen marriages were wrong whatever the reasons.

Some men got wives for their acts of valor as in the case of David. It was promised that whoever killed Goliath would get many rewards including the daughter of King Saul.

When a girl left her home to be a wife, her family was given a dowry since they were losing a major asset who provided labor (income) to the family. So the man got a wife and the wife’s family got the dowry. It was not looked upon as a wedding gift. Everyone was happy.

Couples married very young in the Old Testament days, always with parents’ permission, but by the New Testament times, regulations required the boy to be 13 and the girl 12. If a young husband died, his wife was taken in marriage by his brother or close relative. You may remember that this is the foundation for Ruth and Boaz. Such an arrangement is known as levirate marriage. That was worthy in that place and time.

Starcke and Westermarck confirmed earlier conclusions that “marriage or pairing between one man and one woman, though the union be often transitory and the rule frequently violated, is the typical form of sexual union from the infancy of the human race” (History of Matrimonial Institutions, I, pp. 90, 91). So it is incorrect for apostles of permissiveness to suggest that marriage of a man and woman are of recent origin. They go back to the Garden of Eden!

So even less than perfect marriages (and there is no such thing as a perfect marriage) are the norm back to the beginning of time. That takes into account unhappy marriages and those that don’t last. The ideal is ideal.

Yes, some marriage ceremonies are wacky, some wrong, and worthy! What kind was yours?



 

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