This year I have been surrounded by discussions of people concerning why they would or would not get married.  In most cases I would just listen and accept what the person said as it is their decision not mine.  However when we were at Breizoz recently I was forced to rethink one issue I had wrestled with which is where do you get married? This was due to them advertising the chapel out the back of the restaurant.

You see while I am a romantic and I strongly believe in marriage, I also believe it should be for the right reasons at the right time to the right person.  The decision where to get married I think is intimately tied to the question
“why get married?”

When we were in the UK at one point we lived next door to the Durham registry office.  On Fridays and Saturdays we could look out our window and see wedding celebrations is process.  Having seen this would I get married in a registry?  Where this is not a legal requirement I would not.  I believe a marriage is made with a public commitment in front of God.  This does not have to be in a church but it does need to be in front of a community of people who will hold you accountable to your vows.

Thus I believe in marriage and not elopment, no matter how tempting an elopment seems in the midst of all the organisation and chaos that is planning a wedding. A couple of witnesses and an unknown celebrant do not do it for me as part of a public commitment.

Yoder in discussing what is a marriage raises the basic issues of marriage as well as sexual relations are public pledge,  common residence, common purse, legal permission and celebration.  It is the pledge and celebration part that I believe is the answer to why get married.  What God has done in bringing two people together needs to be celebrated publicly with others.  These others are family and friends who have contributed to the two lives being joined as one and who will try and hold people accountable to their vows.

So why get married?  To pledge and celebrate before God, friends and family what God has done.  Where get married?   A place large enough to fit all those who want to honour the commitment being made.

So what do you think of marriage?

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