“A God-centered marriage matters more to God than a grand wedding.”
This was a reminder to me even before Brian and I chose to have our civil wedding first. We were both aware that when we signed our marriage contracts, a marriage is not just a piece of paper that you sign on – it is a Holy Matrimony, a sacred covenant. It just makes me sad when I see marriages that failed. I know I have no right to meddle in what a couple went through in their marriages and assume what decision is best for them except to pray about it and yet it was one of my goals to somehow enlighten them in keeping one of God’s greatest blessings which is the marriage – the foundation of every family where children are born and raised as future citizens, successors and disciples in our society.
This is probably the reason why I took the risk of sharing sensitive situations regarding conflicts that my husband and I go through hoping that many will be able to appreciate that they are not alone in what they are going through as a couple. That they, too, might realize marriages are sometimes painful and yet sometimes it is joyful too. I was hoping that realizations such as putting God at the center of the marriage along with prayers make all the difference for as long as not one of the couple gives up. Or if even one gives up, then the other should do the effort to save it regardless who is at fault or if he/she will be making most of the sacrifices.
The goal should always be to keep the covenant intact and always look at the finish line of every marriage which is “until death do us part.” Never give up and give one another a room for mistakes and a chance to grow. It is also best to always remember to keep the faith no matter what and that there is no perfect couple, no perfect marriage but one perfect God who makes all things possible.
Honestly, there was one time a couple of months back wherein my husband and I had this very huge fight that ended in us giving in to weaknesses and anger ruled the most part of that fight resulting to me asking him to pack his things up and leave me. I went upstairs and left him packing his stuff.
God intervened – my husband can’t find his passport. He came up to me twice asking about it and I saw in his eyes how hurt he was and pleading silently that I let him stay. But pride took over me and pride took over him as well – no apologies took place from either of us. That missing passport moment was the Spirit’s way of stalling him from storming out of the house and the opportunity for me to apologize and let things go back to normal.
Yes, we regret that we allowed sin to rule our hearts that night. I took my headphones and listened to the radio. Yet another divine intervention took place as I ended up listening to a Christian radio station. Now this gave me peace and an urge to apologize right away and stop him from leaving but I shrugged it off and decided to sleep my exhaustion off.
A good and a bad thing – good, the Spirit was there all along; bad, my husband took off in the middle of the night taking a bus going to their house in the province. I woke up 3hours after with this scenario and I was aghast when I found out he really did take me seriously when I asked him to leave the house. I was confident he wouldn’t do it.
So my wifey instinct came all rushing in and I began to worry BIG time. What if something happened on his way home, he got mugged or stabbed or got beaten up by drunkards. YES, I panicked and I can never forgive myself when that happened. So I called him even if it is 3 am already. I know I had to because that is the right thing to do.
He answered my call. WHEW! Big sigh of relief there. The first thing I asked was if he was home and what followed was my apology. Told me he was about to sleep as he and his mom were talking. He told me we will talk things out in the morning.
When he got back home the next day, he told me that when he was already at the bus with all his stuff, something in him says that what he is doing is wrong and he should turn back. But part of him says that he’s already in the bus anyway so he might as well push through in going to his Mom’s place.
I told my husband that the one part that tells you what you are doing is bad and urges you to do it the right way, that is the Spirit living inside you whilst the one that says continue sinning, that is the work of the enemy.
We were already advised in the Marriage Preparation seminar in church to never leave when tough times hit home. His mom advised him the same thing saying both of us will be more vulnerable to temptations and attacks of the enemy if we choose to separate than talk the problem out. We learned our lesson quite the hard way there but as what his mom told us, it is a good thing forgiveness of each other’s faults and reconciliation took place within just a matter of hours. She continued that we might never know what greater damage we could have brought upon our marriage if we held on to anger, pride and more sins.
We vowed to never again let the same incident happen. Anger is really one of the enemy’s ways to steal, kill and destroy. Don’t give him the advantage. EVER. We are well aware though that this is only the beginning of even greater battles with the enemy.
Back to weddings and marriages, if time comes I’ll end up like my Mom who chose to be married through a civil wedding only, then I’ll accept it as God’s will but I will choose to honor God instead on how I deal with my spouse and how I handle issues in our marriage obeying God’s commands and laws. Just a little trivia on me: I hate being on the spotlight (the introverted me). I ended up asking my eldest sister to assign me with the very least spotted role during her wedding 14 years ago and it took months before my brother was able to convince me to be one of the bridesmaids on his wedding day last year. 😀 So having a civil wedding was already perfectly fine with me. But I just felt I still need to have a church wedding, in God’s perfect time.
My husband and I have already made plans that if circumstances and God’s plans will not allow the church wedding to take place sooner, we will have it in our 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary. Well, that’s for me. Unfortunately my husband thinks we’ll be too old by then and told me he’d love to have it on our Silver Wedding Anniversary instead. I asked him if he is worried about the idea that one of us will have amnesia we wouldn’t remember who we got wed to or what the celebration is for, he just laughed. Okay, I guess I nailed the truth as for his reason why. 😀
Even before I got into a relationship I have already set my mind to have a small, intimate wedding. Intimate in a way that I intend my dream church wedding be held on top of a high mountain with clouds surrounding everywhere and only the officiating Pastor, me and my groom will be present. The spectacular view to me is just so surreal and it portrays how magnificent our God is and His creations. I was able to experience it first during my community outreach/field work in one of my classes in my graduate study and I was overwhelmed by the experience which made me decide that this is the perfect wedding scenario for me. You can read more of it here: https://chinginete.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/benguet-the-trip-up-north/
If you have read the article, I mentioned that awesome moment as “Heaven here on Earth…”
Yes, that is exactly the reason why I wanted my church wedding to be where I am closest to God. The clouds reminded me of God, I just feel His strong presence when I see the clouds. One of the biggest oaths I have made for the rest of my life was during my wedding day which is an oath of commitment with my spouse in front of God. A wedding is all about God and the Holy Matrimony. I thought it better if the general feel of my dream church wedding would be something really solemn – a moment wherein me and my husband will be able to connect with God deeply, sincerely and with less distractions as possible.
We do plan to invite our parents as a way of honoring them as well as the rest of our friends and families. I know that they will be part of our lives forever and will be witnesses how our relationship as a married couple has grown throughout the years thus they will be an essential part of our church wedding. I know that they, too, will honor the special moment that my husband and I will be making.
Basically this is a deviation – a form of going against the norms when it comes to weddings. In the same way that having a civil wedding doesn’t make your marriage less holy as compared to a church wedding – it still is the union of a husband and a wife, God’s commands. Do allow me to delve deeper as to my own personal reasons why the kind of wedding that you have, civil or church, simple or grand doesn’t matter but on how you handle your marriage. But of course, in the end, we all have our own ways how to have our own weddings.
It doesn’t matter for me what gown I will be wearing, what we will be serving our guests, where we will be married and who will be our guests because a wedding for me takes place every single day. In every single day that you wake up, you affirm the vow that you made with your spouse. More so when both you and your spouse are being tested by the enemy to break and destroy God’s beautiful promises for you both. I cannot let that happen. There may be a little pride somewhere deep down of me still, but I can’t let the enemy win. I guess I’ll be rooting all my pride there – never let the enemy win.
God will appreciate a marriage centered on Him than a church wedding but without Him in the couple’s lives. For without God in the marriage, the marriage will surely fail and it’ll crumble. This leads to divorce which, as we all know, is strictly not allowed in the bible.
The bible has this to say about it:
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.” – Mark 10:6-12
My only challenge to every couple like what my brother would always tell me every time I am on the verge of giving up on my husband and my marriage is that always look at the end goal and always keep in mind the vows that you have made before each other in the presence of the Lord as our way of honoring Him and the gift that He gave us which is our free will – our choice to marry this person and the choice to be with him/her forever.
For church weddings, these are examples of the vows exchanged between the groom and the bride:
“Bride, knowing that it is God’s will for me to marry you, I make a commitment to you today, in the presence of our Lord, and before all these witnesses, to love you with an unconditional love. I will be faithful to you always, never leaving you nor forsaking you. I will lead, guide, protect, and provide. I will live with you in an understanding way, being thoughtful of your needs. I will honor you as a fellow heir of God’s grace. I commit myself to fulfill God’s plan for my life – to provide loving leadership and spiritual covering for you and our children. I commit to co-labor with you in the building of the Church and the advancement of God’s Kingdom, until the day Jesus returns in all His glory.”
“Groom, knowing that it is God’s will for me to marry you, I make a commitment to you today, before God Almighty and before all these people to become your wife and helpmate. I commit to love you and submit to you as my spiritual covering. I will not hinder you but will inspire and encourage you as the head of our household. I commit to co-labor with you in the building of the Church and the advancement of God’s Kingdom until Jesus returns in all His glory.”
These vows were not made by men but instructed by God. Basically if we choose to not obey these, then we are disobeying God and we are breaking the covenant with Him. Yet for circumstances wherein divorce is really necessary, the bible also has this to say:
“But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.” – 1 Corinthians 7:10-11
Trials and challenges are part of love. Love is part of every couple. Every couple comprises a marriage. A marriage is the foundation of a family. A family is where children are born. Children are the next citizens that will comprise the society and more than that, they will be the future disciples of God. We are honoring God if we are bringing up our children in a Godly home.
The trials that we encounter in our marriages are God’s way of preparing us so we can be strong spiritual mentors, rooted in our faith and will become good examples to our children who will certainly follow our steps when they grow older, one way or the other.
We will never appreciate the beauty of salvation through the Cross if there is no circumstance that brought us to our knees.
We can never teach our kids this if we, ourselves, didn’t go through it.
I am supposed to research if there has been standards on what a church wedding should be like in the bible or what we are doing now is purely traditional and cultural but not biblical. As far as I know the bible cites many instances about marriages but not on weddings per se i.e. there should be a long line of entourage, a whole week of wedding celebration, etc.
Do enlighten me though on this so I could write it on another blog post. This one’s already too long. *wink* But just a couple more ideas before I wrap this up so please bear with me my dear readers. *smiles*
I have two memorabilia that I believe are the only things that are important in every marriage – the engagement ring which symbolizes my husband’s promise to commit to an even bigger promise and the wedding ring which symbolizes the fulfillment of that bigger promise. That BIG promise is to be together until death do us part.
This is the challenge I have for myself as a wife every single day: fight for your spouse, fight for God in your marriage and save your marriage from anything and anyone who wants to ruin it by means of prayers. More importantly, seek for God’s protection, healing and guidance ALL the time.
Will share these two bible verses that might help when trouble comes in your marriage (or future marriage). The first is my brother’s key verse in his wedding followed by my key verse in our wedding:
“We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19
“There is no fear in love but perfect love drives out fear…” – 1 John 4:18
Do not fear anyone, do not fear the problem nor the enemy BUT have faith that we have a God who makes the impossible possible.
I also would like to honor my parents in this article as they celebrated last June 1st their 43rd Wedding Anniversary. Hooray! Praise be to God for this. 🙂
I am just grateful to God for giving me parents who are exemplars on how it is to keep a marriage intact through God’s love and His guidance. I look up to the marriage of my Dad and Mom, along with the marriages of my eldest sister and my brother, as examples of couples who continuously persevere in living out 1 Corinthians 13 and remain constant in putting God at the center of their marriages through the good and the bad.
My prayers are with you that regardless if you got married through a civil or a church wedding, in any battle that you and your spouse will go through, both of you will overcome it by God’s grace. Invite Him in your marriages and include Him in every day of your lives together.
If they can do it, then we also can for we all have God with us. 🙂 ❤
“It takes a risk to get involved, but how many marriages could have been salvaged, how many relationships healed, how many bad decisions averted, if someone had loved enough to warn?” – Pastor Rick Warren