Sunday, April 17, 2011

You may now shake the bride's hand

By reading the title of this post, you may not know how I am going to start this one out, but let me tell you one of the sources I reap obscure truths which somehow morph into blog-worthy materials --
I was babysitting a few days ago for the children of an adult's Bible study.  And, as you may well find out in a group of 14 children ages 2-12, there will be weddings.  Yes, weddings.  I would swear (if I did swear) that the whole two hours I was there, the same 3 girls prepared and obsessed over them.  Oh... that will put a new perspective on the term "Bridezilla"!

"Brooke... Horrible news!  Romeo called and said he isn't able to marry you..."

Ghastly, right?  No, it gets better.  After frantically waving the pretend cell phone around her curly head, she goes with the next logical option open to the fainting bride-

"...We will just have to find a replacement."

I didn't ask what she meant by that, I was plaintively smelling certain eligible candidates to find out just who was lying about their poopy diaper.  As you can guess, my ears where open, but my hands - and nose - were occupied.
But then I thought (and a rare feat for me) - "That sounds familiar...
In a society that advocates many 'loves' before you find Mr. (or Mrs.) Right, we may as well find replacements for our most recently dumped partner until we feel certain (for the hundred and fifth time) that he (or she) is the one we may marry."

-Nowadays, marriage is not considered, or treated as, a bond. More like a thin strand of dental floss, to which one holds a pair of scissors for rocky roads up ahead.-

Whereas "replacement" might not be the right word, it makes a point that I hope is pointy, and hopefully well-taken. 

After returning from rescuing a 5-year-old from a deadly, toilet paper noose, I heard yet more. I set a child on each hip, and pretended to read them a story.
The bride was picking her "replacement"!

"I don't really want any of these boys here, what I really want is a pretend groom."   (Well said!  She is what - 6?  I would say the same thing even now for myself with the finality of an "I do".)

We expect a Romeo to come and save us, don't we. We like that fake, pretend, perfect dream-of-a-man. This is reflected in many, many stories, movies, and songs in our culture.  (examples: Gnomeo and Juliet - new release movie; Love story - teenage love song by Taylor Swift; Multiple children's story books, and the list goes on.)
We want the ideal.  The best, and something what will fulfill us completely.  A Romeo, a Juliet.  We have instilled in us a longing for love and fulfilment that God is supposed to fill, because originally, He did!  And it isn't His fault that that was separated from us.
Yes, we all love (or absolutely abhor, like I do) the story of Romeo and Juliet.  But we are forgetting the rest of the story.  That story is souly riding on blinded passion, leading to death.  Self-inflicted death, if I may so add.  People actually die in this ancient novel!  I think we tend to leave that part out.  What starts as a idealistic romance progresses into a thrilling tragedy.  For some, like myself, lacking in grace and meaning.  Beautiful words and advanced actors do not make a story worth saving, in my forthright opinion.
But pray, go on with the story dear Valary-Mac.

All respectfully gathered.  Except for all the boys and most of the girls bored with the elaborate, yet rather unorganized wedding plans. The wedding procession is taking place.  The oldest in the group is festively decked in a pink tutu - on top of her head - and is dubbed the wedding singer.  Rapturously singing "Silent Night", the bride walked alone down the isle (aka- toy-strewn room).  When reaching her invisible groom, she stopped, the "I do"s were said, and this, evidently produced a bit of confusion on behalf of the visible half:

"What am I supposed to do?" she whispered.  "should I kiss him, or should we just shake hands?"
It was decided that since she had kissed her [pretend] groom before the wedding, they should just shake hands.

In America, and rapidly spreading elsewhere, we have our parties before the celebration.  We call it "testing out the waters", or "just a little bonding before the bonding", and "harmless fun".  In stead of a joining of two to become one, we kiss passionately before the wedding, then shake hands at the alter.  Marriage is looked at as a formal agreement.  A half-and-half mentality.  "I get this much of the closet, and you get that much"; "You can decorate your office, but I get the rest of the house".
Marriage isn't a business meeting.  Nor a quick fix for teen pregnancies.  Nor (although it is all too often) a blind decision feeding off the emotions and lusts of two love-sick beings.
Marriage is not only something that God has ordained as holy and good, but the analogy he uses between Himself and his church.  Now that is something to take seriously, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ!
God bless you, and may you never forget your first love in Him.

Oh yes. Babysitting.  To make a long story short, they were all married and lived happily-ever-after in sparkly white palaces- just to fill you in on the details.  ;) 

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