Under level 3 lock down (starting from June 1st), clergy may perform marriage services. There are certain requirements, though. Only five people may be present. The clergyman, the bride, the groom and two witnesses. This was a totally new experience for me as a marriage officer, and to add stress, we decided to invite people to a Zoom meeting. Our son-in-law in Naperville, Chicago, USA was the host and he controlled everything. We did a dummy run last night and ironed out most of the problems. So, today went very smooth.
The bride and groom dressed in traditional clothing. They looked very smart. We had two cellphones focused on the proceedings, one with a wide angle and the other a close up. There was a laptop connected to the TV, giving the people at the wedding a view of who was watching on Zoom. I have briefly looked at the recording and must say that, although not professional, the video came out looking pretty good.
Firstly, technology is at such a level where Roy living in the USA can control the recordings and even mute all of the devices logged onto Zoom. We know that technology is even greater than that, for we have heard conversations between the USA astronauts on the International Space Station and their home base. What boggles the mind is how such technology can be used for the Gospel. Maybe much of Christian ministry might be conducted using this technology into the future. It sadly negates the “fellowship” aspect of church gatherings, but through the growing, maturing dimensions of technology, spiritual ministry could well achieve levels so far unknown.
Secondly, marriage is one of the greatest gifts God has given to men and women. It is true that most people today have no clue what marriage is all about … and certainly have no clue as to what Biblical marriage is. The divorce rate, be it in our country or worldwide, is alarming. How can such a glorious gift from a loving Father result in the pain of divorce? Moving away from God’s design for marriage will result in doing marriage your way or the world’s way and it will fail! Consider the following passages:
Ge 2:18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Here we see that the idea of man and woman was God’s, not man’s. God deemed it good that woman would be a companion and helper for the man. This companion-helper would be one who is equal to the man but existing under the headship of the man. Often, men and women do not understand equality and headship. This is the first step towards marital failure.
Ge 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
Notice the reason a man will leave his parents’ home–separate from them, independent from them–is to be “united” to his wife and be like his parents enjoying intimacy. This verse speaks of a totally new family unit. One like the parents. A misunderstanding of this new arrangement is the next step towards marital failure. Far too often, either the man or the woman or both can’t cut the relational cord with mommy and daddy. In place of the spouse being the source of emotional strength, the parents are.
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Col 3:18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
The concept of submission is not slavery or forced upon the wife. It is a willing desire to obey God and live under the earthly lordship of the husband because that is God’s design. When wives refuse God’s purpose for the woman in relation to her husband, whether because of rejection of God’s ways or because of ignorance, her refusal becomes another reason for marital failure.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Just look at how a husband needs to love his wife … as Christ loved the church. How did He do this? He died for the church. He gave Himself up for the benefit of the church. He sacrificed Himself to present the church without the stains of sin … that is, to present her totally clean. This is the love the husband needs to exercise towards his wife! He dies to self. He sacrifices all obstacles that come between him and the wife … even the career, the hobbies, the garden, the house, the friends and the finances. After Jesus, the wife comes in the number one spot! Be it through sin or ignorance, when the husband does not follow God’s direction for marriage, marriage will fail!
Dear God, thank you for the glorious gift of marriage. Graciously bless and protect all marriages. Help Christian men to obey you and be sacrificial towards their wives. Help Christian women to obey you and be willingly submissive. Graciously help your people to glorify You in their marriages for Christ sake. Amen.