If the bride doesn't vow obedience, it's no Christian wedding...

Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from the camel. She said to the servant, “Who is that man walking in the field to meet us?” And the servant said, “He is my master.” Then she took her veil and covered herself. (Genesis 24:64, 65)

(Tim) The June wedding rush is over and December's secondary wave is still a few months off. So in the peace and quiet of August, here's a modest proposal.

When you officiate at a wedding, be Biblical and tell each bride and groom that you require the bride to submit to God, His Word, and His Creation Order by vowing to obey her husband--just as everyone requires the husband to vow to love his wife.

Explain to the couple that this has been the habit for a thousand years of Christian wedding liturgies; that it can be traced all the way back to Rebekah alighting from her mount and veiling herself when she approached Isaac, out in the fields; and that the modern repudiation of womanly submission is rebellion against God.

Inform each couple that your ordination vows prohibit complicity in rebellion against God's Word in any way, and therefore you must lead wedding ceremonies within the straight and narrow path God has ordained. So if you are to officiate at their giving and receiving of vows, those vows will include an explicit vow by the bride to obey her husband, and an explicit vow by the groom to love his wife.

And if you're not a pastor, what then?

You may be a father of the groom or bride. If so, exercise your paternal authority by requiring this minimal commitment to God's Creation Order of your daughter. Or tell your son he must require it of his future wife, if he's to marry her.

You may be an elder. If so, exercise your ecclesiastical authority by requiring this simple Biblical commitment in every wedding of your congregation.

You may be a relative or friend of the groom or bride, or their parents. If so, listen carefully for that simple vow of womanly submission at each wedding you attend. If it's there, commend the bride and groom--and especially their faithful shepherd. If it's not there, find an opportunity to inform the pastor that his wedding wasn't Christian in that it failed to include that one foundational commitment of the bride that is found throughout Scripture and church history; that one foundational commitment that Satan and all his minions are focusing their attack on, today.

Seriously?

You bet. Shepherds officiating at weddings prove themselves good shepherds by giving their lives up for their sheep. A pastor who facilitates a Christian bride refusing to join the great cloud of witnesses in vowing obedience to her husband is unfaithful in his work and has presided over an unbiblical, and therefore, non-Christian wedding. Christ and His Bride without her submission is not Christ and His Bride. A man and his wife without submission is not a man and his wife. It's only a person and his best friend. It's evangelical. It's the norm. It's clean. It's unobjectionable. It's boring. And therefore, it's not Christian.

True Christianity is never boring.

It's likely the pastor, groom, and bride are oblivious to their unfaithfulness. But that's where you come in.

Instead of bearing the shame of silence, help the poor souls. Tell the pastor his duty. Explain to him the Order of Creation. Be godly and rain on his parade.

* * *

After posting, it occurred to me every Reformed denomination ought to amend their constitution to require all weddings within her doctrinal fellowship to include the bridegroom vowing to love his wife and the bride vowing to obey her husband. Think of how many hip churches and pastors would have their heresy forced out into the open for all to see.

No question about it: this would be a most salutary change. And who would deny that every last one of the Westminster Divines, if he were able, would voice his hearty approval?

Comments

This makes sense. Unless of course you pulled this on the couple when they weren't expecting it. The reality is that most people don't have a biblical understanding of what marriage and weddings are. And this training needs to happen before couples make it to the alter.

So this is nice and controversial but most congregants would have to see this in practice by their church before they would understand it's reality.

I'm afraid you aren't educated anyway because of your views but notice the spelling error in the title, please.

[NOTE FROM TIM: Thanks, Sam; I fixd it.]

God calls wives to 'submit'. Is there any difference between submission and obedience?

I can't remember, was it God or Paul who told women to submit to their husbands? I know it wasn't Jesus. Sometimes when I read this blog, I forget who it is we're supposed to be following. Then I remember it's the Bayly brothers, they'll tell us what's Christian or not!

'But you are not to be called "Rabbi," for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth "father," for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called "teacher," for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.'

Micah said, "I can't remember, was it God or Paul who told women to submit to their husbands? I know it wasn't Jesus."

Great Scott! Are you a madman?

>>I can't remember, was it God or Paul who told women to submit to their husbands?

Dear micah,

Let me please ask you to take your own advice and humble yourself before speaking so rashly. I won't waste my breath defending that Paul's writings as Scripture (not to mention your own need to submit to it and its teaching) , but I will call you on the carpet for slandering faithful pastors, without evidence no less.

Love,
Michael

>>Let me please ask you to take your own advice and humble yourself

Michael,
That's not my own advice, that a quote from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Word Incarnate, our one Teacher. I think it's pretty indicative of His overall message that we are not supposed to submit to human authority (or look to other humans for spiritual teaching). From the fact that you are unfamiliar with it, I guess I'm not the only person that gets confused about Who we're supposed to be following when they read this blog!

Love,
Micah

>>I think it's pretty indicative of His overall message that we are not supposed to submit to human authority (or look to other humans for spiritual teaching).

Dear Micah,

On the contrary, God's command all through Scripture is that we submit to every authority he has ordained, and since you refuse, you stand condemned: "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves" (Romans 13:1, 2).

And within the church: "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17).

The Apostle Paul commanded Titus: "These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you" (Titus 2:15).

Thus...

Don't post rebellion against God here again. Not once. And if you try, submitting to God and exercising the authority He has delegated to me, here, I won't be disregarded.

Because of my love for Him and you,

If we are commanded to obey our leaders, as authority, then what do you do when rulers command you to officiate at a gay union?

You obey them, of course. There is no picking and choosing here. Obey your authorities.

Janine said:
"If we are commanded to obey our leaders, as authority, then what do you do when rulers command you to officiate at a gay union?

You obey them, of course. There is no picking and choosing here. Obey your authorities."

But not if what the authorities are requiring is sin.

Acts 5:29.

Nancy

Boy, this one brought people out of the woodwork. (good job!)

Regarding obeying government, I don't seem to remember hearing about any of the apostles obeying Roman authorities when commanded to worship Caesar. Romans 13 is not a mandate for believers to fall into apostasy and heresy when that is desired by the king.

And to the original post, good point; if the wedding/marriage does not pay homage to (model) the image of Christ as husband of the Church--and the church's submission to Him--it is arguably not Christian.

The Scriptures tell women to submit. It doesn't say, "submit unless you are being asked to sin."

The Scriptures say you should obey authority. It doesn't say, "Obey unless you are being asked to sin."

Janice, do you hate your parents? Aren't you commanded to? (using your peculiar hermeneutic)

Obey authority. If authority tells you to conduct gay marriages, there is no way out. Scripture says to obey your authority, not only those authorities you approve of.

"Obey authority. If authority tells you to conduct gay marriages, there is no way out. Scripture says to obey your authority, not only those authorities you approve of."

Janine, please read Acts 5:17-42, (noting as you read verse 29).

Nancy

>>Obey authority. If authority tells you to conduct gay marriages, there is no way out. Scripture says to obey your authority, not only those authorities you approve of.

Janine, be quiet. If you're going to participate, make an argument and allow others to respond. Don't taunt. Particularly when your taunts are on the level of nanny-nanny poo poo.

Some questions for those who would say "obey government" no matter what beyond the one I posed:

1. Did Shadrach, Mechach, and Abednego obey Nebuchadnezzar's sinful order?

2. Did Daniel?

3. Did Lot release his guests when a majority of his neighbors said to?

4. Did Elijah obey Ahab in his sinful orders?

I only follow the Lord's commandments, and Scriptures say to follow authority, not to follow Daniel or Elijah.

Would our good readers please not respond to Janine's comment, above? I've sent her a private e-mail and would like that to be the end of the matter. Thanks for your understanding.

With love,

Verse 29

But Peter and the apostles answered, “aWe must obey God rather than men.

Is the person who started this thread not a mere MAN? I guess he can't judge what's Christian and what is not because he's just a MAN. And if we are not supposed to obey MEN, I guess we shouldn't obey our husbands either!!

All these books in the Bible are written by humans that are not Jesus. Why didn't the council that created the Bible include something actually written BY Jesus, instead of just interpretation passed down by humans from generation to generation?

Dear Leah,

Every man's life is a life of obedience. The only distinction is between those who obey Satan and those who obey the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

When the Apostles answered "we must obey God rather than man," they had received a command from men that, were they to obey, would have placed them in direct rebellion against God. At all other times they not only obeyed those in authority over them, but commanded all Christians to submit to those in authority over them, starting with children obeying their parents and wives obeying their husband. Far from freeing us from submission to authority, God commands it.

Concerning Scripture, every word of the Bible is true. Every last word. 

I'm sorry to read your words because they indicate you are in bondage to your sinful mind and heart despising all authority. May God lead you to repent of rebellion against Him and to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, sent to rescue each of us from our rebellion through faith in Him.

Love,

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