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.
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.
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?