Can you believe that some people don’t want children at their wedding? Supporters tout the fact that it is the bride’s day and she should have it the way she wants. Really? I believe this idea is the result of too many years of down playing the role of faith and focusing on selfish “needs.”
Let me explain. Marriage used to be between a man, a woman and God. Consummation of the marriage vow was… you know… the marriage act. I am assuming you know what I mean by the marriage act. I’m not talking about sex. Well, I am, but in a spiritual way. The marriage act is the total giving to, and trusting in your partner. One way this trust between husband, wife and God can be seen, is through the creation of children. This is the true purpose of sexual union; love, with the potential to create life.
Today, however, we don’t even know if a woman should marry a man, another woman or (I wanted to select a clever gender identity here, but one of the lists was -58- entries long!). For many, God is not even a consideration. Sex has been reduced to recreation. Procreation is demonized; it is equal to or worse than sexually transmitted diseases.
Marriage has become merely a promise between two flawed people without the help of a perfect loving God to be their strength when they have none. The focus has shifted from the importance of the vows to the importance of the venue. The wedding dress is no longer white, to symbolize the bride’s purity and that she is giving the beauty of herself to her spouse. Now it is white, or ivory, or peach, or whatever color the bride feels will make her look the most beautiful. Let me give an example. While watching Say Yes to the Dress, one bride commented about her wedding day. She said, “The dress was the best part of the day.” How sad for the groom. Her focus had become self-centered instead of spouse-centered.
Oh well, without God, why not. Get the best of everything money can buy. Do what it takes to get the right venue. Book a band, if that is more perfect than a DJ. Make sure the food and fun makes the bride look as if she knows how to throw a great party. For examples of this idea, check out Four Weddings. Four brides compete to win a honeymoon. Their focus is all about the stuff surrounding the wedding, which turns the entire day into a shallow, materialistic kind of event. Ultimately, if perfection does not include crying babies in the pews, then don’t invite children. Without God, it doesn’t matter if you hurt someone’s feelings, because it’s the bride’s day.
On one hand, I’m sure there are some compelling reasons for not wanting children at the wedding. On the other hand, perhaps imperfection adds depth and meaning to the wedding day. Maybe the bride didn’t hear anything during the ceremony, because she was totally focused on the life she was about to begin. Watching the recording of the wedding, she is surprised to hear the innocent cries of her (insert sister’s, cousin’s, friend’s) baby. She now recalls details from the day that she wouldn’t have remembered otherwise. Or, what if she had heard the baby. For the first time, while holding hands with her new husband, she thought, “I think our love is strong enough to take on the challenges and surprises that children bring.” Maybe the young mother comes up to the bride later, to apologize for the crying. The bride has an opportunity to strength or weaken her relationship with this person, depending on how she responds.
So many possible; unknown outcomes. Yet, we can only make choices based on the knowledge we have. Too often today, that knowledge is based on self-importance over everyone else. Hopefully, when selfish decisions back us into a corner, there will be someone to pull us out, regardless of the danger to himself.