Gen 2:24 says that a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife & they shall be one. This infers that marriage happens when two adults decide to marry, and in extension when both families consent! No pastor here. Simple. And whatever it is that the families require for the marriage to be initiated and be valid(tradition) is respected by God as long as it doesn’t negate His word.
If they ask for a goat, you must provide a goat to be married. That’s it.
When Abraham sought for a wife for Isaac, he instructed his servant to go with precious things to give to the family. That was the tradition. Jacob worked for Laban for seven years! That was the requirement. These are traditions. There is no place in the Bible that posits the compulsory presence of a priest for a marriage to be valid before God. Jesus attends a wedding in Cana and it consisted of a family party. It wasn’t a white/church wedding. It was a Jewish traditional wedding. Marriage has always been an agreement recognized and stamped by the families involved for the man and woman to live together. But as times evolved, people have tried to finesse the idea of marriage initiation.
In fact, the Catholic church didn’t require marriages to be officiated by a priest until 1563, and the Anglican Church did not associate with officiating marriages till 1753. Hence, the idea of priest officiating marriages is a human concept. Is it wrong? NO! In today’s world, marriage is a threefold affair: legal, religious and social(traditional), but gleaning from the scriptures, social(TRADITIONAL) marriage was the most prevalent. Let’s not get it mixed up. For the longest time, marriage had little to do with religion.
I have ransacked the gospel and there’s barely a scripture that explicitly speaks on any of the apostles or prophets initiating marriage. How many marriages did Paul initiate? He spoke authoritatively on marital issues, but we have no example of marriages he joined. Why?
No matter how many pastors join a couple, they are not recognized as couples unless there is legal(civil marriage) Why? The church needs to have authority from the court to issue valid certificates. You cannot apply for spousal visa based off on any priestly marriage initiation. This authenticates my case. For me, it’s first traditional marriage(this is actually all you need), then civil marriage, and white wedding. However, sex after traditional marriage IS NOT A SIN. Should you wait? Please, this is your choice and that of your church’s dogma. If you belong to a church where they believe that you shouldn’t consummate the marriage till white wedding, by all means, please obey. However, that is sentimental and not biblical. It’s dogmatic and not doctrinal.
There’s also an argument that the need for white wedding is to invite God into the marriage. This is a flawed perspective, because this infers that all the marriages before the invention of the white wedding didn’t have God in them? Lol. White wedding is western culture. It is their own tradition that originated in Britain in 1840 when Queen Victoria wore a white lace dress to her wedding to Prince Albert. This practice was sold to Africa through imperialism and was adopted as a Christian idea.
I would have loved to distinguish white wedding from church wedding, but most churches still follow the tenets of the white wedding, so it’s still what it is — European traditional marriage. How many churches can let the bride wear a black gown? Few or none. That proves that as much as some of you might want to tell me that white wedding is different from church wedding, churches still honor the European practice. The white wedding dress was just Victoria’s choice, but we are stuck to it, terrible, I daresay.
I am not against white wedding. I’ll have one. But let’s be informed and not romanticize European tradition as sacrosanct Christian doctrine. I believe that as a matter of association, we can celebrate our marriage with church, but it is ceremonial. The main marriage was traditional. Well, since we are a community as Christians, so it’s fine to share our joy. It’s fine to have a communal sense of living, but let’s not blur lines. Again, no pastor ‘joins’ couples if they haven’t done the traditional rites. Why? It is known. Marriage is by tradition! If marriage is by tradition, what then is a godly marriage? A godly marriage isn’t necessarily one joined by a pastor. It is one that glorifies Jesus and typifies the love between Christ and His church. Simple. Being joined by the pope doesn’t just make your marriage godly. Nah.
Many people don’t do white wedding and that is fine! By reason of association, they can invite a pastor to pray for them, but no pastor actually JOINS people into marriage. Lastly, do what pleases you and obey your church dogma. It might be needed for procedure. Selah.
Written by Solomon Buchi