Dick Hunt's Blog

December 10, 2012

And We Made Those Promises?

Filed under: Current — Tags: — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 2:40 pm

And We Made Those Promises?
by Dick Hunt, Monday, December 12th, 2012.

About 52 years ago, in a Church in Alberta, I officiated at a wedding for a couple, the bridegroom’s Father of whom had been split up for some time, and living common law with another woman. But they had come to the wedding and sat awkwardly in the front pew on the right for the service. Their neighbours were all there and knew that the Father was living with a woman in a distant town. Common law relationships were uncommon in those days. They heard clearly in the service the words; ‘I (Name) take thee (Name)’ to be my wedded wife – wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth (i.e. promise before God.)

Following the service, the groom’s parents stayed behind and asked me if that was the same wedding service that had been used at their wedding. I asked them where they were married and we established that the service was indeed the same. And the man asked, ‘and we made those promises?’ I said, yes, you did. He said, ‘we didn’t know we made those promises!’ They asked if they could come to our home and go through the service with them.They had apparently not been counselled before the service when they were married. The happy result was that they came together again in a happy marriage. The woman who had split them up had stalked Vic as he drove his tractor in the field and had led him to being unfaithful to his wife. He was just one of her victims in that Community. I knew the couple well and the wife had asked me for my help.

There was another factor involved too for the best man and his wife, who were the attendants. At the preparation time the night before, they had revealed to me that at their civil marriage “the service was very thin and they felt cheated”. There we no prayers, no binding promises, no mention of God, no hint of a long and binding commitment. I asked them if, at the wedding the next day, they would like me to include them in the prayers for blessing from God and they warmly agreed they would like that. So we did and they were happy to ask God into their lives.

Vic and Faye came to our home before the reception and we went through the marriage service so they fully understood what they had promised. The community in which they lived rejoiced with them as did the Bride and Groom. I always insisted that couples spend as much time with me as could be arranged so we could look at all aspects of married life, the promises that they would make, the planning for budgeting and decision making, taking into consideration the guidance of God and the fact that we all belong to Him and need to give Him the honor due unto His Name and to seek his guidance for our life together. I often told couples that their education really started when their children were born and they would require great wisdom from God in the raising of them. Unfortunately, many couples decide now not to be ‘encumbered with Children’ and so miss the blessings of having family members around them, ‘even to the third and fourth generation.’ We need to learn that God wants to bless us and does not want anyone to suffer, but only to come to Him freely, so that He can give us happiness beyond our greatest dreams, for this life and the life to come. It is for this, that He has given us freedom. He is not looking for robots.

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