Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Wedding Vow Blues!
When it came to our wedding day, we kind of balked at tradition. I wore a black dress (Hey! I like to wear black and it is slimming, besides, I don’t believe in good or bad luck charms J), so the expectation had already been set that this wedding was going to be different. I started the wedding off by singing in the balcony and followed it up by walking down the aisle on my father’s arm with a microphone in hand still belting out the love song.
We stood at the altar, my soon to be husband and I, ready to commit our lives to one another. My pastor of 20 plus years was poised, ready to bind us together for all our days. I should have seen the sparkle in his eyes as he started the vows. My husband repeated his vows…he promised to have and hold me from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer for poorer, yada yada yada. You get the idea.
Next up? Yep, it was I. Here is about how it went. Pastor: Darlene repeat after me. I nodded my head and smiled at my almost brand new husband. How exciting! I repeated the above vows and “in sickness and in health, etc. Our pastor continued. Pastor: “I promise to obey…” Huh? I turned my head so fast I nearly got whiplash. Where did that come from? We certainly didn’t practice that at the rehearsal. I was silent. The entire church was silent. I looked at my almost ex-husband and gave his grin an evil smirk and did what any self-respecting woman would do. I crossed every finger and toe I had and painstakingly repeated the last line, with a gleam in my own eye that let both my pastor and my husband know they were both in trouble!
To this day my husband reminds me of my “vows.” I lovingly remind him that I was coerced, tricked and cajoled into saying such treachery…and therefore it does not count! Just the other day my husband “told” me to do something. I smiled at him like the timid, submissive wife I am and told him I was going to do it, not because he told me to, but because it is the right thing to do. He replied, “Then I will pretend you did it because I told you to.”
I really do believe in being submissive to my husband. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. We do have a good laugh about it now and then. On the rare occasion we disagree on something that requires action or a decision I submit to his decision. I believe my husband seeks the will of God for our family and I believe the Bible is clear on the husband being the head of our home. Don’t get me started on obedience though. It and submission are two very different things!
The past two weeks our pastor has been speaking on submission. I don’t know anyone, and I mean anyone who likes to be told what to do. As a whole, the human race is fiercely prideful and self-assured. We like to be right. We like to have things our own way. We let ourselves take offense at anything we consider a slight toward us and our thoughts, opinions and behaviors. As I looked around the congregation at those who were saying “amen” and clapping in approval at the appropriate times, I suppressed a smile because I know the message went against the grain of every person sitting in those hard cold seats! (fyi…on most Sundays the seats are very soft and comfy!)
For the record…I did not clap once nor did I say amen! I admit it. I bristle at the thought of being told what to do. Do I believe the message my pastor preached on those days was heresy? Not at all. He preached the truth. I, along with every other person at church needed to hear those messages. Does it always feel “good” to go against our flesh and walk in the ways our Lord has set for us? No, but it is always worth it.