the old rugged vows

Happy 2017! It’s been so long since I last posted and 3.5 months of 2017 have already flown by. Since last time (October) —

  1. Peak was terrible, but I’ve never been more thankful for the work clique (:
  2. There’s still been quite a lot of work to do post-peak, which sadly means my reading has been at an all-time low :( Something about being brain-dead and eye-exhausted after work means I’m far more willing to watch a drama than to put in effort to read a good book, sigh.
  3. I’m only a chapter in to Fleming Rutledge (a super cool name, btw)’s The Crucifixion but it’s proving to be even more rich and beautiful than reviewers, or even Christianity Today’s book-of-the-year-award, say it is.

Anyway, it’s 4.5 months to 29 July 2017 (#tanwansher) and I often have to remind myself to think more deeply about marriage than about the wedding. I didn’t think I would have this problem —the beauty of Christian teaching on marriage/singlehood has always been one of the faith’s most powerful apologetics (personally), and with recent cultural shifts re: sexuality, I spent a lot of time in uni thinking through these issues— but it’s so easy to get caught up with settling/coordinating all the minute details. And, well, friends don’t tend to ask you about your marriage philosophy as much as they do about your wedding theme.

I’m glad I came across this article by Russell Moore on why he does not officiate weddings for couples who write their own vows. It boils down to this:

And when a couple writes his or her own vows, or when a couple together writes their own vows, what’s happening is that couple is suggesting somehow that their vows are unique. The vows are not unique; as a matter of fact, as a friend of mine who is a pastor puts it often, what makes the wedding, any particular wedding, significant is not what makes it different from every other wedding but what makes it the same.

Marriage is not about celebrating our individuality or grand love story; it’s about entering an institution created by God to glorify Him through reflecting Christ. Marriage is a path that has been walked, sprinted, crawled upon by multitudes wiser than we will ever be and who have lived through the things Moore mentions that we can hardly imagine —Alzheimer’s, cancer, dead babies, dying children, grave sin. The guests are not there to party; they are there to witness, to hold us accountable, to hold us when we cannot hold on, because marriage is serious and marriage is hard and marriage is big enough that it matters.

When I find myself buying yet another Taobao wedding accessory or enviously scrolling through Pinterest, I recall this piece and also the theme verse we picked:

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

I pray Habakkuk’s God-centeredness will permeate our wedding planning process, the wedding itself, our marriage, and our hearts; and may all who witness the day see His glory.

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