Weddings are very important

Thursday, 14th August 2014: Last weekend, I missed the wedding of two great young people—Caleb Tembo and Ruth Daka. The wedding took place at Christ Envoy Church and was conducted by Pastor Cholwe. Sadly, my work took me elsewhere.
One reason for my regret is that I would have loved to see the pride on the faces of the parents on both sides. Weddings are one moment all parents wait for. This is true of parents in cities as well as parents in villages. All parents long for their children’s wedding day.
I think of the many young people that have missed the opportunity to give their parents such a moment of pride and it brings sorry to my own heart. They begin to live together after falling in love. In fact, they do not even know when they started living together.
Usually, the first item to move is the toothbrush because the guy or the girl find themselves waking up in the friend’s home and need to get to work or school straight from there. Then the next item to move is a pair of shoes, and before long half the wardrobe.
Then from spending one night a week in the same bed, it becomes twice a week, and then it is every other night. Finally, it is every night. In the end, no one is really sure when this “marriage” began—not even the two people themselves. That is terrible!
Sometimes the marriage starts because the young lady is impregnated and so the family quickly hands her over to the culprit behind the pregnancy. All the aspirations of the parents are dashed by one act of indiscretion in a moment of uncontrolled passion.
Where arm-twisting tactics are employed and a wedding is finally held, one cannot help noticing the embarrassment on the faces of the parents and the diplomacy in speeches as people avoid saying what is really on their hearts. That is not how it was meant to be.
No one lives for himself alone. No man is an island. No one fell from heaven. We are all born into families. Our parents nursed us, fed us, clothed us, educated us, etc. It is the height of selfishness and ingratitude, now that we have grown up, to marry ourselves off.
How can we start claiming that it is none of their business what choices we make? Surely, those who have spent so much in bringing us to where we are should be given first place in our thoughts as we make decisions regarding our sexuality and marriage.
Yet, a wedding is not just important because it makes parents proud. It is also vital because an institution as important as marriage—which is going to last an entire lifetime—needs to be publicly and joyfully acknowledged at the point of its inception.
The independence of a nation, the opening of a new bank, the commencement of a new pastorate in a church, etc., all start with a public and joyful occasion. Yet none of these events—as important as they might be—are as decisive as the start of a new home.
Such important events need a very conspicuous start because every year you want to have an anniversary to thank God for bringing you this far and take stock of where you are. Sadly, where toothbrushes and shoes moved first, no one knows the anniversary date.
Should the anniversary date be the one when the toothbrush moved or when the shoes moved? Should it be when the guy started spending two or three nights a week at the girl’s place? Should it be when they charged him “damages”? Can you see the confusion?
In case anyone still doubts the vital place of weddings in the unfolding drama of life on earth, all one needs is to note that the first miracle that Jesus ever performed on earth was at a wedding ceremony (see John 2). Surely, that was not a mere coincidence.
Also, the last event when Jesus comes again will be a wedding ceremony, when he gets publicly joined to his bride, the church (see Revelation 19). So, everyone must determine to enter marriage through the wedding door. Caleb and Ruth, you’ve done us proud!
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