For the past two weeks I’ve received multiples of questions where I was asked if it is a must for a Christian to go through church wedding after a traditional marriage?
Firstly, there is no such thing as “traditional marriage,” “court wedding” or “church wedding” in scripture.
What is known in scripture is marriage. The Bible presents us with examples of what the basics are before two people could be said to be married.
In Genesis 24:3; 28:1-2, we read of the accounts of Isaac and Jacob. In these two marriages, the transactions were between the two consenting families.
The one with the charge to raise the child (the parents) or the custodian (guardian or foster parents), are the one scripturally empowered to give out the child in marriage.
Secondly, the wedding in Cana of Galilee where Jesus turned water to wine was a traditional marriage setting.
Marriage is not a three dimensional journeys – traditional, court and then church. These are devised human ideas that societies arrived at as the world evolved.
The moment a girl is given in marriage by her parents, marriage is known to have taken place.
These were the precedences we see in scripture (Adam and Eve, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel).
What God is interested in is consent and witnesses. So who gives the consent?
The bride gives her consent, likewise the parents. Laban gave his consent before Jacob could have Rachel as wife.
In Genesis 2:22, when God brought the woman to Adam, it was to indicate to us that there must be a witness to a marriage.
If I were single and were to get married, I would prefer to go for a marriage where less than thirty people would be in attendance.
The most important thing God looks out for is consent and witnesses.
God was the only witness when Adam and Eve got married. And they both freely consented to the idea.
God does not bless a marriage because a wedding was solemnized in church; he blesses it because marriage in itself was his idea.
Marriage is an adumbration of the mystical relationship between Christ and his church.
When people consent to marriage, they advertently or inadvertently recognize the reality of Christ and the church.
The scripture says that he that finds a wife has found a good thing and has obtained favour from the Lord.
The blessings of the Lord comes on a marriage because marriage in itself is a good thing.
The decision to get married is an act of obedience that honours what the Lord has instituted.
A marriage will continue to attract the blessings of the Lord as long as “love” and “honour” exists as the herald between the couple.
So if you don’t want a church wedding, just ensure there are witnesses from your church at the marriage after your parents have given the consent to it.
God is only interested in consent and witnesses. Don’t elope to do a secret wedding somewhere. Ensure there are witnesses to it and that you’ve got a consent to go ahead.
You don’t need the whole world to attend your marriage. Four people could be witnesses to a marriage.