Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Struggle

I've read lots of wedding blogs that speak to the issue of changing your name. Do you take his name, do you keep your own, etc.
Though I have wrestled back and forth with whether or not I want to change my name, I mostly struggle with the whole imagery of "giving" the bride away.
Now don't get me wrong, I really want my dad to walk me down the aisle. I think it will be very special to share those few moments with him before everyone else sees me, and I become a wife, however I do not like the idea of being given away.
The whole concept of the ability to be given implies that of an object. It seems an outdated ritual from a time where men ruled, and women were subservient. It seems so counter to the theological idea that I subscribe to which says that both men AND women are created in the image of God. It runs counter to my views that God has created both men AND women to do the work of the LORD, and that the Holy Spirit dwells within each of us.
On top of all my theological reservations with it, I feel it perpetuates a very male dominated view of marriage. The wife is subservient, and the man is in charge. This I believe is not only unbiblical, but runs counter to how my FH and I want our family to operate. We view marriage as a partnership, equal, no one is over the other.
This view is highly influenced by Ephesians 5, which gets a bad reputation because it's so often taken out of context. In reality it says to submit to one another. That husbands are to submit to their wives, but that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Christ loved the church enough to die for her, so really this isn't about one person being below another, it's about mutual submission, and caring for one another enough that you put the other persons value above your own. This only works if it's mutual, and it should be mutual. After all, I believe that's what love is in the first place, giving up your own rights for that of another.
Therefore, I don't want to be "given" away. I belong to no man, and don't ever want to. I want us to have a relationship of mutual submission, of mutual love, a partnership. I think that is truly the only way to reveal the love of God to one another, and the image of God that each of us has with one another.
I haven't really resolved what to do in our wedding yet. I have considered walking down the aisle alone... though I think that would crush my dad's heart. I have considered having both of my parents walk me down the aisle. I've considered having my dad walk me down the aisle to the front row, giving me a kiss and sitting with my mom, and making the final few steps alone.
I'm leaning towards the final one, because I think it's more illustrative of the parent letting go of a child, and watching him/her move on.
I want to move on into a partnership, and I really hope that we can start to get rid of these outdated statements in weddings that only serve to hurt so many things in the long run, including the focus of what our marriage should be, starting a life together as one.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I only have 361 days to plan a wedding

As the title says, there are only 361 days left to plan our wedding. I say only, because this week small groups start, so I know that from here on out my work life will be far busier than it is now (if that is even possible, given the massive amount of hours I've spent the last few weeks.)
Being a female pastor is so much more than what it may seem. I love it, don't get me wrong, it's wonderful and exciting, however, being a woman in and of itself comes with so many tasks that adding full time ministry to it can sometimes be overwhelming at best, and crippling at worst.
In the midst of planning a youth group bake sale, overseeing the small group ministries, planning a sunday school lesson, working on plans for next summer's mission trip, I some how have to plan a wedding.
Wedding planning can be fun and exciting, and it usually is. I sometimes wonder if the busyness of ministry and planning for a wedding, has left us lacking a bit in the "planning for our marriage" department.
It's often said that it is easy to overlook your own spiritual life when you are in ministry, and I am discovering that it's easy to overlook your marriage when you are planning a wedding.
Thus, I am trying to learn to balance things. Last night I took the FH out to the Cheesecake Factory for a nice dinner by candle light and just some time for us to talk. I got dressed up, and did my hair, which hasn't happened in a while. It was great, and something we need to do more often.
Just like I need to cultivate my own journey and relationship with God, and not just prepare for the next church thing, I need to cultivate my own journey and relationship with my FH too.