You are so old fashioned
“You asked your father in law for his Daughter’s hand in marriage? Why? You are so old fashioned.”
I have been called old fashioned, my views have been deemed by many as out dated, and I am far too traditional according to a number of people, both in and outside of the Church. I find it amusing actually, when one of these allegations is levied against me because I am not really old fashioned…am I? I mean, I use the NIV and not the KJV when I read the bible. I say “you” and not “thou” when I pray. I don’t wear a suit to church – actually I don’t even own a suit. I listen to Contemporary Christian music when I drive. Really though, when I think about the reasons for people saying these things to me, I take it as a sign that God is being glorified in my life.
People really think I am old fashioned when I talk about my view of the family, the roles of the man and woman in a marriage and so on. When I tell people that I asked my father– in–law for his daughters hand in marriage…many eyebrows raise, and that action is usually followed by a question like, ”People still do that?” …more often than not I get a stunned look and a response of, “Really? Why?”
Why? Well, I will tell you why, and my answer is going to biblical and old fashioned 🙂 I admit that the actual conversation was terrifying for me, and probably just as terrifying for him. I told him I would do everything it takes to support and love his daughter. To be honest, I don’t remember much of what I said, but I can assure you that it was more terrifying than any interview I have sat through. He asked many, many questions, and even took notes (probably for my mother in law who likely wanted to know my answers) Even though I was terrified, I must have had the right answers to his questions because, at the end of our “coffee”…none of which I actually drank… he stared at me in silence for what seemed like an eternity to me (and probably for him as well) and asked me the simplest, yet most profound question: “Do you love her?” I said, “Yes.”
As he looked at me with eyes that seemed to penetrate the depths of my soul, I know that he was trying to communicate something far beyond how simple that question sounded. You see, what he understood is that being a father to a daughter is a sacred covenant, just like marriage is a sacred covenant. He made vows before God and the church, to raise her, protect her, guide and lead her. Until her hand was given to a man in marriage, he was accountable for her before God as her spiritual head. By asking me that simple question, “Do you love her?” he was communicating the magnitude of the agreement we had just reached regarding my taking his daughter’s hand – my father-in-law had just made a covenant with me. Essentially the terms of it were like this “Yes you can have my daughters hand in marriage if you will love her as I have loved her. If you don’t keep your word, you are going to have to deal with God and me…” That…right there…that is why I asked for her hand. And let me tell you, as I look at my 2 little girls – I don’t think any man could ever love them as much as I do 🙂 So I know where he was coming from, although I don’t think I really understood how much he loved her at that time.
I also have a hard time believing that my father in law loves his daughter as much as I do now– and of course I say that with my tongue in cheek. What I mean is that the relationship between a Christian husband and wife is one of the most beautiful and powerful ways we can glorify God and bear witness to His name. But sadly, in the past century, we have seen the breakdown of the institution of marriage. Even many Christians now pattern their “marriages” after the world instead of the teaching of Scripture. We see this in “common law” or live-in relationships and so on. Marriage is not just some subjective idea invented by man that can just be changed or modified in any way just to fit our situation. God instituted marriage for our benefit and for His glory.
In Genesis 2 we read of the creation of man and woman. Adam is made first. God looks down on Adam and sees that Adam is alone and needs a helper fit especially for him. God creates a woman from Adam’s rib and brings her to him. Unlike the animals, Eve is the one who is fit to be Adam’s helper. In verse 24 we read that man and woman are to come together in marriage as one flesh. Just as God enters into covenant with His people, He has ordained marriage as a sacred covenant between one man and one woman. Like all other covenants, marriage is directed by God’s commands for His glory, and this glory is shown as husband and wife are faithful to God’s pattern for marriage.
God created marriage to be a living, tangible testament of the loving relationship between Christ and his bride, the church. (Ephesians 5 which i quote in it’s entirety at the end of this post). And so the people that honour this intention best are those that live out the very pattern for marriage that God designed. Here is a quote from john Piper,
“ “You cannot say too often that marriage is a model of Christ and the church.”
… there are at least three reasons:
- It lifts marriage out of sordid sitcom images and gives it the magnificent meaning God meant it to have.
- It gives marriage a solid basis in grace, since Christ obtained and sustains his bride by grace alone.
- It shows that the husband’s headship and the wife’s submission are crucial andcrucified. That is, they are woven into the very meaning of marriage as a display of Christ and the church, but they are both defined by Christ’s self-denying work on the cross so that pride and slavishness are cancelled.
Do you understand that marriage is a sacred covenant ordained by God? Or do you view it too lightly? If you are married, take a moment to think about your marriage vows. Think about the magnitude of the covenant that you have with your spouse, and her father. Now think about the covenant we have with God through our Saviour Jesus Christ. Does your marriage parallel this covenant that Christ has with his bride the Church? Of course it won’t be an exact model, since we are sinful and fallen creatures, but i am doing what I can, in the strength that God provides to uphold the covenant I have with my wife (and her dad).
Does this make me old fashioned and traditional? I guess it does…but that is fine with me.
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed,because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater —has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity,because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy,cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.