Written by Merit Ogbonna
Hmm, I have a confession to make;
... I hate weddings! Yes I do.
Don't get me wrong, I love the jollof rice, the sallad, the free drinks, the couple entrance, all the fun, glamour, prewedding everything and the preparedness that comes with it, but there is one part of the wedding that I really wish we can delete from the ceremony, one part that contradicts our faith as believers, one part that negates our faith declarations and makes us look like we don't know what we're doing before God, sadly, it is the most important part of the wedding - and that is 'the exchange of marriage vow.'
Let me share with you an encounter I had at a friend's wedding some time ago;
I was at this amazing wedding one day, beautifully decorated auditorium, beautiful couple, bright lights sparkling down the chandeliers on the altar, every guest in white, amazing theme, everything was going so well until it got to the part where the bride and groom stepped up to exchange their vows, hmmm, it felt like God came down to sit beside me on the pew, because the encounter I had that day couldn't have been anything short of God's voice inside my head.
As the Reverend started with the usual 'please repeat after me' marriage vow;
"I Marilyn, take you Sam,
to be my lawfully wedded husband,
To have and to hold,
From this day forward,
For better for WORSE,
for richer for POORER,
in SICKNESS and in health,
In plenty and in LACK,
in joy and in SORROW,
Till death do us part."
Oh father! As the bride was repeating those words the next thing my spirit said to me was
"Merit, as a single person, do you know poverty?
I said no Lord.
" Do you know pain and sorrow?"
I said no Lord, I don't.
"Is sickness not strange to you?"
I said yes Lord, it is.
"Is lack and wants a part of your faith confessions?"
I said no Lord, it isn't.
"Have I allowed you to go through worse before?"
"I said No Lord, you haven't.
" Do you think I will let you experience in marriage what I never permitted you to experience as a single person?"
I said Never Lord, never!
"Then Why then do you come before me on the marriage altar to confess strange things in my presence? Why do you plan to experience in marriage those things you didn't experience as a single person? What do you mean by in sickness, in pain, in sorrow, in lack and in poverty? Are these things the state of affairs in Heaven? Why do you pray for a heaven on earth marriage only to come preparing to experience things that do not exist there?
Hmmmm, this time I had no answer, I was dumb in a trance, I looked at everyone clapping and screaming as the bride finished her recital and it became clear how mumucious we were, it felt like we all came dressed in white without knowing what we are doing, I felt embarrassed, I couldn't reply Him, He is right, we really do not pay attention to the words we exchange as a vow, we just wear fancy suits and pretty dresses to go and contradict the faith we hold as believers.
What sickness are you talking about? The same sickness that is not permitted to be found among you? What poverty and lack when God's sole wish is for us to prosper and be in health? What sorrow are you going to tell God again? When His joy is our strength, when His Joy comes new upon us every morning, so what sorrow are you talking about as a believer?
When you start experiencing lack, sickness and sorrow in your marriage it is still God you will come running to, forgetting it was you who asked for it because black tux and white gown was sweeting you to wear!
You cannot sing 'the Lord shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory' and then match to the marriage altar to go and say 'for poorer and for lacker'...
You cannot sing Ron Kenoly's "righteousness, peace, joy in the Holy Ghost" as a single person and then go and be talking about 'for sorrow and for pain' at the marriage altar.
What other afflictions are you talking about when God has already told you in Exodus 15:26 that His blessings shall be on your food and water and He will take sickness away from you?
If you don't have what to say as a vow just sing this song to each other and carry your wife to your house in peace;
"I pray for you,
You pray for me,
I love you, I need you to survive.
I won't harm you,
With words of my mouth,
I love you, I need you to survive.
It is His will that every need be supplied,
You are important to me,
I need you to survive"
These words alone is stronger than all those sickness and pain you're going to be talking before God.
Com'on Jesus gang, this is a generation where God is revealing Himself to us in full, this is one of the things that sets us apart from the others, that we know the truth and it sets us free, that we understand every word that comes out of our mouth is a declaration, that tradition will never take the place of God's word, we are God's heirs, we carry the book of the law everywhere we go, dare to be different!
You had better start getting used to the protocols in Heaven if you want a Heaven on earth marriage. Don't invite me to your wedding if all you're going there to talk about is sickness and poverty, I am not a witness to sorrow!
I hope someone caught this?