“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.…” (Revelation 22:17a)
“Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death…Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.” (Song of Solomon 8:6, 7)
I would like to emphasize three major thoughts about the sacredness of a Christian wedding, and all have to do with what the institution of marriage represents.
The Importance of Staying Pure: The Ceremony Symbols and What They Mean
by Candace Schaap
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Before I discuss the symbols, let me say this: no guy wants to marry a girl who is impure. Young men may fool around themselves before marriage, but when it comes time to settling down, they generally search for a pure girl. In this day and age, that is becoming somewhat of a rarity; nevertheless, it’s a fact. Every man wants to think he is the first and the one and only to have been with her intimately. It is both a pride and an ego thing. He cannot handle thinking that his wife might ever think about another man when she is with him. Most men simply don’t have the confidence in themselves to battle her mental images of an old flame. So if you want a good guy, keep yourself pure!
Unfortunately, I’m afraid that it is merely the traditions that are passed but seldom the meaning behind the traditions. Let’s take a look at why we do some of the things we do and remember, our body is the temple of God. You will see from the Scripture that many of the symbols come directly from the requirements God ordained for the original temple of the Old Testament. The man represents the high priest of the Old Testament. The woman’s body represents the temple. Bearing this in mind will help you to understand why certain symbols apply more to one gender than to the other.
• The exchange of gold rings symbolizes fidelity and a binding of hearts to one another. Gold is one of the most precious metal known to man. The ring is hard and unbreakable. It is a perfect circle and thus represents a never-ending, eternal commitment. We wear it on the third finger of our left hand. Why? It was believed that the vein in the third finger ran directly to the heart, so the wearing of the rings on that finger joined the couple’s hearts and destinies. Because of the hand heart connection, that vein was named Vena amori, Latin for “the vein of love.” (Feminists today are purposely wearing their ring on their right hand to symbolize commitment to no one but themselves.)
The Two Most Important Symbols I have saved what I believe are the two most important symbols for last. These are:
• The kiss. It symbolizes the sealing of a legal contract or bond. The kiss is also a symbol of commitment, which is why it is so important that a person not kiss before marriage. When a girl kisses many guys before marriage, she is making a mockery of a most holy contract. That is why Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. His was a hypocritical act that took the sacred symbol of commitment and turned it into an appalling act of betrayal. When a girl kisses before marriage, she is doing the same. She is betraying her own commitment to her future husband.
Just a thought for getting the job done daily – I call it ROPEF. In Ezra 3:4 They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required. Notice this ending phrase, as the duty of every day required. It made me think about the fact that everyday God has given us is a day to be profitable for the cause of Christ. Oh we may spend a day in rest because we need the rest. We may spend a day in fun because we need the time with friends and family but no day should be wasted. Every day has a duty that essential to be accomplished. To accomplish the duty of everyday I use ROPEF to help me. My wife was the first I saw personally to use the system but I am sure in those early days of marriage she did not call it ROPEF.
Proverbs 24:3 “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:”
For many years while rearing our daughters, I was consumed with the first part of this verse – through wisdom is a house builded. I wanted God’s wisdom to rear my girls so that they would turn out for good and for God. I listened intently to preaching and teaching on biblical childrearing principles. My wife and I read books on child rearing. We studied the scriptures ourselves for childrearing principles, and we discussed them together often.
- Vomit on God. Psalms 142. The Bible says pour out your complaint to God. Tell Him all of your hurts, your pains, your anger, your hatred, your sorrow, whatever it is that torments your thoughts and emotions. Buried feelings never die; they always come back to haunt you. So get them out of your system and vent on God. This is the easy part. The key is, don’t hold anything back. You do this, not for God’s sake, but for yours. He knows what is there, but you have to unload it if you want victory. He cannot do that for you.
Confess known sin. I John 1:9. When we have been unjustly treated, we do not feel there is anything for us to confess. We excuse ourselves from responsibility. But we are responsible for the emotions the pain has caused us and for the lack of trust that it has brought us to as a result. Whatever you vomited on God in point #1, recognize the negative emotions the pain caused and confess them. Hatred, bitterness, jealousy, anger, cynicism, distrust, skepticism, worry, anxiety, depression, disbelief- none of those emotions are from God. They are negative emotions that torment our hearts. Do not justify them! Let them go!
I am excited that we now have the ability to provide individual song downloads. For years we have considered a favorites CD which would be a compilation of all of our favorite songs. This new singles download opportunity allows everyone to create their own favorites CD. It has been amazing and a blessing how different songs from a single cd will be a blessing to different people. Some songs seem to be favorites of many, and other songs appeal to a particular person often because of a particular emotion or need. Select yours and enjoy your new Hooker family favorites CD. Thanks for listening to and supporting our music ministry.
If there is a specific song that you would like that is not yet available, please let us know.
Kindle or rekindle the romance in your marriage!
Author Gregory Godek once said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing!” And this book not only gives great ideas how to “play,” but zeroes in on helping the husband and the wife to understand what makes each other tick. This 150+ page book contains a wealth of wisdom along with fun and practical ways to ignite or reignite passion in marriage and no couple should be without it. Truly a wise investment in the future, it is sure to reap huge dividends if its words are heeded.
Excellent as a bridal shower gift or a Valentine’s Day surprise, this special won’t last forever. So…
Don’t delay! For only $10, you can get your copy today!
Romance in Marriage
SPECIAL: Purchase the book Romance in Marriage anytime during the month of February and get a copy of the CD Romantic Moods for the incredibly low price of $5. Let the sounds of nature that comprise this CD soothe and relax you as you unwind to its 22 instrumental love songs, sure to put you in the mood for love.
Romance in Marriage and Romantic Moods February Bundle