My wife and I are embarking on a new journey, one that we feel compelled by God to undertake, and would like to know if you and your church family might be interested in what we are proposing to do.
We are offering all of the wisdom and years of experience that we have in the area of helping families grow in the Lord and prosper via what we are calling Faith and Family Seminars and Conferences. These meetings would consist of several days of intense training on the home and family. The lectures would be taught by classroom instruction, power point presentations, and preaching.
Years ago I was running a sports league and ministry for sailors from Great Lakes Naval base when one weekend a boy came down to play who had a really bad attitude and simply would not cooperate with anything that we were trying to do. Because of the type of program we ran, we kept the boys with us the whole weekend. Our family and other families would take the boys into our homes, keep them overnight, providing a sort of home-away-from-home atmosphere, then take them to church on Sunday. We gave them great home cooking and a comfortable place to stay but most of all we tried to show them that we truly cared for and loved them. Virtually all of the boys were very appreciative of our efforts, but this particular weekend this young sailor just did not seem happy at all. Whether it was while playing the sports or in conversation around the table, he would not listen or cooperate. Sunday afternoon I let all the other men go play ball and I asked this fellow to ride with me to the gym. On the way I asked him if he thought it a little unique that a family would bring in sailors to their home like we were doing. He said that it was indeed strange to him. Then he asked, “What’s the catch?”
“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.