My good friend Keith Edwards, who blogs at Live Life! International has written an excellent thought-provoking piece on pastors and wedding ceremonies over at Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio called “Getting out of the Marriage Business.” I highly recommend you check it out!
“Husbands and wives should be as two sweet friends, bred under one constellation, tempered by an influence from heaven whereof neither can give any reason, save mercy and providence first made them so, and then made their match; saying, see God hath determined us out of this vast world each for other.”
Daniel Rogers (1573-1652)
“Marriage is honourable in all”, (Heb. 13:4) it being an institution of God, and that of God in paradise; by whom our first parents were directed to it, in a state of purity and innocence; God made the woman for an help meet, and brought her to the man, proposed her to him, whom he approved and accepted of, and she became his wife, (Gen. 2:18, 22-24) it was the Lord’s act and deed, and to him Christ ascribes the act of marriage (Matthew 19:6). Christ honoured it by his presence, and at such a solemnity wrought his first miracle, and manifested forth the glory of his Deity, (John 2:1, 2, 11) and what makes this state yet more honourable is, that the marriage of Adam and Eve was a type and emblem of the conjugal union of Christ and the church, (Eph. 5:32) Adam was a figure or type of Christ, and, among other things, in his marriage; and Eve, the mother of all living, was a type of the church; Adam was first formed, and then Eve; Christ was before the church, and, indeed, before all things; Eve was formed from Adam, from a rib taken out of his side; the church has her original from Christ, and her subsistence by him; all her grace, blessings, and happiness, are from him; her justification and sanctification are from him, signified by the blood and water which sprung from his pierced side. Eve was brought by the Lord to Adam, not against her will, but with it, and by him presented as a proper match for him, which he approved and accepted of; and the church was brought to Christ, and given to him by his Father, to be his spouse and bride, whom he liked, accepted of, and betrothed to himself; and her consent is obtained by the drawings and influences of his Father’s grace: and though this is no direct proof of, yet it has a favourable aspect upon, and may serve to illustrate the “supralapsarian” scheme; that Christ had an interest in his church, and she in him, and was espoused unto him before she fell in Adam; this marriage transaction between Adam and Eve being before the fall. Moreover, marriage is honourable with respect to the ends of it; which even before the fall, and supposing Adam had stood, hereby he would have had an help meet; and the first law of creation would have been carried into execution, increase and multiply; a godly seed, a legitimate offspring would have sprung from hence; families formed and built up, and the world peopled with inhabitants; and since the fall the ends and uses of it are to preserve chastity, to prevent incontinence, and to avoid fornication; as well as to answer the other ends: and particularly this state appears honourable.
– A Body of Practical Divinity – Book 4 Chapter 1 – Of the Respective Duties of Husband and Wife