Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Life Lessons from Bilical Characters: Abram

Have you ever wondered where some of our traditions come from?  Many of them come right from God's Word!

For my (Brian and my- couldn't get married without him!) wedding, we wanted to come up with something to fill in the space/time while people were being seated before the wedding began.  The teacher side of me wanted my students (most of whom were present that day) to learn something about a Christ centered marriage and hopefully it would stay with them as they moved on in life.  We found a series of "fun facts" about weddings, the ceremony, and the reason for many of the wedding traditions in a pamphlet put out by Bill Gothard and The Institute of Basic Life Principles.  One of the facts was about the significance of the bride walking down the aisle to the groom.

This is something that began back in Genesis 15 (the whole chapter if you would like to read it for yourself) when God made a covenant with Abram. The last two weeks we have looked at the actual promises that God made to Abram.  In today's portion we will see the ritual that was done in order to solidify and forever bind God and Abram in this covenant.

God listed some very specific animals that Abram was supposed to sacrifice and then cut into two equal halves.  The halves were then to be lined up to make an "aisle" of sorts.  After God made a series of promises to Abram (all of which He kept), a flaming torch (possibly God Himself) passed between the pieces (or went down the aisle).

Marriage is something so sacred, so precious, and we begin the ceremony itself in a way that God used to create a covenant between Him and Abram and the nation that would come from Abram.  Yet, so many times we hear people speak so flippantly about the relationship they have with their husband/wife, the "torture" that marriage is to them, and the way they demean their spouse in private and public. 

I certainly do not have a naive outlook on the world either.  I realize that a marriage is made up of two imperfect people becoming one flesh, of one mind, and one family unit and turmoil is just a side affect of joining the two.  However, if a marriage is begun with the blessings of God upon it and, I believe, the blessing of one's parents, then those little (and sometimes big) storms will blow over and the two will be made stronger by it.

When we walked down that aisle, ladies, we were committing ourselves, in a time old tradition with a biblical origin, to God and our husbands.  May we recommit to them both on a daily basis.

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