Kingdom Marriage 3 - Wedding

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"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother

and be joined to his wife,

and the two shall become one flesh,"

Ephesians 5'31.

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"Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding", John 2'1. The guest list for this wedding in Cana of Gallilee included the wisest choice in history.

But Christ is not "invited" to a Kingdom Wedding-Marriage, as a guest or even as The Guest. It is held in His name! He is the Lord of the wedding and the celebration that follows.

The use of the term "wedding-marriage" in these messages is intended to convey two things:

That "wedding" refers to the ceremony of being joined before the Lord

and "marriage" refers to the life-long union of love and unity.

Like the day of our salvation, a Kingdom Wedding Day is a glorious day. Similarly, it also begins a life of thrilling times, challenging times and times of blessing.

It's a day of love, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit.


GOD'S WORD ON WEDDING

In His answer to a question on divorce Jesus went to Genesis 2'24 for the creation of Kingdom Wedding-Marriage.

Challenging the Pharisees He added a command that defied divorce:

"Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female', and said,

'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh'?

So then, they are no longer two but one flesh.

Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate," Matthew 19'4-6 (quoting Genesis 2'24).

With these words He conveys to Believers several profound understandings and one command:

God is Lord, both in His word and in His Creation.

His marriage involves the male and female He created.

He joins the man and the woman together.

The man is to lead in His marriage.

The couple complete their wedding ceremony by their physical union.

The man and the woman are joined together by God for the rest of their earthly lives.

The command? "What God has joined together, let not man separate"!


WHAT HE HAS JOINED

Exactly what is a Kingdom Wedding? Fundamentally, it's an occasion where a godly man and woman and a godly congregation gather to make a weddding-marriage covenant.

Consequently, it is a different wedding, not the state wedding, or a "church wedding" or a "christian wedding" or a "church-state wedding". It is intentionally a New Covenant wedding.

This is a Kingdom wedding because of His Children's desire to hallow their Father's name, fully acknowledging His authority.

It needs only His "licence" to be married. No other agency is required. No State licence, no legal celebrant, no state-approved minister.

It is a worshipful act, and a "righteousness" - a Kingdom of God occasion in the manner of Romans 14'17-19:

"... the kingdom of God is ... righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men".

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Where is the State in this? Because of Jesus' direction to seek the Kingdom first, honouring the State comes second.

The Kingdom married couple can do this in due time. 


WEDDING ANYWHERE?

Can a Kingdom Wedding-Marriage Ceremony be held anywhere? Should it be held in a particular place? Does the Lord give any guidance about it?

Of course, the "place" that is acceptable to Him is not the physical location. It could be anywhere as long as it is in harmony with the word of Christ. 

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Making a Kingdom Wedding-Marriage Covenant is a Body of Christ celebration event. The setting for needs to be where Believers can meet to witness and agree with the couple in their great life-changing event.

The betrothed couple need to be surrounded and supported by their Brothers and Sisters in Christ, their Parents and their Relatives.

Α-Ω

The Scriptures have more to say:

- God's "place" is where the couple and the people:

"... are gathered together in My name -

I am there in the midst of them," Matthew 18'20.

And it's there He says:

"... whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven," Matthew 10'32.

- God's "place" where Elders oversee the Wedding Ceremony and the Marriage Covenant:

"Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven," Matthew 18'18.

"Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven, Matthew 18'19.

- God's "place" is the Gathering of Believers who agree with the proclamation:

"... what God has joined together, let not man separate," Matthew 19'6.

- God's "place" is where Believers will actively involve themselves in witnessing the couple giving this pledge to each other:

"... I will never leave you nor forsake you'," Hebrews 13'5.

So, the "place" to make godly covenants is a Body of Christ's People, of both or one of them.

This is where Jesus is The Way of wedding, The Truth of wedding, The Life of wedding - and The Lord of wedding and marriage!


AN ORDER OF CEREMONY
Individuals of various backgrounds attend wedding ceremonies and celebrations. Most are unfamiliar with godly wedding ceremonies and celebrations. A good order of ceremony and celebration could help.

However, things such as contributions by guests, spoken, sung or acted or other things could emerge that are likely to tarnish it, spoiling the precious memories of the occasion.

A well thought-out Order of Ceremony and Celebration could present in some simple expectations. Such an order could be something worth keeping.

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There are some things worth considering:

1. Guests. All kinds of individuals attend weddings. There may be Believers who are at various levels of maturity or others with particular beliefs or who do not believe.

Differences should not alter what is said, sung or preached. But as much as possible all present should be able to understand what is spoken although they may not agree with it.

A simple explanation at the beginning, a few brief relevant remarks from time to time or a brief, clear printed explanation in the Order of Ceremony and Celebration could help make "outside" guests feel comfortable.

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2. Words. Humour, in its various forms, can be funny and acceptable. But beware, things can quickly become unfunny, embarrassing, rude or ungodly, etc. And sometimes "humour" can be hurtful, not the least to wives or mothers-in-law.

Words that are unsuitable or irrelevant are found in some songs, hymns or even preached. The couple and other participants could do some sifting in advance so that what is spoken, sung, etc, is clean and acceptable (holy and godly).

Words on a screen that are out of sync with the song being sung due to bad timing. It's essential to success that words appear in time to sing without hesitation. Words out of order or even missed out can produce awkward moments.

And the opportunity to sing godly songs is missed.

Words must be easy to read. Most people feel more comfortable holding a printed sheet of the words of songs, hymns, or any words they are expected to repeat out loud.

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3. Other general things. Sometimes things are included in wedding ceremonies, unintentionally or otherwise, that are out of harmony with Christ.

Such things as superstitions, various traditions, "nice" but unholy worldly customs or lucky/unlucky charms, are thought of as acceptable but are not.

Some "church" traditions, rites and ideas detract from the centrality of Jesus and His Kingdom teachings.

A common one is the idea of the couple having an exclusive first communion together as newly-weds. This completely out of God's order.

Scripturally, communion is a ceremony for the Body of Christ, according to the Lord, because it is especially for remembering the His death and examining ourselves.

It is not a kind of bonding activity for a newly-married couple.

Another point is that it leaves those present just looking on feeling redundant and uncomfortable - both unbelievers and Believers.


MAKING THE COVENANTS

Care is required in the making of Kingdom Covenants because they are about the betrothed couple giving their word to each other.

Gatherings for Kingdom Weddings and Celebrations needs the loving caring ministry of mature Elder-Wife couples.

They can be the joyous yet calming presence for the betrothed couple as well as being witnesses if necessary. Their ministry could be critical in the completion of the Covenants. 

Note. Covenant documents could be partially filled in beforehand in preparation for when the participants step forward to make their contributions. These could be learnt and recited or read aloud.


THE COVENANT DOCUMENTS

There are two covenant documents for the local congregation to provide, the Betrothed Covenant and Wedding-Marriage Covenant.

Because of their calling to shepherd and oversee Christ's People, Elders are crucial in the completion of these Covenants.

And their oversight could be vital in the quality of production because they are part of the covenanting itself and in issuing the document to the couple.

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The Betrothed Covenant can be adapted from the Wedding-Marriage Covenant. Both the Wedding-Marriage Covenant and Betrothed Covenant have the same wording - except in the obvious places.

The couple may want to be involved in the production and printing. They may prefer a particular form such as a frameable document or a scroll, etc.


SAMPLE WEDDING-MARRIAGE COVENANT DOCUMENT

KINGDOM WEDDING-MARRIAGE

of

.....................................................................................................................

who resides at ..................................................................................................

and

.......................................................................................................................

who resides at  ...................................................................................................

♥ ♥

THE WEDDING COVENANT

The Lord tells us:

"... where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them"

and

"... whoever confesses me before men, him I will confess before my Father who is in heaven."

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He says:

"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.

For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'"

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We agree with His words and say: Amen.

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GOD'S COVENANT ASSURANCES

"Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven,

and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven".

- - -

"Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth

concerning anything that they ask,

it will be done for them by My Father in heaven".

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OUR COVENANT CONFESSION

We give ourselves to each other.

We stand here before our heavenly Father, our Parents and the Overseeing Elders to make this covenant in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today we confirm our Betrothed Marriage Covenant and we desire to be joined together in God's Kingdom marriage.

We solemnly confess to each other and ask:

Man to woman: .................... (name), I love you, both in myself and in Christ, and before our heavenly Father, I ask you: Will you be married to me for as long as I live?

Woman: I will.

Woman to man: .................... (name), I love you, both in myself and in Christ, and before our heavenly Father, I ask you: Will you be married to me for as long as I live?.

Man: I will.

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OUR COVENANT OF FAITHFULNESS

From this day onwards I will be bound to you in love until death parts us.

I will never leave you nor forsake you. I will be faithful to you in any and every situation we find ourselves in.

I will treat you as the Lord Jesus wants me to treat you, according to His Word.

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Elders lead the couple in prayer confirming these things. The couple and the Elders make the covenant by agreeing and binding together with them and leading them in a covenant prayer.

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The couple sign to seal their covenant to each other and say:

This is my signature as my seal to the Marriage Covenant we have made this day.

Husband .............................................................................................

Wife ...................................................................................................

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EXCHANGING WEDDING RINGS

As wedding rings are exchanged the couple say to each other:

I give you this ring as a continual reminder of my love and of the day when our heavenly Father joined us together.

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PARENT WITNESS

Signatures as Parent witnesses to the Marriage Covenant made today:

Husband's Parent ...................................................................................

Wife's Parent .........................................................................................

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ELDERS' AGREEMENT AND WITNESS

Signatures as our agreement to the Marriage Covenant we have made this day:

Elder and Wife .............................................................................................................................................

Elder and Wife .............................................................................................................................................

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Covenanted on.......................................................................................................................(day/date/year)

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OVERSEEING ELDERS' PRAYER, DECLARATION AND PRESENTATION

Thanksgiving prayer and blessing of the Covenanted Couple.

Declaration: What God has joined together, let not man separate.

Presentation: "Aquila and Priscilla Hope".