Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Wedding

I just returned from a wedding in which I was the preacher or officiant if you are proper. The happy couple was Keith and Gina. The bride was a student of mine as was Emily who was the bride in the following story from November of 2006.

I listen to Mike & Mike in the morning on ESPN as I get ready for school. It's one of those sports radio talk shows that have become popular in the last several years. The format is simple- the two talk about sports. One of the Mikes is Mike Golic, a former NFL player. I know nothing about Mike Greenberg, the other half of the duet. It's a good show. They keep it clean and interesting personalities pop up for interviews. Recently, Mike & Mike began running promotional contest, entitled Marriage Madness. The premise is engaged couples competing for the chance to be married live on ESPN Radio. The bigger sports fanatics you are, the better chance of winning. Sixteen couples will be selected, based on entries explaining why they are worthy of the broadcast wedding. There will be eliminations, similar to the NCAA basketball tournament brackets, in which listeners vote for favorite couples. The qualifications for being picked as finalists are these:1. Creativity-25%
2. Sports passion-25%
3. Commitment to each other and this contest-25%
4. Personality of couple-25%
I read the rules; no mention of pre-marital counseling or God. The winning couple gets a free wedding but ESPN sets the date and has final say so over the guest list. They even have the option to cancel the event at their discretion. Mike & Mike will serve as wedding planners for the extravaganza which promises to be the social event of the season for sports radio. I don't believe there is anything morally wrong with this contest but it seems to be following the trend in our society of making everything a joke. It would be nice to have someone pay for a wedding, especially if a couple is not well-to-do, but they are missing the point. The focus in a wedding should be on the couple and their commitment to God and each other, not to the Yankees or Notre Dame. The focus in this media wedding is ratings. Shows like American Idol and The Bachelor encourage viewer participation and involvement in everything from making the next pop sensation to picking a mate. Everything is sensationalized; nothing is understated, subtle, or private anymore.

Emily and Josh came to see me Friday. Emily, one of my former special students, asked if I would perform their wedding. As always, I was honored and accepted the invitation to be part of their big day. Josh lives in New Mexico so I had never met him. Emily brought him by school so she could introduce me to the young man who will be old when they've lived their lives together. She was nervous and wanted my approval. It wasn't hard to give. He seems like a wonderful person and Emily has the highest standards; he passed with flying colors. We talked about the wedding and taking a trip to IHOP to determine their ceremony preferences. There was no talk of contests or favorite teams. The purpose of their vows will be to unite young hearts on the path of service to God and a lifetime walk arm-in-arm with their chosen sweetheart. Friends and family will come to support and affirm Josh and Emily. I would guess the audience will be several hundred loved ones. The ESPN couple will likely have one million listeners tuning in. I wonder if they will hear Paul's counsel that husbands are to "love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her?" Do you think there will be any mention of God's admonition that "a man shall leave his mother and father and be united to his wife?" (I point out to students that it says wife, not girlfriend/main squeeze/significant other.) My prediction is the Marriage Madness wedding will be secular with a heavy dose of commercialism. Emily and Josh's wedding will be very sentimental with a heavy dose of love. Our sports culture is driven by gambling so I close today by handicapping the weddings- always bet on love.

Applicable quote of the day:
"I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury."
Groucho Marx

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at


Jon said...

we won our baseball game 6-3

JKC said...

I have been away for quite a while, but am finally back home. I have missed getting to read your posts.

This one was super!

Doris Plaster said...

Well said: "Everything is sensationalized". How dangerous (and sad) that marriage and relationships are being commercialized and taken as a game. The mass media is sending the wrong message to our youngsters. Clearly, God has been excluded. Our mission as parents, teachers, uncles/aunts, grandparents, is to promote respect, spirituality and integrity. Great post.