Preparing for the Ceremony
God and I have been on very shaky terms for quite awhile now. I’d gotten sucked into Fundamentalist Christianity the last few years of my marriage and when I left, I had to refind my faith away from the dogma I was fed there. Between the “mature” women in my church, my pastor, and Nancy, saving my marriage had been put solely on my shoulders. I was told I wasn’t an obedient enough wife. I was told to give more, do more, be more for Bubba so that I could lead him to Christ. If I prayed hard enough and was submissive enough, Bubba would stop treating me so horribly and I would save my marriage and my husband.
I now call Bullshit on that.
I’ve walked away from organized religion and especially from the Southern Baptist church. I want nothing more to do with any Christian who would try to tell me what to do, how to believe, or that I’m wrong if I don’t believe exactly as I do.
So there is our dilemma. Who do we get to marry us? I had the brilliant idea to have Elrick become ordained online to perform the ceremony. Treun and I discussed it and ultimately Treun preferred someone who was older and an actual preacher. This took me by surprise because Treun is in a similar situation regarding organized religion. He doesn’t come from the spiritual abuse background that I do, but he’s very leery of organized religion none-the-less.
Since Treun works with three men who happen to be preachers, he asked among them to see if any of them were available that day and willing to marry us. I did tell him that they needed to understand that I would have absolute say over what was and wasn’t said in our ceremony. I wanted a copy of the entire ceremony that I could red-pen. If the man was ok with my changes, then he could marry us.
As it turns out only one of the men was going to be available that day. Treun explained a bit about my background to him and he agreed to let me have the chance to look over the ceremony and tell him what I thought but he couldn’t promise to take God out of it altogether because he’s a preacher. I was fine with it being a bit about God, but I didn’t want it outright about God because I didn’t want to go through a PTSD panic attack in the middle of my wedding.
Treun emailed the details of the sermon to me and I printed them off at work. During lunch I read over it and got busy with my pen. “Love, honor, and obey…” NOPE! Scratch out that “obey” cause that ain’t gonna happen. Asking who gives me away? NOPE! Scratch that part out because I belong to no one so no one can “give me away” to anyone else. “Submit to husband” AH, HELL NO!
I also changed the Scripture verses that the preacher had chosen. I wanted Song of Solomon 2:10-13
My beloved spoke and said to me,
“Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, come with me.
11 See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.”
and Colossians 3:12-14
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
The preacher agreed to my changes (I will say that I used considerably more diplomatic language). I was still apprehensive but knew that having this man perform the ceremony would make Treun happy, so I was willing to do it for him. I did tell Treun that if the preacher added anything in there that I didn’t like, I’d totally stop the ceremony and correct him. I may have had one or two fantasies about pushing him into the pool if he tried to throw any of that submit or obey crap in there.
I didn’t trust this man but the ceremony was set. I was actually letting a Baptist minister marry us.
We’ll see how this goes.