Holy Matrimony, Batman!
OK, so here’s the deal- I’m going to a wedding this weekend, and I figured why not talk about the history of weddings around the world? Most specifically, the vows. Even more specifically, the word “obey”. Let’s look at that word one more time– OBEY. That’s a lot to promise, in my book. I admit, I’ve never been married, but does it really take a ring and a cake to know that promising to obey someone for the rest of your life is not okay? Like, what if your husband tells you that every day for the rest of your life you have to eat a jar of peanut butter, shave his back, and run 12 miles? Girl, please. Ok- so that may be a little far fetched, but even if the demands were less erratic does that still mean that you have to obey them? What if you don’t want to?
According to Allheartweddings.com, the oldest traditional wedding vows can be traced back to the middle ages to the ‘Book of Common Prayer,’ published in 1549. Upon agreement to marry, the Church of England usually offered couples a choice. They could both promise each other to ‘love and cherish’ or alternatively, the groom promises to ‘love, cherish and worship’ while the bride to ‘love, cherish and obey.’ Right- so there was a choice- but why was the word “obey” even factored into the decision making process? On September 12, 1922 the Episcopal Church voted to have the word “obey” removed from the vows permanently. Get it, girl.
Let me backtrack for a second, I’m not at all bashing the institution of marriage, or any churches, for that matter. I’m aware that the times, they are a’chanin. I know that things were different back then, and relationships worked differently. But I just can’t understand who, in this day in age, would opt to leave that word in the ceremony. I know tradition plays an enormous part in religion and marriage ceremonies, but seriously. I don’t think some people are fully thinking through the promises they’re making. I mean, understandably, people get upset when their spouse breaks another vow- but have they always been true to the vow that they will obey? And what impression does that give the children at the ceremony? If they hear a woman pledging to obey a man for the rest of their life, won’t they naturally assume that that’s acceptable?
I guess it’s just something to think about, I’m at the age where more and more of my friends and family are getting married, so it’s basically all I hear about. Weddingsweddingsweddings. Wish me luck!