December 10, 2006

When Two Become One

Yesterday ends the string of weddings I had for the past 6 weeks. I was invited to 5 weddings for 6 weekends. But unfortunately, I did not attend 2 of them, due to tired physical body that threatened to fall apart if I don't rest and sleep.

Of the 3 weddings I attended, the most interesting and different one was D & M's wedding in Sydney. Other than going to Jakarta last year to be a bridesmaid for J, this was the second overseas wedding I have attended. It was d
ifferent in the country, the weather, the venue, the style, the dinner cuisine, the company of friends. Although it was the transition of spring to summer in Sydney and my first time there other than winter time, the weather was 'welcoming' both in the good and bad way. It was super sunny (sunnier than the sunny Singapore) but generally cooling because of the breeze during the day. But at night, a light jacket may be required. The most freaking thing was the freak weather on the morning I arrived there - 9 degree celcius was reported! The mixture of heavy downpour, winds that chill down your spine and sky that rains hail stones instead of water raindrops, made me wonder if it was really approaching summer and made some of us panicked because we did not bring warm clothings... But well, at least I have experienced them :)

Being Chinese, we had the usual traditional tea ceremonies and tease the groom session in the morning. The wedding ceremony was held at lawn of Terry Hills Golf Club in North Sydney. This was the 2nd garden wedding I attended. The 1st being J & R's at the garden of Raffles Hotel Singapore. The setup was simple and nice. The scene was set on green green grass with a blue blue sky and white wooden chairs. A simple flower arch and a signing table. Simple microphone PA system was set up. 100+ guests mostly stood around with only the family sat on the chairs. Although the ceremony order was quite the same as the church ceremony I have attended in Singapore, the feeling was different. At the same time, there were also only a few familiar faces (folks from Singapore). But I don't quite feel foreign... partly because we had been hanging out closely with the couple and M's family for 2 days prior to the wedding day so (at least for me) I felt a bit like I am part of the family. To a certain extent, it is true - we are all part of God's family.

There were only a cozy group of 10 tables for dinner. There were many speeches - the MC, bridesmaid V, best man, father of bride and the mother of groom. It was a 3-course western dinner, unlike the usual 8-10 course chinese dinner. There was a dance floor and live band that sang throughout the night. As it was a small group, most of them ended up gathering around the dance floor and the couple went one round to give their thanks and hugs to their guests and helpers. Other than the unusual wedding day, the rest of my holiday in Sydney and Brisbane was also a good and relaxing one (but sadly, a short one).

The menu and the wedding cake "Croquembouche"

Last weekend, some of us drove up to Malaysia KL for R's wedding. Because we only set off on Saturday morning, we could only make it in time for the wedding dinner. The dinner was held at Grand Plaza Parkroyal Hotel. The hotel is in the midst of all the big shopping malls - Sungei Wang, Lot 10, Times Square. Of course the temptation of shopping was too great to resist! Under great resistance and will power, I only bought a pair of shoes which cost $25 which would have been double the price in Singapore. That was because of the great sale that was at Isetan Lot 10.

About the wedding of R & HL, it was the usual chinese wedding dinner. Food was not too bad but there is great room of improvement of the service of the hotel waiters. R used to be my co-DGL in 2004 for one year before he decided to go back to KL for good. R studied and worked in Singapore for about 10 years. And because he went back to KL, only then he got to meet HL and married her. Glad to see that this godly man of God is now 'taken' and found a pretty and godly woman to take as his wife.

I think the highlight of the evening was not the wedding couple. It was to catch up with old fellow church mates whom I met there and were at the same table. What amused all of us was to see how well J and Cha Cha got along so well that there were playing "bride and groom" walk up and down the corridor! Talk about kids playing, they were really cute! It would be nice to see them really walk down the aisle together, 20 years from now :)

Cha Cha & J

Still on marriage but something different... As I was browsing through old copies of e-Briefing, I came across a series of articles in the September issue (No. 324) last year. It was on wife's submission and husband's headship within a marriage. I was surprised to see that a 4-page article was written on wife's submission and a 2-page article was on the husband's headship.

From "The role of powerful obedience", written by a married woman:
"Within these structures, every Christian person will have the responsibility to submit at one point. So submission is not just for wives - it is for everyone."
This is referring to how submission is not exclusive within the marriage and family context. All of us as Christians are called to submit to Jesus Christ and Jesus in turn, submits to God the Father. Submission is not a weakness but as a good characteristic that every Christian should have.

"Submission is not something that just happens. As a wife, you have to decide to be submissive. You have to be willing to be submissive."
Jesus provides the example to submit. He was never forced to submit to God the Father. He willingly submitted to God's will. Husband cannot force wife to submit. It has to be a conscious and willing decision to submit.

"... there is something about a submissive wife that is incredibly powerful"
Submission does not mean weakness. It takes a lot for modern woman to go against the social norms and her natural instinct to submit.

From "What does headship look like in practice" , written by a married man:
"The husband must be committed both to speaking and listening, and when he supplies those words of leadership, he must be a man who, like Jesus, speaks truth in love"
The author realised that his failure as a husband was the failure to speak and therefore lead. He fails to express his concerns, to make it easy for her to share her feelings and thoughts, to initiate in things that matters to him, his wife and family, to be the man to make decisions.

From "Single-minded Marriage" , written by a single woman:
"When you promise to take someone as your spouse 'for better or worse', its hard to imagine how the 'worse' will not involve some form of unhappiness"
The author tells us of how it is difficult not to be unhappy in a marriage. There will be times of unhappiness in a marriage. If one is not prepared to be unhappy, thinking that marriage is full of happiness, then one should not get married. Marriage involves hard work. From a single woman's perspective, the author assured its readers that it is completely normal to want to marry. At the end of the day, God more concerned about our state of holiness rather than our state of happiness. So marriage should not be sustained on the measure of happiness but rather, it is to ensure that it is kept holy under God's rule.

This means that as a single woman, I should not be tempted to marry a non-Christian, thinking that it is okay as long as I am happy with him. I should consider if it will help in my holy living and if he can help me live a holy and godly life. How is my husband who does not fear God able to help in my holiness??

(I may have diverted from what I originally want to write) To tie it altogether, I thank God for the couples whose weddings that I have attended. Thank God for bringing them together in His timing. I pray that their union will be kept holy, living out their marriage under God's word and rule.

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