So begins Psalm 45, where the writer is clearly enchanted by the theme of marriage. The wonder and beauty of marriage has been percolating in my mind recently as it is only 4 weeks until I enter unto this noble estate as Cranmer says somewhere.
Well over the next four weeks, apart from counting down the days, I would like to consider where the various activities we usually join in prior to or during the marriage service originate. As I do this, I'd like to consider ways in which we can further glorify Christ in the area of marriage prep and marriage celebrations. I take it, this is what Paul meant when he wrote 2 Corinthians 10:5
My first thing to consider is stag parties. Reading around, it looks like stag parties begun life as a feast put on by close friends of the Groom, the night before his wedding day to say goodbye to his days of being a free man. Not a bad thing you'd think but on further reading it looks like implicit in this notion of being a "free man" was the idea that bachelorhood was a time of irresponsibility (when immature and sometimes immoral behaviour was permitted). Unsurprisingly today's stag parties dwell on this notion with frequent reports of stag parties involving risqué elements such as strippers or the groom being stripped and tied to lampposts in the dead of night.
In a sense, this is where a God-opposed world would like soon-to-be husbands to end up - debauched and abandoned. It is the kind of treatment that Judas purposed for the most excellent of men when he betrayed him with a kiss. Rather than stir the bridegroom with a noble theme the pagan world would rather toy in immorality and folly.
Well how then should we stag? I suppose by starting off with some good food together, having a bit of whole hearted fun and merriment like going go-karting or enjoying clay pigeon shooting, perhaps a time together over a pint encouraging each other to be future men, concluded by a nice meal, some good wine and hearty prayers. How I desire that my stag day tomorrow, treads something of this path.