While we're all waiting for pictures, we thought we'd take a minute to answer some of the great questions we've been getting on how the Morton Clan handles some of the aspects of Love and Marriage.......so, here goes.
"What is the distinction (in your practice) between betrothal and marriage?" someone asked.
Answer: There is one main distinction and it has numerous ramifications. The way our family has done it , the headship of the young lady - the authority structure in her life (I Cor. 11:3) - is formally and practically transferred to the young gentleman upon their betrothal , except in one crucial area - the physical. She still lives with her parents, and there is no intimate touching - and some Dads set up the rules so that there is not even holding hands! The young lady begins to be sensitive to her husband-to-be in preferences of dress, conduct, priorities, etc., as she has been to her father. The young man begins to serve communion to his betrothed, reads her the scriptures and prays with her.
There are many phone calls!! There is much conversation and sharing of hearts and thoughts. The wedding plans are talked about at great length and many fun moments shared. This is a sweet time of much conversation , because that is the only way they can relate to each other!!! (We require a chaperone at all times, and that gets funny sometimes as brothers and sisters get pressed into chaperonage duty. )
But the father, and here is the "distinction" between betrothal and marriage, retains authority over the young lady from a physical standpoint. To us , this in an interim time and so it is best kept to 21\2 - 4 months, in our opinion - better shorter than longer.
"Does the groom really pay the bride's father a monetary sum?" was another question.
We like the symbolism of the 'bride price' - we see it as mirroring Christ having paid the price to satisfy the legal debt that our sin created. He paid in blood - His own blood. Our symbolic payment of the 'bride price' is just that - a symbol. We have seen silver given to the bride's father in various ways - rough bars , minted bars and coins. You could use gold, sterling flatware, livestock, oil stocks - the only limits are your creativity.
There are at least three ways of doing a 'bride price' that we know of - all quite different. Some have the bridegroom pay an agreed upon amount to the father of the bride and he then gives it to the bride for her to invest. Some fathers-of-the-bride send the valuable symbol with the bride for her and\or her husband to invest and some bridegrooms give the agreed upon symbol to the bride's father and he keeps it for the bride's future use or uses it or just keeps it in a box. So who pays whom and what is done with the bride price has varied in history and recent practice. It would make a fascinating study. We make no claim to be an authority on the subject.
"How did Wesley raise the bride price for Rachel?" was another question.
Wesley is very blessed to have a position in Morton and Sons Construction,Inc. He is a grown man in every sense of the word and has worked a full time job for years. We broke ground on their home several months ago and are working towards its completion. He has been faithful and honored his parents and things look well for him. He just needs to keep abiding in the Vine - but don't we all.
"What is the main scriptural basis for a betrothal ceremony?"
We are not really aware of a 'scriptural' basis for the betrothal ceremony - just a desire to share the good news with friends and family. Just wait 'till we post about the WEDDING ceremony , though and we'll really have lots of scriptural symbolism to share with you!!!
Well, there you have it. Betrothal or father- directed, involved marriage is so romantic, fun, and just plain wonderful that we could post for pages on it. We have seen three 'up close and personal' so far and the freedom , peace, joy and the incredible romance of it just sets the whole world a-singing with you!!
Well, there are a few answers. Hope that was helpful.