Friday, September 14, 2007

Questions and Answers :)

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, 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.


Karla said...

Hello, I know this is an old post but, I have a question. I was curious to know what is it that Wesley and Rachel said for their betrothal vows and how is it different from wedding vows? The man that the Lord has brought into my life to marry doesn't have christian parents, but he has gone through my Dad and told him that he knows it is the Lord's will for him to marry me. We might not have done this totally correct from the start. We have not entered into anything, yet because my father needed to pray about how to go about all this. We each have listened to a betrothal series. So, I wonder how in the world a person can have a betrothal ceremony when no one in his family are christian and they aren't hardly any in my family. Any idea?

Thank you so much.


MortonClan said...

Dear Karla,
Thank you so much for the question-I am so sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. Please forgive me.
I really think the difference between Wesley &Rachel’s betrothal and marriage vows and traditional marriage vows are basically a matter of timing - the betrothal vows were when they vowed their love and commitment to each other until death parts them, and the groom promised to go and prepare a place for her.

Then, he goes off and does exactly that! She, on her part, would be preparing for his coming – just like we do Christ! Busy, busy, preparing, sewing, shopping, gathering the things for the future home, always ready, forgiving people quickly, staying ready, thinking of Him constantly, alert , ready, ready, and here He comes!!! The excitement and romance of it all is incredible!! The atmosphere is charged with anticipation and excitement.

Then, at the wedding, that was when he came and got her, and they exchanged what you would traditionally think of as wedding vows - where the groom promises to provide for, protect, lead and endeavor to love his bride as Christ loves his church, and the bride vows to submit to, follow, help and honor her groom, as unto the Lord.
As to the part about there not being many Christians on either side of the family, just invite them to come, and although they might be a little skeptical by the out-of-the-ordinary ceremony at first, once they get comfortable, it could really be a tool the Lord could use to bring them to Him. Doing a betrothal ceremony really paints an amazing and poignant picture of Jesus Christ and the Church and the marriage ceremony is a picture of, one day, the marriage feast, when we will go and be with Him forever. Isn’t that so exciting!!!? J In fact, we’ve found that betrothal/marriage ceremonies are amazing witnessing opportunities.
What a blessing that you have a praying father. I will be praying for you, too, as y’all seek God’s direction. May the Lord bless you, Karla!

In Christ Jesus,

Adeline Morton,
on behalf of my dear Daddy