It will be hard to miss the social event of this weekend, even if you want to.
Whether tomorrow has you rolling out the bunting or avoiding the coverage to go to Legoland (the least busy place in Windsor), the majority of the UK will be watching Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get married.
In some respects, this wedding is entirely different to those happening the world over: a budget of millions; a guest list of royals and A-list celebrities; and the fact the bride won’t just look like a princess, she’ll be marrying an actual Prince. Yet in other ways, it is just the same: two people committing to spend their lives honouring, looking after, and loving one another.
Christians believe that marriage reflects the relationship God makes with his people, and his promise of commitment to us. He never wavers, never changes his mind, and never betrays us. While marriage is an earthly reflection of God’s relationship with us, it is also made up of two fallible humans. None of those who enter marriage plan to divorce, and no marriage is immune from difficulties and challenges. It’s a dangerous myth that Christian marriages, built as they hopefully are on a ‘three stranded cord’ (Ecclesiastes 4:12), will somehow avoid difficulties or divorce.
We have all fallen short of the glory of God. To expect perfection in a marriage partner and marriage will lead to disappointment. Christian faith may have positive implications for a marriage, but it is not a fail-safe. Upholding and praying for the choice and commitment people make in marriage is something we can all do, and doesn’t have to stop on the wedding day. Spending time with couples talking over dinner or board games, investing in them with a voucher for a night out, or making a babysitting offer to free them up for an evening together are all ways to support them and to grow in understanding how we can better pray for and encourage their particular marriage.
So, as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle marry tomorrow, and you set your alarm to watch the early morning coverage or to mute all media outlets, let us be praying for their relationship as well as honouring, supporting, and upholding marriages close to us. The wedding is simply day one; marriage is every day after.
Ruth works in heritage education and attends ChristChurch London. She writes and blogs at theentiretyoflife.wordpress.com and hopes one day to be a published author.