Nearly 18 years ago (next month), when Mrs. Film Geek was still a Miss and in the midst of planning our wedding, we agreed to attend three sessions of pre-marriage counseling with the minister who would perform our ceremony. This would be the second minister we tried to talk into doing the deed for us; the first minister we approached passed when he found out we'd been living together for nearly a year.
The soon-to-be Mrs. Film Geek was nervous we might strike out with reverend number two.
"Please, don't tell him you're an atheist," she said, as we pulled into the church lot for our first session. "And don't argue. Maybe just go along with what the guy says for an hour."
And for that first session, I did.
During the second session the minister began a lengthy discussion of the tenets of a healthy and successful marriage. The most important thing, he said, was that Jesus be involved in the relationship. It's not possible, the minister contended, for a marriage to survive without the Son Of God being involved.
Secondly, he said, the man must be the leader of the family. Women should be listened to, of course, but the bottom line -- the final answer, so to speak -- was to be determined by the man.
It was God's way, after all.
And thirdly, there should be a genuineness and trust in the marriage.
"What about love," I asked. "And friendship?"
The minister had a puzzeled look in his eyes. He didn't understand my comment. Mrs. Film Geek shifted in her seat.
"I agree with trust and honestly being an integral part of a healthy marriage, but I find it odd that you didn't once mention "love" or "friendship." To me, those are far more important than Jesus, or which of us wears the pants in the family."
The minister went into a long monologue about love and friendship growing out of a committment to Christ. In my head, I went into a long monologue about how our love and friendship had grown out of (a) me initially thinking she was incredibly hot, and (b) the two of us becoming best friends as we recognized we had far more things in common than not.
But I kept that quiet, so as not to upset my soon-to-be-bride. After all, it was her day to be the boss.
I was reminded of this after seeing The Promise Keepers were in the area for a conference.
I'm curious if the preacher who married us went again this year.
photo by Chip Ellis