You May Now Kiss the Bride: Biblical Principles for Lifelong Marital Happiness

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Every moment was special. As real life takes over, that memory can grow less vivid, and you might not feel like the center of their world as often. The two-and-a-half day romantic weekend getaway is a time to be together as a couple to invest in and strengthen the foundation of your marriage, no matter how firm or fragile it is. By getting away from the distractions of life, you can fortify your most important relationship and work toward building wonderful memories together, for decades to come.

The Weekend to Remember marriage retreat is not a large group counseling session or small group discussion. You will listen to engaging talks from marriage experts, then take private time alone with your spouse to work on the concepts you studied. When you leave, you will have an assortment of powerful, Christ-centered communication tools to use for years to come. Click here for more info. Presented by: JH Ranch. Each day you and your spouse will draw closer together in a beautiful setting that offers fun, adventures, and the chance to reconnect spiritually, physically and emotionally.

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Presented by: U-Turn Ministries. The Ravines is a retreat center for marriages in crisis and for those who have lost their focus — where marriage struggles have become too much to bear. The Ravines offers Christian intensive marriage counseling to help couples pick up the pieces of their broken or breaking relationship, creating a deeper and closer marriage.

We provide a four-day Couples Counseling Intensive experience where couples can find hope, healing and restoration in their relationship. Couples receive Christ-centered therapy in a private setting and are given the uninterrupted time needed to work through difficult and painful issues. Couples spend their extended weekend working with their personal counselor in an environment free from the distractions of everyday life. The tissue inside the anus is not as well protected as the skin outside the anus. Our external tissue has layers of dead cells that serve as a protective barrier against infection.

The tissue inside the anus does not have this natural protection, which leaves it vulnerable to tearing and the spread of infection …. Even if both partners do not have a sexually-transmitted infection or disease, bacteria normally in the anus can potentially infect the giving partner. The mouth has the primary purpose of acting as the intake for food and drink for the body but it has a secondary purpose of allowing for kissing and oral sex.

Some have tried to argue that the anus in women, like the vagina is created by God for a dual purpose as well. It does not have the thick elastic lining of either the mouth or the vagina. It has much thinner skin that is very easily torn and can easily become infected. Another thing which separates oral sex from anal sex is cross contamination. There are no medical issues with a man receiving oral sex from his wife and then him placing his penis in her vagina. There are however great risks of spreading harmful bacteria from man having anal sex with his wife and then putting his penis in her vagina afterwards as this can cause infections in the vagina.

From a Biblical perspective, oral sex is not equivalent to Sodomy any more that penile-vaginal intercourse is equivalent to fornication. Just as penile-vaginal intercourse is only fornication if it occurs outside a marriage covenant between a man and woman, so too oral sex is only sodomy if it occurs in the context of two men having sex. The Bible never restricts sexual relations between husbands and wives to only penile-vaginal intercourse. It actually presents oral sex, both fellatio and cunnilingus in a positive light.

We have also shown that oral sex is more than just an option for Christian husbands and wives. The 1 Corinthians principle that husbands and wives must fully surrender their bodies to one another for sex can make oral sex a requirement and not just an option in marriage if either spouse wants it. Men should not be repulsed by the thought of performing oral sex on their wives and women should not be repulsed by the thought of performing oral sex on their husbands. It is actually very healthy and it is a powerful bonding tool for a wife to use with her husband.

But a wife must realize that her performing fellatio as well as her swallowing is not simply something she should do as an apology for sexual denial. It is something that should be done regularly to show her love, full acceptance and submission to her husband. Finally, for those who might be concerned that I am promoting oral sex over penile-vaginal sex. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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Prolactin is what give us the sense of satisfaction from having sex. However, it is one thing to say that penile-vaginal sex is the best form of sexual relations a husband and wife can have and another to say it is the only kind of sexual relations a husband and wife can have.

Is marriage worth bothering with? My sister has been married a short time and she tells me how hard it is and it seems like so much difficulty with so little reward. AngloSaxon, Most things that are worth doing are hard. Raising children is hard but it is most definitely worth doing. The same goes for marriage. It can also be a lot of fun with the right person.

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Oral sex is a requirement if the husband asks his wife for it. We need to understand that 1 cor 7 is within the confines of a proper husband-wife relationship and that is the wife submits to her husband in everything. Yes, he needs to provide his body to her, but I always think about how it might have worked with husbands who had multiple wives. Could one of them demand out of the blue to have sex any way she wanted it with her husband?

He was responsible to provide her sex, and I think a man is designed naturally to do this. I also think this is why the warning against multiplying wives. My first answer is that I would think most men would want to give it, and I think he should think hard before denying her request. Ultimately though I think he could say no to her and not sin. I am sure some will disagree. To address the other post where someone was using oral sex as some sort of punishment; I think that is a huge mistake on many levels.

I get where he is coming from that a wife may get out of order thinking she is somehow above or equal to her husband, but I think there are better ways to go about correcting that. I think the attitude about sex needs to be we will come together when it is desired or needed and the hard thing there is that a wife may have to have sex even if she is in a disagreement with her husband and not happy with him for some reason. I would agree that sex should not be used as punishment. However, in the context of a woman denying her husband sexually it is absolutely right that she should give sex as a restitution for what she has done.

The Scriptures teach us the principle that if you steal from someone you are to pay back what you stole five times over:. So it makes perfect sense to me that if a wife sexually denies her husband that she should absolutely initiate sex with him and do so in a way that best pleases him to make restitution for her theft of herself against him. I agree with your statement above. I Corinthians 7 must be taken into account with the Biblical principles found in Ephesians and I Peter that the husband is the head of the wife, that she is submit to him and regard him as her master.

But she cannot be demanding in the sense of the exact timing of how and when he provides these things. It is simply that he has a duty to provide them. This is where we must remember the Scriptural principle that the Bible never contradicts itself. The wives have to get in line and he has to grant them access. I am not talking about just punishment for punishments sake. I am talking about discipline and the appropriate and sometimes necessary use of humiliation to the process of discipline.

Education; instruction; cultivation and improvement, … and due subordination to authority. Correction; chastisement; punishment intended to correct crimes or errors;. I would contend that it is not. Descent from an elevated state or rank to one that is low or humble. The act of abasing pride; or the state of being reduced to lowliness of mind, meekness, penitence and submission. I can tell you that some of the most important and lasting lessons that I have been taught in life came as the result of being humiliated by someone. I can think of instances right off the top of my head where I was humiliated by my father, my mother, my pastor, my Jr.

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High principle, my first boss when I was in Jr. High , my first boss out of college and others. The lessons that I was taught THOUGH those humiliations have stuck with me though a lifetime and I am appreciative of those who cared enough for me to train me in that way. All of those are examples of being humiliated by people who cared for me and did what they did out of love for me.

I can even think of a few instances where I was humiliated by people who did not love me and their motives were to hurt me but I also benefited by having my pride knocked down so that I could learn something. Humiliation, like many other things can be used for evil or for good and in certain instances, it can be one of the most loving things a husband can do… to humiliate his wife… to bring down her pride… so that she can see things more clearly… so that in the humility, she can learn something that she needs to learn… and be better off for it for the rest of her life.

I just wanted her bad behaviour to stop. I have learned from this site and others that it is appropriate for a husband to discipline TRAIN his wife and I can tell you from experience that IT was what was missing in my marriage for the first 25 years. I wish I knew 30 years ago what I know now.

Both my wife, and my children would have been much better off if I had. I agree that humiliating someone is not always wrong. In fact it can be holy and right. For instance parents who have teenagers knows this is true. Teens must often be humbled by their parents and reminded of their lower rank within the household.

In fact, in some ways our wives can sometimes resemble our teenagers in challenging our authority and forgetting their place within the home. Trey, I hear where you are coming from. Each of us has to learn how to lead those entrusted to us in the most effective ways, but also with love and patience.

I prefer a step it up approach somewhat the way Matthew 18 confronts sin which I know is not in the context of the family, but the church. Start with rebuke. I see the marriage bed as a place where couples should find relief and enjoyment with each other and not a place I would choose right off to apply correction. A husband should deal with his wife in the same way the Lord deals with him.

I know that the Lord has dealt with me very patiently over the years with lots of grace and mercy applied. He uses harsh discipline as a last resort. My comment was in effect me telling her husband and any other man in a situation like that that it was time to step it up. What prompted my comment which in hindsight was not very well written was somewhat of a visceral response to a woman who was complaining about her husbands very measured and reasonable response to HER ONGOING sin.

That lit a fire in me and it was clear to me at least that it was time for him to step it up. It took me 25 years to start to deal with my wife correctly but it should have only taken a few. I still suffer greatly internally over my failure as a husband and a father…. My only solace, is that at the time around year 5 , I sought help from my parents and from the wisest man I knew, our pastor, the man who married us but neither provided any help whatsoever.

I do not want other men and their families to suffer the way mine did for lack of knowledge on how to deal with their wives in a Godly manner… the same way that Jesus deals with His bride, the Church. Any man considering marriage today would be most wise to follow your advice. Thank you for this excellent article! Trey, brother I am with you fully. I agree that the biggest mistake men make is one of inaction. It started in the garden with Adam. The Song of Solomon was actually the most controversial book in the Old Testament. The Jewish leaders and scholars recognized that it if were viewed literally it was an erotic story between two lovers.

Most chose to reject that as they did not understand how God would allow this in his Word, although it had been their for many centuries. So in order to keep in the Jewish canon they adopted the allegorical approach and said it was an allegory of God and his being a husband to Israel.

They even forbid most men from reading it or made them wait until at least they were married because they knew the sexual imagery of the book would become obvious. Christian scholars later tried to make it an allegory of Christ and his Church. It is interesting to note that the Jewish Scholar who is credited with helping to keep the Song of Solomon in the Jewish canon and this keeping it as part of the Christian Bible as well — Rabbi Akiva 50— AD is said to have acknowledge that the words of Song of Solomon for centuries had been sung in Taverns as erotic songs.

He hated that and strongly pushed for the allegorical view — but he maintained that it was the Word of God and must remain in the canon. It is only over the past two centuries that Song of Solomon was finally freed from the attempts by earlier Jewish and Christian scholars to bury its true erotic nature. Obviously marriage was created by God to symbolize the relationship of him to his people, so even in sex we can see God showing how he desires to be united with his people. But the Song of Songs when read literally of the story of two lovers shows us that God is not a prude! God loves sex because he designed it!

And it is unfortunate that past generations of Jewish scholars and Christian scholars had such a prudish view of sex. Thanks for the reference book recommended. I will study it carefully. I am completely in agreement that the vast majority of Christians, and perhaps most especially Conservative Evangelicals, have allowed the historical tradition of Augustine and Jerome to cast an undeserved negativity towards all things sexual, including oral sex.

In so many ways God has revealed His desire for His people to enjoy sexual pleasures, including the erotic imagery of much of that which is poorly described as pornography. Well since you brought up erotic imagery and pornography you might want to check out my series on that subject here: Christian blogger says porn use is good for Christians.

That article is meant as introduction to be read and then below it is a series of articles that are meant to be read in order. This is one long post. But the journey from top to bottom was worth my time. The issues were well addressed. Thanks for sharing. I have absolutely read your blog on this subject and I fully agree with all you have written. Recently I found another blogger who says very similar things to what you have written.

It believes what it does far more largely based on the unstudied opinions of people who approach Scripture eisegetically rather than from good hermeneutic principles. We live in a day of such study laziness among believers who are far more led by their emotions than prayer and solid research.

Of course you stand out in the minds of most Christians as a Heretic. I believe one of the most difficult things for modern believers is to set aside their preconceived notions of sex and take a fresh look at it from other biblical perspectives. The naked body and the enjoyment of viewing it and the acts of sex between loving couples is an incredible example of the nature of God and His design for human sexuality.

We are designed to be spiritually inspired by and appropriately sexually stimulated by these expressions. To make it dirty and unChristian is a terrible travesty that needs to be exposed for the error it is. Fortunately we live in a day where so many excellent studies are available to the seeker of truth on the Internet. Of course there is a vast amount of material that is pure garbage, but there is also a great treasure trove of information that is capable of realigning hearts with the truth and setting captives free from false teachings.

BGR In the above discussion there is some confusion over similar but different concepts. The distinctions may appear to be subtle, but they are profound. I have some thoughts and distinctions that may be helpful, but they can wait for the right posting on the subject. It may actually spawn a new post from me. This post was actually spawned from comments on the previous post about the silent treatment by husbands and then comments on this post about oral sex spawned another article about marriage being worth it.

Its fine with me. Fire away with whatever your thoughts are. Unlike a political party or the PTA we do not belong to our family by simple affiliation, nor just an association of a common trait, but by covenant. A wife belongs to her husband by a covenant bond and testified to by a vow.

God has made the two one. No other human relationship is like marriage. Marriage is beyond shared DNA or a common address and shared tax return. A wife is made one with her husband by God and she is his every bit as much as the children in the household are his. She takes his mark a ring and bears his name. These tokens tell the world that she belongs to him and no other man may have her. It is sin for another to covet her, because she belongs to no other man, only to him.

Although two are made one, she is an individual, but not independent. Her identity is hers and yet it is in her husband, she bears his name, his children and he is her head. He posses her because she is his. He has possession of her body for the purpose of the union of sex 1 Cor Paul intentionally conflates marriage with the relationship of Christ and the church to tell us how strong the resemblance is between the type and the antitype; that is between marriage of a man and woman and the marriage of Christ and the church. As Christ is head of the church so also the husband is the head of the wife.

As Christ unconditionally loves His church, so a husband is love his wife, unconditionally. The maid of honor usually hosts a bridal shower. The bride can delegate care of bridesmaid's fittings and details. She attends pre-wedding parties. She attends the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. At the Wedding: The maid of honor helps the bride with dressing and assists with the, train, veil and holding the brides bouquet during the ceremony.

The maid of honor sometimes wears the grooms ring on her thumb or carries it in some other safe manner until it is time for the blessing and exchange of rings in the ceremony. She is responsible for having an emergency kit with miscellaneous items such as a needle and thread, extra nylons, a roll of tape etc. The Maid of honor walks in front of the bride in the processional and with the best man in the recessional and stands near the bride at the altar.

She makes sure that all of the bride's clothing, make-up and personal belongings are removed from the changing room at the ceremony site and taken back to the bride's home. She helps to line up bridesmaids for formal photographs. At the Reception: The maid of Honor stands next to the groom in very formal receiving lines. During the reception, she mingles with guest. She dances with the best man at the reception. She helps the bride with her train, fastening it to floor length so it is out of the way for dancing, if necessary.

A duplicate copy of the list of names and pronunciations for the bridal party announcements is kept by the maid of honor. She also keeps a duplicate song list for the reception musicians or disc jockey. If the bride needs assistance in tossing her bouquet or in gathering single women to catch it, the maid of honor can help out. If requested, she helps the bride dress for the honey moon and makes sure the bridal gown and other personal clothing items are returned to the bride's home after the reception.

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She takes the bridal bouquet for preserving and may take the gown for heir looming while the bride is on her honeymoon. Expenses: The maid or matron of honor pays for her own dress and other attire. She may attend several pre-wedding parties, only one shower gift and one wedding gift are to be expected. She may share the cost of bridal shower. When inviting them, make them aware that there are costs involved as well as a time commitment.

It is an honor to be asked, but may also be a financial burden. Make friends feel special when you invite them to be part of your wedding. The number of bridesmaids usually depends on the formality of your wedding, with a dozen being the maximum for any wedding. Girls between 8 and 16 are considered to be junior bridesmaids. Junior bridesmaids are not expected to help with details as much as bridesmaids. Before the Wedding: Bridesmaids help take care of details for the bride such as running errands, and making table decorations or favors.

Bridesmaids usually join the maid of honor in hosting a bridal shower. Bridesmaids attend pre-wedding parties. Bridesmaids attend the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. At the Wedding: Bridesmaids walk in the processional and recessional, either single file, two together or with an usher. They stand near the bride during the ceremony. They are in formal photographs of the bridal party. At the Reception: Bridesmaids pay for their own dresses and other attire. If travel expenses are involved, they pay their own cost involved in getting to the wedding and staying in town during the celebration.

Although bridesmaids may attend several pre-wedding parties, only one shower gift and one wedding gift are to be expected. Bridesmaids share the cost of the bridal shower with the maid of honor. The best age range is between four and eight. Although younger ones are cute, expect that they can create some real challenges during a processional or ceremony, but this is also fun and cute.

If you choose two girls, some brides think it looks nice if they are about the same size, but that may not be possible and is person preference. It can be a special honor for a child to be chosen as part of you wedding. Before the Wedding: Flower girls attend the shower and some pre-wedding parties. They attend the rehearsal and may attend the rehearsal dinner with their families. At the Wedding: Flower girls walk directly in front of the bride in the processional and in front of the maid of honor in the recessional. As flower girls walk down the aisle, they may scatter flower or rose petals.

If petals are not permitted, sometimes flower girls will hand out single flowers to guest as they walk, or they may just carry a bouquet, a ring of flowers or a pomander ball. During the ceremony, flower girls may stand near the bridesmaids or may sit with their families. Younger ones probably will do better sitting with their families. They are in the formal photographs of the bridal parties. At the Reception: Flower girls do not usually stand in the reception line.

Flower girls usually sit at a table of honor with their families. Flower girls may dance with family members, friends or other members of the wedding party if they choose to do so. Expenses: Families of flower girls are expected to pay for dresses and other attire. If travel expenses are involved, the girls' family pick up these costs. Flower girls are not expected to bring a gift to pre-wedding parties they may attend.

If their parents attend, gift expectations would be the same as any other guest. If they attend more than one shower or party, only one shower gift is expected. Flower girls are not responsible for helping financially with bridal shower. A headpiece of beautiful baby roses with matching basket of flowers to spread down the beach isle is typical. Groomsmen attend pre-wedding parties. Groomsmen attend the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. At the Wedding: The main Job of the usher is to seat guests. They should arrive at the ceremony site at least one hour in advance and should have clear instructions on the seating plan.

In Christian ceremonies, the bride's family and guests sit on the left and the groom's on the right. In Jewish services, the seating is opposite, with the bride's family on the right. Female guests are escorted by having the usher offer his right arm to her. Her date or spouse walks behind.

Male guests are lead to their seats. If there are pew cards being used or a special reserved section, ushers should pay special attention as they escort these guests to their seats. Ushers distribute any programs or ceremony handouts at the ceremony. Ushers direct those bringing gifts to the ceremony to a gift table. If there is a guest book at the ceremony, ushers direct guest to sign it. After all guests are seated, the ushers escort the groom's parents to the front row on the groom's side Unless they are part of the processional.

Lastly, they escort the bride's mother to her seat, unless she is accompanying her husband in the processional. The Groomsmen may be part of the processional or they may take positions in the front with the best man or groom. They stand near the groom during the ceremony. They are in formal Photographs of the bridal party. They Escort the bridesmaids from the ceremony in the recessional. One of the ushers should be responsible to roll the aisle runner back up after the ceremony and have it cleaned and returned.

One of the ushers should collect any leftover handouts or programs and see that they get returned to the couple who may want to send them to family or friends who were unable to attend.

Oral Sex – A sin, An Option or a Requirement in Christian Marriage?

At the Reception: Ushers may be part of the receiving lines in the very formal or formal weddings. Ushers may be seated at the head table although not typical used at our beach wedding a sweetheart table is used, sometimes they sit at a table of honor at the reception. During the reception, groomsmen mingle with the guest. Groomsmen dance with the bridesmaids at the reception. They assist by encouraging single young men to participate in catching the garter. Expenses: Groomsmen or ushers pay for their own formalwear and accessories.

If travel expenses are involved, they pay their own costs involved in getting to the wedding and staying in town during the celebration. Although groomsmen may attend several pre-wedding parties, only one shower gift and one wedding gift are to be expected. Groomsmen may share the cost of the bachelor party with the best man. Usually only one ring bearer is used, but two with one ring per pillow will work if you have and abundance of four or five year children that you would like to have involved in the ceremony. Although the rings on the pillows are usually not the actual wedding rings, you could have two ring bearers if you are having a double ring ceremony, one for the bride and one for the groom.

Trainbearer or pages usually walk in pairs but a single trainbearer can be used. Before the Wedding: If ring bearers and trainbearer are little boys they are not likely to be interested in any pre--wedding parties. If they are girls, they might want to attend the shower and some other parties. At the Wedding: During the Ceremony: The ring bearers s carries a pillow with a ring or rings sewn to it. These are usually not the real wedding rings but symbolic ones for show only. The ring bearer s walks either directly in front of or beside of the flower girl s in the processional and the recessional.

The trainbearers follow the bride in the processional and recessional, and carry the bridal train. The ring and train bearers may stand near the ushers or sit with their families. They are in the formal Photographs of the bridal party. At the Reception: Ring and train Bearers do not usually stand in the reception line.

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Ring and trainbearers usually sit at a table of honor with their families. Expenses: Families of ring and train bearers are expected to pay for attire.

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If travel expenses are involved, the children's families pick up these costs. Ring and train bearers are not expected to bring gifts to any pre-wedding parties they may attend. If their parents attend gifts expectations would be the same as any other guest. If they attend more than one party, only one shower gift is expected. The number of ushers is usually determined by the size of the wedding. One usher can comfortably seat about fifty guests. Ushers are usually brothers, relatives or best friends of the groom.

In inviting people to serve as ushers, make sure that they are aware of the expenses involved. While it is not necessary to have an equal number if ushers and bridesmaids, it does balance nicely if they walk in pairs in either the processional or recessional. Presents the clergyperson with fee if applicable. Dances with the bride after the groom and both fathers have danced with her Prepares the honeymoon car, packs suitcases in car. Holds for safe-keeping, any tickets, keys, etc. Returns groom's tuxedo to rental shop. Assist elderly guests to seats.

Check church or synagogue for any items left behind. Their dresses should complement each other, as well as the bridal party. For instance, having one mother in a floor length dress and another in a miniskirt is a major no-no. Generally, at formal weddings, your mother and mother-in-law should be in floor or tea-length dresses. Semi-formal or informal weddings allow them to get more creative with the length, but they still need to make sure they are complementing one another. Unless your bridesmaids will be wearing black, a mother of the bride or groom should avoid this color.

Until recently, black at weddings was considered a social blunder and many guests will still look at the color choice with suspicion. Steer them away from choosing a color that will raise eyebrows as to whether or not they approve of the marriage. Two roses are all that is necessary. The Rose Ceremony is placed at the end of the ceremony just before being pronounced husband and wife. A single red rose is said to mean, "I Love You". It is appropriate that the first gift as husband and wife should be a single red rose.

A rose has always been considered as a symbol of love and a single rose has always meant only one thing — it means "I Love You. Additional roses may also be given to grandparents, sisters and other special guests. It is placed near the end of the ceremony, following the Exchange of Rings. Mothers sometimes bring forward the sand glasses as they are escorted forward at the beginning of the ceremony. A Unity Sand Ceremony set consists of two or four glasses and a large center large mouth vase, candy jar, or fish bowl. The brides and grooms glasses represent your individual lives before today.

They represent all that you are from your vast experiences, and they represent your individual families. Each of you pour into the center container. This represents the closing of the chapters in your individual "Book of Life" and the beginning of new chapters as you begin to write a new book as husband and wife! In another version, the children of the bride or grooms from previous marriages pour symbolizing the joining of the new family. The grains or sand in the new glass container representing that even though you have created a new family, each of you still maintains those characteristics that makes you individually unique, but in no way can ever be separated back again.

If you are creating a new family you may want to include the children, this is an excellent way to involve children from a previous marriage. Mother as head of the house holds also are often pour symbolizing the joining of the two familiars into one. The breaking of the glass symbolizes the fragility of life, the fact that whatever we see before us as whole can be broken at any moment.

It calls our attention for the need to care for one another; for just as glass can be shattered with a single blow, so the grace of the marriage bond can be shattered with a single act of infidelity or repeated acts of emotional irresponsibility. Include the Children If you have children you may want to include them at some point in the ceremony.

Often you may just want their names mentioned by the minister or you may want to include them in a more active role, but be aware that children will not always share your enthusiasm for the wedding. Most of the time children can participate by being a flower girl or a ring bearer of simply by being included in the sand ceremony. Paul is the very best with "blended" families. Children from another parent He loves a shell necklace giveaway after the rings with his loving words to show the love and fortune of the new step parent of having the new step child, and that this marriage is also about them..

Some people give each child a small gift and say some few additional words to them in addition or also following the exchanging of rings, occasionally present young girls with there own ring. But normally the bride and groom present children with a shell necklace or other gift following the exchange of rings.

In giving a small gift, the bride and groom are symbolizing the fact that this joining, this love and family are more than the relationship between two people. It is within the context of this community that your marriage will be enacted. Jumping a Broom. African-Americans often include the "jumping of the broom" as a part of their wedding ceremony. This normally takes place at the end of the ceremony as the couple is departing.

Often the broom is decorated elaborately by the friends and families of the couple. This "Cup of Life" contains within it a wine with certain properties that are sweet and symbolic of happiness, joy, hope, peace, love and delight. Those who drink deeply from the "Cup of Life" with an open heart and willing spirit, invite the full range of challenges and experiences into their being.

Paul pours wine into goblet and holds it up. This "Cup of Life" is symbolic of the pledges you have made to one another to share together the fullness of life. As you drink from this cup, you acknowledge to one another that your lives, until this moment separate, have become one with the Holy Spirit. Paul hands glass to groom, who drinks, then hands it to bride, who drinks, who passes it back to pastor.

As you have shared the wine from these goblets, so may you share your lives. This is sometimes done in private behind the beach arch, a brief moment away from the guests in a private ceremony with Minister Paul.