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Giving me away

“Who gives this woman away to be married?” the preacher asks. Few moments in life are more poignant than when a father gives his daughter away in a wedding ceremony. What could be more precious than a man’s own flesh and blood? To entrust something you’d die to protect to a callow, young m…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
“Who gives this woman away to be married?” the preacher asks.

Few moments in life are more poignant than when a father gives his daughter away in a wedding ceremony.

What could be more precious than a man’s own flesh and blood? To entrust something you’d die to protect to a callow, young man you barely know seems on its face to be foolish. Factor in the marriage failure rate, and I’d say we fathers are entitled to our misgivings. I’ve got four beautiful daughters of marriageable age, and I struggle with this.

Yet, when you look at the way society has empowered women, our concept of giving a daughter away can seem quaint and anachronistic. Hey, by 21, they’re calling their own shots, so who are we kidding here?

 
How can a father step in and give away a daughter who is perfectly autonomous?

On the other hand, any self-respecting dad views his daughter as a little princess, and in their hearts, the daughter loves that special place in his life that they alone occupy. 

 
There is something profoundly spiritual, a deep magic, at work here. Is it any wonder women fantasize about their wedding day? There is the unveiling, the idea of a girl becoming a woman, the daughter becoming a wife, the two becoming one. How appropriate that we should all rise and even gasp or weep at her first appearance at the back of the church.

Is it any wonder that God himself should use the metaphor of a bride to describe us, his prized creation, while referring to his son as the groom? Or that he should call our reunion a wedding feast? Don’t we all long for that day when the veil is lifted and our creator kisses us?

Comments (7)

  • St. Mark of the Cross

    What is so wonderful is that our Bridegroom first gave himself away for our sin. So it is fitting that we give ourselves away to him. It is all so beautiful – all this giving!

  • Amen! Not to confuse the point of an excellent and thought provoking blog, but you and Karen are really, really beautiful in that photo!

    Blessings to you and family, to all the AIM family! Thanks for all you do in bringing Kingdom. My family and I are continuously blessed.
    Pat

  • gotta love Pat’s sense of humor. back when Karen and I got married, I think they hadn’t invented color photography yet.

  • “Any self-respecting dad views his daughter as a little princess, and in their hearts, the daughter loves that special place in his life that they alone occupy.”

    Quite an assumption there, Seth. There’s an ache that stirs reading this. It’s a dream, a beautiful dream and doubtless the way it should be, but not for a lot of us girls the way it is or was. Doesn’t stop the longing for it though. To be held as precious and special, thought of as a princess. That’s the appeal of the fairy tale, of Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. The rescuing prince who loves the lady and will do anything to claim her as his bride and to have her love him. Those stories connect with something extremely deep and true.

    And yes, I long for that day when the veil is lifted and I see my darling Creator eye to eye and know His kiss on my face. It’s one thing that can make my heart soar in delight on the really low days because I know it will happen, no matter what I struggle with now. That day will come and regardless of how anyone on earth saw me, He will see me as His princess bride. To me, that’s beautiful news.

  • good blog. when the right guy comes along for your daughters, though, i hope you go a little easy on the guy… if he’s the right one. it’s tough being in that guy’s shoes and never feeling like he can measure up. there’s certainly a grace factor in all of this. I’m not sure what it is, exactly, but it needs to be there.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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