I did a little research project the other day. Oh! It didn’t start out as a research project but it certainly turned into one. See, I love a party! I love planning parties and I especially love planning weddings. My love for all this started when I was just a teenager, I was coordinating weddings, by the time I was 16. In fact I almost went into the wedding business for my career. Because of this, it might not come as a surprise to you that I am in several wedding groups on Facebook. Some resale things, others are just for support or advice. It is a lot of fun to see people’s joy and excitement, it is also a great resource to keep up on current trends and at the same time perhaps, share some of my experiences that might keep a disaster from happening at someone’s wedding.
In the wedding biz there has been a new phenomena happening, some might just call it a trend, but I think its a real, phenomena and it is that, couples are going away from their home and in some cases even families to get married instead of staying closer to home to have their wedding, they sort of take a vacation and get married at the same time. They are calling it an elopement, but that word confused me, because when these young ladies are describing their weddings, they are talking about their family having showers for them before they “elope”. Some are even having big parties before they go with their friends. As you might imagine, when they use the term elope or elopement to describe their wedding in this scenario. I was confused, I mean I know I am a little old school in some things, but when I started coordinating weddings all those years ago for someone to elope met that they secretly went away from their families and got married then came back and “SURPRISE” they were married.
So in my curiosity of it all I decided to look it up. After all, if the definition had changed I wanted to know so I wouldn’t sound uneducated about this subject. I went to Webster’s Dictionary which is the absolute truth on definitions of words. It is where we all go to understand what any word means. It is a guide we can all use to direct us in our vocabulary. So, guess what I found out when I looked up the word elopement? I found out I was right, Webster says “to run away secretly with the intention of getting married usually without parental consent”
So then I got curious as to what was defined as a Destination Wedding, which in my mind was what most of these brides were explaining on this site, but yet they called it an elopement or they were eloping. Guess what that definition was? Google said (and I had to ask google because Webster doesn’t define phrases) “A destination wedding is defined as marrying 100 or more miles from where they live. A destination wedding is a different way for couples to choose a beautiful place to celebrate marriage away from their home.”
After all my research I thought, well I will post this on one of these sites, just so people will start using the correct verbiage. To my amazement, this is where the research project began. Several brides got upset with my information. One commented “Then why does my venue call it an elopement?” As if by a venue naming something it, made it so. To which I responded, “perhaps they didn’t look up the definition or don’t know you are going to tell everyone you know?”
Another found information on the internet saying that eloping was a new trend and by posting this thought it refuted that fact of what the word elopement met by the dictionary. Yet, another was down right nasty to me and accused me of trying to steal these brides joy. To which I responded, “I didn’t write the dictionary, I am just making people aware of the correct terminology to use.” I was seriously flabbergasted at the amount of argument and energy put in to trying to refute the fact that the book says, that is what it means. The truth is, it doesn’t matter how many times brides use this word incorrectly, it doesn’t change the meaning of the word. It still means what Webster says and Webster is still the leading dictionary and guide to our english vocabulary.
All this got me thinking…. Isn’t that what we do, we decide that just because everyone is doing it, it suddenly justifies what we do even if the bible says it is wrong. We call living together okay while God calls it sin, simply because everyone else it doing it. Perhaps you hang out with a crowd that it’s popular to get drunk on the weekend, so it’s okay even though God’s word says drunkenness is a sin. Maybe you take office supplies from work because everyone else does, but the bible still says stealing is a sin. Maybe, you think you are a good person because you think your better than other people you know.
We have become a society that runs more by popular opinion then the absolute of God’s word. We have people running around with high anxiety, panic attacks, all because they are trying to meet the expectations of others. Instead of going to God’s word and judging our life, and ourselves by what God says we need to do and be. We refuse to realize what God word says about us and walk in it that with confidence.
It’s time we stop living by popular opinion and start living by the word of God, the absolute truth of what He has called us to do and we only learn that by being guided by the word of God. Because the fact is, when we walk into those pearly gates, we are not going to be judged by a group of our peers, God isn’t gonna say “Well, everyone else was doing it, so it is okay, I will let you slide” NO! He is gonna say one of two things, either “Depart from me I never knew you” or if you lived by His word and followed what He said in it, He will say “ Well done, good and faithful servant enter into your eternal reward” God has given us His word the Bible to guide us and He His body the church to help us understand and encourage us.
2 Timothy 3:16 says “ All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” You know what that word righteousness means, in short it means right living. That is what God’s word is. Some may ask “Well what makes God’s word the ultimate authority?” Truth is, when you are the creator of the Universe, you get to tell your creation how to live. The maker is the designer and there is a lot of things we do, that God never intended for us to do that is why we have so many troubles and issues in this life, not because He is punishing us, but because it is the consequences of our choices. So how about this week we stop letting other people’s opinions drive our actions and feelings and let’s follow what God says and know that in Him we are enough, remember that in the long run, that is where it counts, it only matters what God says no one else. Alesa Lewis Miller is the Pastor’s wife of Lighthouse Worship Center, Greensburg Kansas, Mom, Mimi, Speaker, & Columnist. Find more of her stories at www.behindtheparsonagewalls.com