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AN AMAZING FACT: The honeymoon was an accepted practice of Babylon weddings as early as 4,000 years ago. For a month after the nuptials, the bride’s father supplied his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer, and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the “honey month”—or what we know today as the “honeymoon.”
Not all marriages find the first month after the wedding to be the sweetest. At odds with Pope Clement VII’s refusal to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragón, King Henry VIII sent a delegation to the Vatican in an effort to patch up the political differences between himself and the pope. The Earl of Wiltshire led the delegation—he also took his dog.
As was customary, the earl prostrated himself before the pope and was about to kiss the pontiff’s toe. The pope, always willing to receive the homage, thrust his foot toward the earl, but the earl’s watching dog mistook the action and went to defend his master. Instead of a kiss, the pope received a bite on the toe!
This so enraged the Swiss Guard that they instantly killed the poor dog. Terribly angered, the earl stormed away and refused to proceed with the mission to reconcile England with Rome. After the earl’s return, King Henry took permanent steps to separate the Church of England from the jurisdiction of Rome. The Anglican Church was born.
Paul speaks of a union between a bride and groom as a depiction of Christ and the church. The mutual submission and sweet love between a husband and his bride will live beyond the honeymoon when there is a sacrificial love that goes beyond self. “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). Let the special attentions of the honeymoon continue beyond the first month and into the rest of your married lives.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.
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