“Natalie, we need to talk to you,” beckoned one of the old ladies from our church to my younger sister as she took her lunch break from her job at the church childcare center.
Crap. Thought my sister. I should have eaten outside.
“Natalie, we’ve heard this awful rumor about your sister lately,” Phyllis said, smiling fake sweetly. Phyllis didn’t think any rumor was awful. Phyllis lived and breathed for gossip. “We hear your sister isn’t getting married in the church.”
“Well, you heard right,” Natalie told them, already knowing where the conversation was headed. “Alice is getting married at a repurposed barn not far from here. There’s a little feed shed out back that got turned into a chapel. She’s getting married there.”
“Isn’t she worried what people in the church are going to think?” chimed in Gladys, another old lady from my church who lives for Jesus and for gossip.
“Not really,” Natalie fired back. “Alice is getting married by a pastor that she connected with and will have her ceremony in the biggest church of all. Outside, in God’s kingdom. And really, it isn’t any of your business.”
“Well, it says in the Bible that it isn’t really marriage unless you get married in a church,” Margie said with a smirk on her face.
“Where?” Natalie asked.
“Well, it does somewhere,” Phyllis retorted.
“You know, how about you look that up and get back to me about it so I can let Alice know her wedding is fake. Until then, you should probably mind your own business and stop spreading gossip about my sister. And lies about the Bible. You should probably read that first.” Natalie walked away, exhausted.
This was not the first, or the last, encounter one of my family members would be faced with in regards to our decision to get married in our church. My decision was not driven by some deep-seated hatred of the church – I just really liked the chapel where we were getting married. My husband’s family lives almost 4 hours away, so it was logical to have everything in one location. However, everywhere we went, someone bombarded someone in my family with questions that weren’t really any of their business. And I noticed a common trend with every person who asked me about it.
They were all old.
Not once did I have someone from my high school ask me why I wasn’t getting married at the church. Not once did any of my same-aged friends from work ask me why I was a she-devil.
Because old people can’t mind their own business.
There is nothing that disgusts me more than old “Christians” who throw their judgmental attitude around when they are sinners as well. I’m tired of old people looking down on me for not getting married in the church but are more than happy to gossip about it. There is a problem with this world, and it is not millennials who want to get married in barns and eat avocado toast. The problem is old people with judge-y attitudes and hateful hearts.
Do you see that 20 something girl with a tattoo on her arm? Instead of thinking “Wow, she will never get a job”, maybe consider that she is a nurse at a children’s hospital who makes sick kids lives a little better with her infectious smile and loving personality?
Do you see that gay couple holding hands in the mall? Instead of thinking about how they are condemned to hell, maybe consider that they could volunteer at a homeless shelter in their spare time? Maybe they even do more community service than you?
Do you see that multi-racial couple that has multi-racial kids? Instead of thinking how they’ll “never be accepted by either race”, maybe you should realize that this is not the 1960s anymore and those kids are very loved by their families and friends, regardless of the color of their skin or their parents’ skin?
Do you see that girl getting married not in a church? Did you ever think that she has read the Bible 4 times, prays daily, and has a deep love for Jesus, but just happens to like rustic decor?
Old people, Jesus loves all of these people and more. This guy whose name you are throwing around like you know him loves these people, you, me, sinners, multi-racial couples, gays, tattooed and pierced, believers and non-believers, and yes, even couples that don’t get married in churches. Maybe you need to be more like him and judging what the rest of us are doing and love people for who they are?
Old people, mind yo’ damn business.