Preparing for Marriage by Dr. Mike Holloway
There exists in Scotland an unusual custom for those about to be married. It's called - the Blackening. Prior to the wedding, friends kidnap the bride and groom to begin a process of preparing them for marriage. The couple is sometimes tarred and feathered with the intent of humiliating them. Other times, a couple might be smeared with food and then doused with pig's blood. They are then paraded through town, much to the delight of the crowd. It is a custom that has endured for centuries to the delight of the people while being barely tolerated by the couple. Following the public humiliation, they are then either placed in stocks in the public square, or the bride-to-be is tied to a tree and waiting to be found by the searching groom. But what purpose does the 'blackening' serve? The reason for its continuance is that it prepares the couple for the reality of marriage. Marriage isn't a wedding nor a honeymoon. It is a relationship where two people are willing to face a world full of problems which are frustrating, humiliating, and stressful. While it may never catch on in our society, what a great way to illustrate the reality that awaits every married couple.