In search of the Christian bachelor party

Few things are more awkward than a Christian bachelor party. Most of the time they look just like the Hangover movie but with slightly less alcohol and no strippers. It’s really quite sad. But what should they look like? This is a question I’ve wanted to ask for a long time and one I’ll attempt to answer in this post.

Buck

Image courtesy of Flickr 

Let me start by putting my cards on the table. This is going to be one of those “do as I say and not as I do” type of articles. I had my bachelor party five years ago. For the most part it was a fun weekend away with friends. But to my shame there was a brief moment of nudity (my own), cross-dressing (again… only my own) and a lot of embarrassment (I was given a boom-box with Kanye West playing and told to earn myself $5 by dancing on the street). 

Since that time, most of the Christian bachelor parties I’ve been to have had a lot in common. Strangely, they all seem to include the following four things:

  • Cross dressing– I don’t know why, but apparently dressing up in your fiancé’s clothes is good preparation for marriage. Who’d have thought?
  • Humiliationthis usually goes hand in hand with the first one, but if your buck hasn’t endured some public humiliation by the time he goes home then it’s not a true bachelor party.
  • Awkwardness– I hate watching the buck get humiliated. In fact I don’t know of anyone who actually enjoys it. But apparently the rules say you need to do it anyway!
  • Sex jokes– one of the odd (and yet beautiful) things about a Christian bachelor party is that everyone knows the buck is about have sex… and lots of it. Apparently everyone else thinks that this gives them permission to devolve into joking like 13 year old boys again.

Eventually somebody’s gotta ask the question. How on earth did we end up deciding that these four things would be a good way to send off our brothers to love, serve and die for their brides? Oh wait… we didn’t.

And that’s the problem.

According to an article from Time Magazine, the modern Bachelor party dates back to the 5th Century BC. Apparently the Spartans used to hold a dinner in honour of the groom’s last night and make toasts on his behalf. What might have started as a respectable dinner for gentlemen (though I doubt it) has since become a culturally acceptable night of alcohol filled debauchery with a good dose of humiliation and hazing thrown in for good measure.

The problem with the Christian bachelor party is simple. Most Christians have taken the modern bachelor party and tried to Christianize it. Rather than doing something entirely different, they try to tame it down, take out the strippers and reduce the alcohol. Sadly, the end result is often just a lame party that fails miserably to live up to the already inflated expectations of it’s pagan relative.

So what do I propose?

Get rid of the bachelor party. Crazy I know. The old wine skins can’t hold the new wine, so don’t bother trying. Create a new wine skin. Why not create a new event that actually supports what you believe about marriage and the task this man is about to undertake?

He’s about to commit himself to one woman for the rest of his life. He’s going to need to love her, protect her, provide for her and die for her. What he needs is your help! He’s about to become her leader. What he needs is some Godly advice! He’s about to embark on a beautiful but challenging journey of satisfying her physical needs. He doesn’t need your jokes, he needs your prayers.

With that in mind, let me propose four alternatives that I would love to see more of at Christian bachelor parties in the future:

  • Fun– it’s worth being clear on this, I like having fun! But why don’t we actually do something that is fun rather than awkwardly standing around simply pretending to have fun!
  • Wisdom why don’t we give the married guys an opportunity to give the buck some advice from the trenches? What’s one thing they wish they’d known before they got married?
  • Prayer why don’t we spend some time asking God to give this man the strength he needs to undertake the mammoth journey he’s about to begin? He sure needs it!
  • Accountability why don’t we promise the buck that we’re going to hold him accountable to the promises he’s about to make? Make sure he knows that you’re gonna help him to the finish line.

Now some people might say, great… I can add those four things to my debaucherous weekend on the Gold Coast. No. Get rid of the old, bring in the new. Start with a blank slate. What’s the best way to commission this man for the journey ahead? Answer that question and you’re well on your way to creating a great Christian bachelor party.

Question: what makes a good Christian bachelor party? What things would you add to the list above? Leave a comment by clicking here!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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11 thoughts on “In search of the Christian bachelor party

  1. One of the best celebrations I attended was a combined thing.
    Guys & gals started together with dinner & BBQ at a home – that was the chance for speeches & prayer.
    Then the genders divided for some fun: laser tag was the go-to silliness that year. At this point, both fiancé and fiancée had a ball & chain tied to a leg and were give the padlock key – to the other’s lock. Which meant …
    Guys & gals met up again at the end of the festivities, still in a fit state. There was an ‘end point’ to the evening that did not rely on humiliation.

    • Thanks Chris. I like most of your suggestions! The ball and chain thing is obviously a joke and I reckon pretty harmless fun. Though it still plays into our culture’s view of marriage as a horrible thing that ties you down rather than an opportnity to enjoy the freedom of a loving and committed relationship.

  2. this is great, thanks tim.

    i agree wholeheartedly.

    i remember being mocked a bit when younger and trying to offer a counter-cultural alternative. although it was typically on the night rather than having the conversation beforehand.

    one thing i’ve been thinking about lately is not having a non-Christian dude as your best man. i get that you might have non-Christians who are close and you want to include… that is good! but i reckon often the dumb buks party stuff is enforced by the vocal non-Christian best man.

    ditch him! put him further down the line.
    also means you cam give the microphone to your Christian mate to give the speech at the reception. will hopefully lead to a good opportunity to commend Christ.

    • Thanks Dave, I definitely agree with your comments about the best man. Or even if you absolutely can’t have someone else… at least put someone else in charge of the bucks party! There’s not rules set in stone that say the best man has to organise the bucks. And heck, you can even get someone else to do the speech too on the wedding day as well!

  3. Same goes for Christian bachelorette parties.

    I had mine at a dress ups resturant in Kings Cross which has a drag queen hosting the night. My non-Christian bridesmaids organised it and they knew I (and my noe husband) would be too offended if there were strippers involved. I loved involving my nonnies in my wedding – it was an amazing opportunity to witness to them what prep for marriage looks like as Christians. We had amazing conversations. Although my matron of honour who did the speech at the wedding is Christian my hope would have been that if my nonnies did the speech they couldn’t help but speak about my life being somewhat different because of Christ.

    I’m surprised though by the number of Christian women doing pole dancing classes together. While it’s easy to see it as a bit of sexy fun it is a dance style created by the adult sex industry. An industry that is filled with abuses of God’s good gift of sex.

    Why do we want learn how to be sexy from pole dancers? Do we really think they have something to teach us about good, healthy, godly and intimate sexual arousal and pleasure? What do these kind of activities communicate to our unbelieving friends?

    • Hey Hayley,

      I totally understand where your coming from with the pole dancing, it seems so provocative and unnecessary when there are so many other sports that people can choose from… right?
      But I believe that the stigma associated to pole dancing has permeated our beliefs. Pole dancing has evolved from a recreational activity for the purpose of being ‘sexy’, to a sport focused on the fundamental components of strength and fitness… and fun! In no way do women become sexualised through pole dancing if they approach it as a sport to keep healthy and fit.
      How many people are using the skills they have been taught through pole dancing to become sexually active or immorally aroused?
      And if it is an issue for you of the sexual thoughts that pole dancing may have the potential to conjure then I might suggest that watching a music video has more potential to generate an aroused state of mind/body. My point being that a fear that pole dancing could provoke this state is not worth not participating in it for sport purposes, because so many things are so much more provocative than this sport in a contemporary society.
      I think we should look over the negative connotations associated to pole dancing and appreciate its value as a sport that women can enjoy.
      Furthermore, TRUST your christian female friends! And inquire into why they do it… you might just find yourself in the pole dancing studio before long too 🙂

  4. I think that the idea of the guy having fun with his guy friends and the girl with her girl friends is a super nice tradition. However debauchery is not. But surely the guy can go out do guy things and girl do girl things. My female friends and I have tradition of having a girls night and one of the things we do is yes buy the girl lingerie. It’s s nice tradition and a lovely way of equipping the bride. Nobody gets wasted.

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