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.
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?
- Humiliation– this 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!