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Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch

Wedding bells are in the air and Rupert Murdoch, the media tycoon is to marry Jerry Hall, the actress and model. He is a sprightly 84 and this is his fourth marriage.

Jerry Hall lived many years with Mick Jagger. They have four children, but marrying Rupert Murdoch is her first marriage due to the Hindu ceremony with Jagger being declared invalid in British courts. Murdoch and Hall met in Australia and were first seen in public at the Rugby World Cup Final. Their engagement came after they attended the Golden Globes award’s ceremony. His family fortune is almost 8 billion pounds and his News Corporation controls 120 newspapers and has large holdings in the broadcast networks, Sky and Fox. Jerry was the face of Yves Saint Laurent and Revlon, and has been on stage in the West End and ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. A mere 25 years of age divides them. They have very different views over climate change. That should make for some interesting breakfast table conversation.

Betrothal was in the Christmas air. Joseph had accepted his betrothed wife Mary,  who was pregnant with the baby Jesus. In the book of Hosea, the prophet is commanded by God to take a prostitute wife. This is an elaborate living, enacted message of how God loves His people, Israel, and how they behave. Two are certainly better than one and God gives wise engagement advice. The suitor is to be betrothed forever, in righteousness, justice, steadfast love, mercy and faithfulness. This is a very high standard and all of us fall short to some degree or other. But the point in standards is having something to aim at and strive for. Marriage is not about having arrived, so no further effort is required. It takes work and commitment to making a marriage work.

They say it takes two to make a marriage, a single woman and an anxious mother. Marjorie Hall, Jerry’s mother, is sadly dead. I doubt if Jerry Hall or her family are anxious about her financial or relational well-being. Now Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall have an opportunity to help fulfil each other. Their marriage may not be made in heaven, but has many earthly elements and support that make it likely to survive and flourish. That is certainly our hope and prayer for them both, as they make this public commitment to each other.

When I performed wedding ceremonies, I urged all those present to play a part in the marriage. They were not just witnesses who were out for a happy event. All of us were there standing with the bride and groom, committing ourselves to making this particular marriage work. It is a mistake to leave the newly-weds alone, as they enter this new stage in their relationship. We need the support and insight of those who know us well and are committed to the well-being of each of the couple and the couple themselves. This is why marriage is often a picture of God’s relationship with His Church and people. He is always faithful, just, merciful, loving and does what is right and good for us. Our responsibility is to honour God and to live faithfully, true to Him and His standards and laws. Successful marriages require good communication. Prayer and Bible reading help mutual communication with God.

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