Interesting……I have never heard that idea before. I think it’s a bit like some of the Christmas traditions which originated in paganism and later people thought of some Christian symbolism to match the tradition. (Please let’s not start a discussion on Christmas traditions) There is nothing biblical about that comparison, however Christian it might sound.
Your comment, Blank Slate, shows that you are not aware of from where the ‘giving away’ idea came from and that it is still practised today in far too many countries. In these places the bride is sometimes dressed in finery and the couple are surrounded by friends and family with all the attendant pomp and ceremony.
In most situations the bride Is ‘traded’ for money and/or or given away to be a virtual servant to her husband’s family. The thought of a woman being property is nothing new and is how so many cultures have always perceived the whole marriage relationship.
It’s very sad that within the so-called Christian world this tradition has persisted and been sanitised to be a sentimental happening. Even in the ‘nicest’ way, it is still the thought of a young woman going from the care of her father to the care of her husband without the corresponding thought of a young man going from the care of his mother to the care of his wife.
I'm sorry, I really am. I've never met the woman. I've only corresponded with her briefly but, to be honest, I simply don't believe she is that ignorant of the bridal imagery shot through the whole of Scripture, from beginning to end, from the first marriage to the last -- the wedding feast to end all wedding feasts. Does the Marriage Supper of the Lamb mean nothing to her? Does it not even ring one tiny, tinny little distant bell? Really?
This is why I believe Steve Hutchens is right to call Egalitarianism a heresy. If they win, we lose the Fatherhood of God, from which all human fatherhood derives. And we miss the second important image in Scripture - The Bridegroom and His Bride, the Church for whom he gave his life. It's lost, and with it the Gospel.
Period. End of Story.