For some reason, it has almost become accepted in our culture that a wedding day is “all about the bride” and that she can do basically whatever she wants – even if she hurts her groom, family members, or friends in the process.
This may be okay in the world. It may even be “normal.” But it is not normal or acceptable for a follower of Christ to act this way. Selfishness, greed, pettiness, vanity, and self-centeredness are the opposite of what Jesus is. We are to lay aside our fleshly ways and clothe ourselves with Christ. That includes during our wedding-planning time, dear sisters!
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. I Cor. 13:4-6
The World Will Pull You to:
- demand your way
- have no thought or concern for others’ desires, needs, or preferences
- go beyond your budget
- seek your happiness even if it is costly for others
- focus on earthly and material things
- forget about the marriage relationship and future relationships with family and friends
- lash out in others when you are stressed
- be insatiable
- forget about living for Christ – the wedding is more important!
But in Christ, You Have the Power to:
- honor the Lord first with every motive, thought, word, and deed
- honor your groom, family, and friends as much as possible
- stick to your budget
- be content with what you have
- focus primarily on preparing for a godly marriage relationship not just on the physical details of the wedding day
- consider other people’s desires and needs as well as your own
- draw people to Christ and the gospel through your godly example
- have a wedding that demonstrates God’s beautiful design for marriage
- run counter to worldly thinking in your decisions
You can certainly share your desires and ideas. But also be sure to listen to your groom’s thoughts, as well as your family’s thoughts – especially if they are paying for the wedding. If there is something your to which your groom is very opposed, you can honor him by cooperating with him on that issue. If there is something that he really wants to have that means a lot to him, you can honor him by cooperating with him on that – if it is within your budget and is not sinful.
Be willing to ignore the wedding industry or, at least, keep them at arms’ length. Their primary goal is to make as much money as possible off of your wedding. Do things that you, your groom, and your families like and enjoy. Don’t feel pressured to conform to tradition just because it is tradition in our culture.
IF YOU DON’T GET YOUR WAY…
Be gracious. Be flexible. Be considerate of others. Be humble and gentle. Be patient and kind. Don’t argue. Don’t complain. Shine for Jesus. There is no need to yell and scream at anyone. Satan would love for you to focus on your way and on pushing to have your way at any cost. Don’t go for his temptation! Let the Spirit of God fill you with His peace, joy, love, and contentment. Enjoy and savor this journey. Be a blessing to your groom, family, and friends – not a burden.
- Perhaps the dress you really want is a thousand dollars over your budget for a dress. Instead of pushing your parents or your groom to overspend, pray. Ask God for provision for a great dress at a reasonable price.
- If you don’t get the venue you want, pray. Ask God to help you find the right place at a good price. Perhaps your own church is available? It may be a lot less expensive than some of the popular wedding venues in town.
- Maybe the date has to be moved back for some reason to accommodate out-of-town guests. Be able to roll with obstacles and set backs. This is a great test of character. If you are able to handle these kinds of relatively small issues, it will help prepare you to deal with many greater spiritual tests later in life.
- If the budget you have gets unexpectedly cut, accept that and be willing to rearrange things. Be thankful to your parents if they are helping you pay for the wedding. Don’t act entitled. Exhibit true humility toward everyone in this process and in your life every day.
- It is almost impossible for everything to be perfect. If things go wrong, smile, enjoy your day anyway. Thing about how you will have an interesting or funny story to tell about your wedding day. Focus on relationships rather than the details of the wedding being flawless on your big day.
KEEP THIS IN MIND
God will not judge the quality of your marriage or your life based on how much money you spent on your wedding day or how beautiful the decorations were. He is more interested in the motives and attitude of your heart. Keep in mind that what matters most when this short life is over is how you loved God and how you loved others. The way you treat other people is a measure, in God’s eyes, of how you love and honor Him (Matt. 25:40). Keep your eyes on the things that will matter far after the wedding day is over – creating and nurturing healthy relationships and seeing to please God in all things.
Ask God to create in you the beauty of godly femininity that is gentle and peaceful that does what is right and does not give way to fear – the beauty of great faith in Christ that is so precious in His sight (1 Peter. 3:4-6).
Be a joy to all who are around you. Stay close to Christ. Be filled to overflowing with His Spirit. Ask God to help you understand more and more how you, as the bride, are to represent the church in marriage. Ask Him to bless your marriage and to prepare both of you to model a godly marriage that will be a great gift to everyone who knows you. Ask Him to transform your hearts and minds to be more like Jesus. Ask Him to use your wedding to draw people to know Christ as Savior and Lord and to better understand His purpose for marriage – to display the intimacy between Christ and His bride, the church.
The physical one flesh relationship of marriage and the intimacy in marriage is a picture, ultimately, of the one-Spirit relationship Jesus has with His church.
It is all about Him! It is all about His glory as we live our lives yielded to His Lordship.
VERSES THAT APPLY
Live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Eph. 4:2-3
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Eph. 4:22-24
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Eph. 4:32
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Phil. 2:3-4
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures… Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up. James 4:1-3, 10
I am assuming that those who read here are in a healthy, vibrant relationship with Christ or that they want to be. And I am assuming that you are only considering marrying a man who wants to live in full submission to Christ as Lord, as well. This means that you both really want Jesus to completely and radically change you to be more like Him. That you want to obey Him in everything. It is much more than just going to church or saying, “I am a Christian.” It is about completely yielding your lives to Him to use however He desires to.
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