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Don't Spend Eternity in a Bridesmaid Dress!
by Donna Morton
01/19/05
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When we take our place at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, what will we be wearing?

That question was asked by the leader of a women's Bible study I once participated in. Her goal was to make us think about how much we love and worship Jesus, our devoted groom. It would determine what our Heavenly wedding gowns would look like-whether they were a plain white sheath or a shimmering vision of the finest lace and most lustrous pearls.

I loved the illustration she presented regarding our eternal rewards. I also remember chuckling to myself and thinking, "What if we really fall short of pleasing the groom? Will we spend eternity wearing...oh no...

OUR WORST BRIDESMAID DRESS EVER????!!!!!

Before I get to the point, let's talk about bridesmaid dresses. I've had the honor of being in more than a few weddings, and am NOT poking fun at the bridesmaids' attire. For the age bracket and fashion era we were in, the dresses were lovely, but like any style reviewed years later, your feelings can be captured in one word:

Why?

There was a time when my closet rivaled an ice cream parlor, boasting thirty-two flavors of polyester silk bridesmaid dresses. There was blueberry blue and strawberry pink, parfait peach and great grape. In addition to the pastel parade, I've walked the aisle in black velvet, Christmas plaid and...red taffeta.

Okay, I wasn't in thirty-two weddings, but I've sure done my time as a bridesmaid. Most of my friends married in the 1980s, a decade when the wedding industry was lovin' life. They had just survived the free-spirited 70s, when it was not unusual for a bride to don sandals and a muslin maxi dress while saying her vows in a field of poppies.

Big weddings were back with a vengeance, and many were "themed." I knew of a Phantom of the Opera wedding and a Sound of Music wedding. I wasn't in either of them, but I was in...

Gone With the Wind.

The red taffeta I mentioned? Southern Belle, and I'm talking hoops, crinoline-everything historical except corsets. Besides nosegay bouquets, we seven attendants juggled hankies, fans and parasols. Just like Scarlet O'Hara, we southern lassies were prepared for anything, weather-wise, that might strike.

Hoops swaying, crinoline all a-rustle, we bobbed down the aisle, redefining "The Crimson Tide."

We wore those dresses for the bride. We loved her. She was worth it.

Now, if a bride-elect and her maid-of-honor are destined to duke it out, you can bet that bridesmaid dresses are at the heart of the matter. I was in a wedding where such a battle broke out.

"I kind of like this one," the bride said, pointing to a dress in a magazine.

Scowling, her maid-of-honor snapped, "That's the ugliest dress ever made!"

Oh yeah? Well, the bride would just see about that! And she did, by getting all of the attendants measurements and ordering the dresses, which arrived several months later. After seeing the dresses for the first time, she called me, her tears practically squishing through the phone receiver.

"Hello?" I said.

"Sniff...sniff," she choked.

"Sweetie, what's wrong?"

"It's true," she whispered. "Sniff...sniff."

"What's true?"

"It IS the ugliest dress ever made!!! Sob...sob."

Well, it was far from the ugliest, but the bride hated her choice and apologized profusely.

Assuring her the dresses were fine, we floated to the alter in our purple spaghetti straps.

We wore those dresses for the bride. We loved her. She was worth it.

Finally, my own wedding came around and I promised my attendants that THE perfect bridesmaid dress had been found, perfect meaning that you really could "wear it again."

I had nine (yes, nine) bridesmaids, adorned in white satin jackets and straight, floor length black skirts. The deep "V" neckline of the jacket was inset with a black dickey, which I later learned didn't want to stay in place, causing my bridesmaids to spend the ceremony fearing they would "pop out" in front of 200 guests. It's no surprise, then, that they were secretly planning a "dickey burning party" behind the reception hall. Oh-and the big black bow stuck on the waistline of the jacket? Where was I going with that?

But...they wore those dresses for me, citing the same reasons I'd give for braving buttercup gingham with a floppy hat to match.

No doubt, many have made sacrifices for a wedding. We've all winced at pictures of the good-sport-of-a-best-man decked out in a baby blue tux and ruffled shirt. Our hearts have ached for the rough-and-tumble ring bearer force-stuffed into a Buster Brown ensemble, one that's synomous with a "Shove Me in My Locker" sign tacked to his back .
Nobody, though, made a greater sacrifice than Jesus, the groom who was willing to give His life for His bride.

He wore my sins, my problems, my sins, my disappointments, my sins, my pain, my sins, my illnesses...and did I mention, my sins?

He wore them for me on the cross. He loved me. For some reason, I was worth it.

"But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved." (Ephesians 2:4, NIV)

You know, I'm not much of a seamstress. Almost a casualty of Home Ec 101, I've botched a lot of sewing projects, and fallen into a lazy state of procrastination over something as simple as reattaching a button. The idea of making a wedding gown is comical, but I'm inspired by this verse:

"Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him the glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)" (Revelation 19: 7-8, NIV)

When I see my groom, THAT'S what I want to be wearing! I long to take His breath away... NOT watch Him stifle a laugh when He gets a load of me in seafoam ruffles.

Perish the thought! Where is my needle and thread?!


(c) Donna G. Morton 2005




If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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Member Comments
Member Date
Susan Leonard 28 Feb 2005
CUTE! BROUGHT BACK MEMORIES AND MADE ME CHUCKLE! Love the analogy. :)
Penny Baldwin 22 Jan 2005
Thankyou for encouraging me. I've gone off my wedding dress, and we only got married 10 years ago! Penny.




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