It’s summertime, and here in the south that means ‘tis the season for weddings. We’ve got three coming up in our family, all young adults making their first—and hopefully, only—trips down the rose petal-ed aisle.
Though the men aren’t too interested, the women-folk are excited to have three wedding gowns to gush over. White or off-white? Satin or silk? These are pertinent questions. We’re also into color schemes, melon balls and piano versus organ.
Wedding talk makes me think about “The Bride of Christ”, which is an analogy for the Church—those who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. As His bride, we’ll one day be invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9), where we will apparently be dressed quite nicely.
"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)
I once had a Bible Study leader who asked us to think about that fine linen in terms of a wedding gown, imagining that our devotion to Christ would determine just how fine that fine linen would be. Would we wear a plain sheath with no adornment, or would our gown be a flowing fountain of lace and pearls, and sporting a train that could pull 50 cherubs along a Heavenly Conga line?
It was a nice way to examine our commitment to the Groom, but a horrifying thought disturbed my bridal bliss. What if we really fall short in pleasing Him and end up wearing…oh no…the worst bridesmaid dress ever?
Before going any further, let’s talk about bridesmaid dresses. I’m an expert on those “things” because I’ve had the honor of being in several weddings. Here is a quick rundown:
In one wedding alone, I wore more hoops and petticoats than Scarlet O-Hara would don for an inaugural ball. I’ve made the holiday rounds, such as a Valentines wedding where I bore a strong resemblance to a red fire hydrant on heels. Christmas nuptials once put me in plaid and black velvet, an ensemble my husband said only needed ruffled anklets and Mary Jane’s to complete the look of Overgrown Flower girl.
I've done all the pastels, causing my closet to once resemble a freezer full of rainbow sherbet. Amongst those flavors was a dress that caused the bride to literally weep. Oh, it wasn’t because she was moved by the beauty of her bridesmaids; it was because the dresses were…well, not quite as pretty as they looked in the bridal magazine she ordered from.
"Those are…” she sobbed, “the UGLIEST bridesmaid dresses ever made!”
She didn’t even try to hand us the biggest bridal lie of all time: You can wear it again.
My own wedding was a black and white event. With traditional and formal on my side, I was certain I’d found a bridesmaid dress that would make it past one public run—until photos forced me to ask myself where, exactly, I was going with that mammoth black bow on the waistline. It was no shock to learn that some of my bridesmaids had contemplated a BURN THAT DRESS soiree behind the reception hall.
You know what, though? From sea foam southern belles to yellow gingham (with floppy hat to match), I’d wear all of my bridesmaids dresses again. The reason is simple:
I loved the brides. They were worth it.
A lot of people have made sacrifices for a wedding. How about that good sport of a best man in the raspberry ruffled tuxedo shirt? Or the poor ring bearer cringing inside that Little Lord Fauntleroy get-up? The wildest thing I ever saw was a “Charles Dickens” themed wedding where the groomsman dressed like a chimney sweep. (I promise—it happened.) Talk about an extraordinary friend.
Nobody, though, has made a bigger sacrifice than our Groom, Jesus Christ. He wore our sins so that we could have eternal life.
He did this because He loves us. He thinks we’re worth it.
Are we treating Him like our true love or is He playing second fiddle to everything else in our life? How we answer might determine what we will look like at the wedding supper.
Will He stifle a laugh when He gets a load of us in periwinkle ruffles? Or will our fine linen take His breath away?