Weddings! This day is supposed to be what every woman dreams of from the time they were little girls. The flowing dress, the bright bouquets, guests galore, before the walk down the aisle whereby daddy gives the bride away. The scene always sounds so beautiful – indeed, precious doesn’t it? Moreover, the movies make weddings seem like a piece of heaven. Then you look at the wedding photos (that have been tweaked) and any imperfections are photo shopped away. Our wedding day really does seem like a dream — a very expensive dream.
But along with this very special day are valuable skills that are learned along the way. Before one’s wedding day, the bride learns to write a speech, walk with gracefulness, dance like a princess, eat at a table set properly, smile for a whole day without stopping, and hide the discomfort of 4” heels or a tight corset. A bride learns that there is a difference between mauve and purple. All these things and many more (that I have thankfully forgotten) contribute toward transforming a wedding into a beautiful day.
But not all is glamour. For example, here’s what my wedding forgot to teach me. My wedding day should have taught me the value of patience. For me, getting from start to finish included a 9 month countdown so I really should have learned that lesson somewhere in the midst. Love is also patient and my wedding day was a representation of the love I felt for another person, so patience should have been at the top of the list of things I learned.
I should have learned to receive wisdom. After all, I am obviously not the first person to get married so why didn’t I start my planning by actively seeking wisdom from those who went before me? I trusted wedding websites and magazines but wouldn’t my learning have been much better had I began with the source?
I had the opportunity to learn what “community” truly meant. The guest list was long when we first made it, especially since we were both coming from a family of five siblings. It took six revisions before we were able to cut it down to a wedding day we could afford. The problem with this is that with every cut, people who cared about us as people became less valuable because of money.
If I had paid closer attention to the things that really mattered — instead of the fanciful things that make the day look “pretty” — I could have learned some serious life lessons. Instead I chose to focus on details that after that day really didn’t matter. Since then, I have had to learn patience in my marriage. I have had to be patient in raising my kids. I have now learned to seek wisdom from people who have walked this road before me when the things around me begin to unravel. More recently, I have begun to learn about community since I moved and realized how much the people I spent my life with make a difference in my day.
1 Peter 3:3-4 states: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
A few months ago, I attended a wedding and I must say the event was beautiful. The bride was gorgeous. The service was wonderfully orchestrated and the reception sparkled. There was no mistaking the beauty emanating from this fairy tale scene. From my perspective; it was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever attended. The reason I can say this is not because everything was perfectly placed or movie style like, or that the couple had financial means to plan every detail down to the moment, but rather that the wedding was a representation of a Christ centered relationship. The two – the bride and groom as a couple — had incorporated the most valuable life lessons into preparing for their wedding day.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)