As many of you might have seen on either Facebook or Instagram, or even on here….weddings have become a huge part of my life, especially in recent years. In fact, in the past five years, I have been to 24 weddings and almost 30 overall. That’s not an exaggeration. I was curious one day and decided to write the weddings I have been to since 2009. Among friends and now even my parents, I have been compared to Katherine Heigl in the movie 27 Dresses. In case you are unfamiliar, her character is one that loves her friends dearly and is the seemingly eternal bridesmaid. Though somedays I do feel like the eternal bridesmaid or guest of weddings, I wonder when my day will come and when I’ll be able to have my day.
Then I remember…its not really my day in the first place.
The wedding (and marriage) is part of a bigger story, one that shows Jesus’ love to the world.
My reason is pretty simple as to why I have traveled to weddings thousands of miles away and why I go to so many weddings every year. Yes, its a celebration of a couple that loves one another. Yes, its, for many, a religious symbol of their marriage. And yes, it may be for some, a way to get the legal rights of a spouse. But let me be clear about something: marriage is sacred. Marriage is a beautiful example of a love worth sacrificing for and one that represents and reflects the love of God. It is for that reason, that I have gone to so many weddings.
There is something absolutely beautiful about seeing a man and woman stand together vowing to love one another in spite of [fill in the blank]. There is something even more beautiful when that couple has a Gospel-centered marriage that reflects the enduring love of Jesus Christ. When that couple vows before one another and God, in purity and in honor, my heart is overwhelmed again and again.
I had the privilege of being a bridesmaid for a dear friend of mine as she married her Beloved, another friend of mine, each I have known for years. The two of them had their awkward youth years, college years, and the years post-college trying to figure out God’s plan for their lives, including the question of marriage. During that time, despite personal struggles, other relationships, and at times frustration with their lives, they pursued purity, honor, integrity, and a life centered on the redemptive and beautiful love of Jesus. It was in that love, that their marriage was possible. It was in their love and foundation of Jesus Christ, that they shared their vows on Saturday.
Knowing that I can go to a wedding and see the covenantal love vowed at an altar and seeing friends embark on the journey and adventure of a Gospel-centered marriage, gives me such joy and excitement. Not every wedding I have been to has had this foundation. My heart is saddened when I know not everyone has Jesus at the center of their marriage. However, when people ask me why I invest the time and money into all of these weddings, I cannot deny the fact that I genuinely love them and love being able to witness such love be celebrated. It gives me excitement for the day when I can say “I Do” to some man; a man who loves Jesus more than he could ever love me, yet because of his love for Jesus, his love for me pours over.
I challenge you, whoever you are, that if you go to a wedding, or maybe you’re getting married, to not take it lightly. Not just the wedding, but the marriage. Please consider the significance of your decision. Those vows, the symbolism of the commitment, the sanctity of that which is before you…
Like I said, I intentionally make an effort to go weddings because I believe in what is being represented: the unconditional, steadfast, enduring love of Jesus Christ for the world represented in a commitment between a man and a woman.