Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?

I love spring. Flowers are blooming. Plants are coming back from the dead. Colors are popping. Life springs up all around me.

But I also love spring because it will always remind me of my wedding that happened nearly a year ago. The warm temperatures bring back memories of anticipation of that exciting day. I am sure many people feel the same way about spring (and other seasons, of course). For them it is a reminder of the day they promised to spend the rest of their life with their spouse. For others it is a reminder of the most expensive day they ever had.

Weddings have become a staple of our culture. For many brides it is the event of their lives. Everything hinges on that one day—and then it is over. A recent news article says that weddings average at $28,000 to pull the whole thing off. Countless television shows are devoted to weddings, wedding planners, crazy brides, and all the fine details of the event. Weddings now have their own market niche, and we are the ravenous consumers.

I doubt that all of the hoopla surrounding weddings today is what Paul had in mind when speaking about the mystery of marriage he said: “this mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:32).

As Christians, our weddings should be speaking to this mystery, not speaking to the cultural norm. The Christian wedding ceremony should be a holy place. It should be a worshipful place. It should be a reminder to all present of the great love that our Christ has for his Bride—the Church. The focus should not primarily be on the two people standing in front of us. Rather, we should all be looking towards our Savior.

Wedding ceremonies should carry the same weight for us as a Sunday morning worship service. In holy matrimony, the bride and groom are covenanting before God to live sacrificially with one another (regardless of the costs or the trials) until death parts them. And the believers who are present are standing with them, before God, saying they will hold them accountable and partner with them in this effort.

The wedding should also be a celebration (Rev. 19:6-10). While the covenant is serious, it is also joyous. God delights in marriage. He created it. And the celebration will look different for every person. But it is important to remember that just because we are counter-cultural in our practice of weddings, doesn’t mean we are boring. God’s good gifts are never boring!

To be counter-cultural in an extravagant wedding culture takes a lot of grace. It’s not easy to go against what everyone else is doing. The wedding day should be a picture to a lost and dying world of the great love of Christ for his Bride. It should make the Gospel look attractive. It should make Jesus look like the treasure that he is.

When I remember my wedding ceremony to Daniel I should be remembering something far greater than how much I loved my dress (and I did love my dress!). I should be remembering the covenant made between us, a covenant pointing to something far more eternal than the few years we have on this earth. It is a covenant that gives us hope for our future—and that is far more glorious to remember than the dress that sits vacuum sealed in a box in our closet. Far more glorious.