This weekend my good friend is getting married. At her bridal shower I was given the honor of saying a blessing over her and her intended. And what an honor that was!
I blubbered and bawled my way through parts, laughed through others, and meant every precious word.
As we prepare for her upcoming nuptials, I thought it would be appropriate to share (a slightly edited version of) her blessing as a way to encourage all us married ladies.
To my married, or soon-to-be-married readers:
My wedding day really was one of the best days I’ve ever experienced. And I hope every wife and new bride can look back on their day with similar sentiment. But despite all the hours and labor that goes into preparing a wedding and reception, a bride cannot completely imagine the beautiful, soul-shaping adventure ahead. The wedding is just the first page.
Kevin and I have been married 15 years so we are a few chapters into our story. Our chapters have taught us that marriage requires great humility and even greater forgiveness. Forgiveness not earned. Sometimes not deserved. But offered just the same.
I pray daily that I will be a woman able to offer and accept undeserved forgiveness.
Many of us will enjoy re-reading the chapter we wrote that day we wore the most beautiful dress in the world and married the most wonderful man. But every chapter of marriage isn’t as easy, or as wonderful as this one. Sometimes life shatters us, and we have to choose love. We have to fight for our marriage. We have to choose to trust that God is in every season of life and He will give us the strength to remain faithful to Him and to our husband.
I pray for those of you in the midst of a shattering chapter, that you will choose love and trust God.
As we write our stories we learn that life, even our own life, is not all about us. It is so much bigger than that. May we strive to live in a state of thankfulness, thankful that we serve a God who makes all things new, who forgives our sins as we confess them, and uses our marriages as we allow Him, to bring glory to Himself.
Being a bride is wonderful. Romantic. Dream-fulfilling. But we are brides for one day. By God’s grace and His strength we will be godly wives every day for the rest of our lives. Being a bride can be summarized in a few succinct paragraphs in the beginning of our book. As glorious and flowery as that paragraph might read, it truly pales in comparison to the thrill and beauty of being one half of a marriage relationship that brings glory to God over the hundreds of pages that will make up our love stories.
So write a love story worth telling, one worth living. Make it a love story that reflects how God has saved you, redeemed you, made you new, and now walks with you through every season of life. When your groom looks at you with love in his eyes, you will feel beautiful, and precious, and treasured. Let it remind you of how Jesus looks at you, as part of the bride of Christ.
This Bridegroom sees you as beautiful, precious, and treasured. He is the only bridegroom who can meet your deepest needs. Jesus’ love is “wide and long and high and deep enough to dissolve a mountain of rightful wrath. This is the love you have been looking for all your life. And nothing else will satisfy you like it does.” This is the love of Jesus. If we wives look to Jesus to meet our deepest needs, our marriages will be blessed. We will be free to love and forgive each other and we’ll be able to tell our children and grandchildren a love story that is worth listening to, because it was worth living.