marriage Old Testament Study

A Royal Wedding

This morning is full of talk of the Royal Wedding, and rightly so!  It is so exciting to see Kate become a princess.  She is regal and beautiful.

As I listened to commentary, I heard over and over how people are wanting this marriage to work.  I heard people talking about how the people of England were being respectful of the couple in order to show their support.  When Kate walked out onto the balcony for their kiss you could easily read her lips saying “Wow!”  as she saw the huge crowd awaiting them outside.  It was so special to see an entire country supporting the idea of marriage.

As I watched the people cheering for the happy couple, I thought about the importance of the supporting cast in a wedding-bridesmaids and groomsmen.  I thought about the amazing women I chose to stand beside me at my wedding.  I have been a bridesmaid in so many weddings, as have many of my friends, that honestly, when I am asked my first thoughts is, “How much is this going to cost me?”  I know, I know, but I’ve worked in accounting and have a color-coded budget in excel that makes me smile.  Along with that I have spent up to $2000 to be in someone else’s wedding after paying for the dress, the shoes, the flight, a gift, meals for the weekend, hair, etc.  With all of the costs associated with being a bridesmaid it is difficult sometimes to focus on the importance of this role.

As women, we can often view this important role as a social status: the bride proclaiming to her friends and family who her closest friends are.  I’ve heard girls getting worked up over the order that they are listed in the program because everyone knows the closer you stand to the bride, the closer you are to her relationally.  But is that really what bridesmaids are intended to do?  I have heard many preachers challenge the wedding party to pledge their support to the couple-to walk alongside them in their marriage and help them overcome the twists, turns and bumps in the road.

At our wedding, Carl and I wanted to do something special to let our parents and our wedding party be more than just pretty faces.  Rather than lighting a unity candle {which would have blown out since it was an outdoor wedding}, we asked these precious friends and family to build an altar with us.

In Deuteronomy 27:3, Moses instructs Joshua to build and altar to the Lord “when you have crossed over to enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, promised you.”  And in Joshua 8 beginning in verse 30 we see that Joshua did exactly this.  He built and altar to the Lord reminding him and the people of Israel of the covenant that God made to them and of God’s faithfulness in fulfilling His promises.

So at our wedding we wanted to be reminded of the covenant that we made on that day.  So rather than lighting the unity candle, we had our parents and each of our bridesmaids and groomsmen take a rock and place it in a vase, essentially building an altar.  After our parents and wedding party, Carl and I each placed a rock on the top.  This vase, filled with rocks, reminds Carl and I of the covenant we made before God on our wedding day.  But in asking our parents and wedding party to join with us in building this altar we were asking them to join in the covenant with us–to hold us accountable to the covenant, to pray for us, to cheer us on when we needed it, to help us carry on when we felt like giving up.

This is what the role of a true bridesmaid is.

So as wedding season approaches us, please don’t be discouraged that you have to be in one more wedding.  Get excited that you get to stand beside a dearly loved friend and pledge your support of her marriage from now until death do you part.

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