Thursday, June 10, 2010

tips for a God-centered, sancifying and frugal wedding (part 1)

reading this blog today made me reflect on my own wedding planning experience, and think about what advice i would give to other women who are currently in the process of planning their own weddings.

weddings are very much a product of culture.  there is little in the wedding that actually affects the marriage.  furthermore, there is little if any instruction in the bible on how a wedding should be conducted.  as a result, weddings, even for the christ follower, are heavily influenced by tradition and trends.

and without a doubt, the tradition and trend in our culture is to put lots of stock in your wedding, make it your perfect day, focus on yourself, and feel great about everything in life.  in other words, spend lots and lots and LOTS of money.

however, the bible tells christians not to be conformed to culture, but to be transformed by  examining what God has revealed about how we should live.

that being the case, there are three pieces of advice that i would offer to christ-following women in this lifestage, most especially before you actually start planning. (this applies to men too, but more so to women who tend to do most of the wedding planning)

1.) examine your heart.
are you the type who has dreamed of her wedding since you were a young girl? what are your expectations for your wedding?  how would you describe the weddings that you have been to in your life, especially the ones that you most admired?

what do you want to be true in your life in general, as a christ follower?  how do you want these values to play out on your wedding day?  are your desires for your wedding influenced more by the bible or by what the world tells you to value?

pretend you are 80 years old and thinking back on your wedding.  what do you want to be able to tell your grandkids was true of that day?  if you could write a mission statement for your wedding, what would it be?

2.) confess and repent of sin. 
if you truly examine your heart, i guarantee that you will have plenty of sin to confess regarding this major life event.  i am a very practical person, and i had zero desire for any kind of fancy wedding.  however, when i went to friends' weddings during my engagement time, i constantly compared myself to them, and often struggled with jealousy.  when i didn't struggle with jealousy, i fell into judgementalism.  these were sins that i continually had to confess.

ask God to show you any hint of jealousy you may have of others, selfishness that you would want to make the day about you, bitterness towards any friends or family members regarding how this day will play out, desires to be admired by others, feelings of wanting what you see in magazines and on TV, etc.

confess this sin to God.  and ask him to help you to turn away from it.  these two things will most likely be a continual process leading up to your wedding.

3.) pray.
there are many things you should be praying for in this process.  however, two that i will suggest that relate specifically to the topic of this blog are to pray for sanctification and pray for provision.

pray for sanctification, that God would make your character more like jesus' during this time.  pray that as He points out sin that He would graciously empower you to walk away from that sin.  pray that God would especially sanctify you in preparation for your upcoming marriage.

pray also for provision of what you need for the wedding, and that God would provide the people and the way to keep it simple.  more in my next post about all of the really cool ways God answered our prayers and provided for our wedding!

in many ways, having a simple wedding will honor God, and help you turn away from the world's oppressive message to honor yourself on that day.
why go simple?

1. to put the focus on jesus, not on you or your big bankroll wedding.

2. be green. ultimately, the more frivolities you buy for your wedding, the more resources that are wasted, and the more pollutants that go into the environment (more on that here)

3. save that money for something better.  like a savings account, supporting a missionary, making a wise investment, or building a well for people in india who have no access to clean water.

4. be a trend setter.  very few people go "simple" for their wedding.  who knows, you might start the next big thing.

5.  help others not to sin.  when other ladies come to your wedding, they will be less likely to sinfully fall into jealousy, but will more easily be able to focus on jesus and rejoice with you about the special journey of marriage you are embarking on.

5.  allow people in your life to bless you by utilizing their gifts and talents to make your wedding day happen.  having people you know help you also makes your wedding much more personal, unique and special.

tomorrow, i will get a little more practical.  i'll share about how we did our evening wedding for 200 guests with a meal for under $3,000, with practical tips on planning your simple, frugal and fantastic wedding.

go on to part two here...

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