Monday, July 4, 2011

Waiting for the Wedding Day...

{Written by Bethany Ann}

It had been an exciting time in my life. It was my parents 22nd wedding anniversary. We had just gotten word that my mother's cousin (who was in my mother's wedding as a flower girl!) was getting married in a few months. In the past we girls had enjoyed watching the Duggar wedding which we had recorded a while back. Weddings seemed to surround me! :)

     During this joyous time I couldn't help but start to think about what my wedding would be like. Who I would marry, and all the other questions that come to mind when the word wedding is mentioned.

     On my parents wedding anniversary we watched their video recording of their wedding  22 years back. It was fun to see what all took place since we weren't there when it happened. As we watched I started to feel that excitement that you get when you start thinking about your future. Unknowingly I started to mentally list things that I did and didn't want  for my wedding. I started to envision what it would be like to get married and before I knew it, the thought of weddings and marriage were constantly filling my mind. Instead of using this time to prepare for my wedding and future marriage, I was dwelling on unimportant details that certainly could wait to be thought of until later on! As I imagined walking down the isle slowly and repeating the vows I realize that thought these thoughts are okay if done in moderation and at the proper time, but this wasn't the proper time since God has not brought me to this point in life where marriage is visable as of yet.

     It seems like all young girls have this dilemma at one point in their life. God has given us the desire to one day be wives and mothers but so often we get caught up in the thoughts of married life that we don't take this time while we are single to prepare for it properly. Song of Solomon 2:7 b tells us "Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires." While this verse does say "until love so desires." this means when God desires, not when we feel it is the right time. We need to trust in Him, trust that He will work it all out, because He will!

     Until the proper time comes when we do marry (if we marry) then we should not  allow our thoughts to constantly dwell on marriages and weddings. If we allow ourselves to think on such things all the time, then once we do get married, we will be discontent in what we find married life to be. We will be disappointed  because our expectations were to high. This can be detrimental and fatal to any marriage! No matter how much we could like it not to be so, nothing is perfect. Nothing! There is no such thing as a perfect wedding. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. There is no such thing as a perfect husband. We need to remember this when our mind drifts to thoughts of  weddings and the details of them. In Philippians 4:8 we learn to "Finally brothers, whatever is true...think about such things." Since there is no such thing as a perfect wedding, marriage or husband then we should not allow ourselves to think about such things and instead trust that God will work everything out in it's proper time. Besides, when we don't revolve our thoughts on what we want our marriage to be and let God take care of it, it will turn out wonderful since Jesus knows what He is doing!

     One thing that I have found extremely unhelpful is to read literature that portrays romance or marriage in depth. Even if it is a "Christian romance" then we should still take caution. I have found that many so-called Christian romances are only called so because it mentions the girl going to church on Sunday. This is not  true Christianity, sisters! These kinds of books can even be more detrimental than the other romance books because we feel that they are "okay" to read since they are given the Christian title. I find it most helpful to ask my mother what she thinks of a certain book before reading it. Our mother has been there and when we ask for her wisdom and advice she will have much to share! Now, I understand that there may be some clean romances out there, but to me, I don't want to have to read each of them to find out whether it really is clean or not. I try to read books that are encouraging and that will uplift me in my walk with Christ. Anything that doesn't do this is something I would caution you against. Some people are more cautioned in romances than others. There is the balance that needs to be found in between not reading just any book with even the slightest bit of romance and reading any and everything just becasue it is there. Ask your parents how they feel on this subject and ask them what their standards for you are in literature choices.

     I love this quote from Sarah Bryant's book, The Family Daughter: "We should not fuel the desires for marriage by feeding our minds with the media that stimulates this craving. This can be a difficult choice; it means we guard every single thought as we are told to do in 2 Corinthians 10:5. A married lady recently shared with me that she learned while single, to not stir up her desires for marriage. she used the illustration of a jar of water containing sparkles. When she shakes the jar of water they are stirred and "come alive" but when she lets it rest in peace, they settle. Until the right time, when the Lord brings along a mate, we must be careful not to stir up these emotions." This is so true!

     So what is the key? Being content where we are now, whether we are married or single. If we can't be happy were we are right now then how do we expect ourselves to be content once we marry? The button won't all of a sudden "click" once we are married, let's learn to be content in every situation now! Contentment doesn't come naturally, it is a conscious choice that we need to make every day (sometimes even more often than that!).We must be content to serve our father in his house and we must do it joyfully and willingly. We must view this time of singleness as a blessing and and we must use this opportunity to study God's Word and grow closer to Him, and learn skills that will not only benefit our family now, but our future family later on. In 1 Corinthians 7:34 we see that "An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband." Once we are married and have a home to run, we will not have as much time to study the Word or memorize it, much less learn skills that are valuable. We must use this time to prepare! Skills that we can learn are cooking and baking healthy meals, sewing modest clothing, growing food, schooling or helping watch the children and more!

     One habit I have been trying to form is to pray for my future husband each day. When your thoughts turn to weddings then turn that into a prayer. I try and pray for my future husband daily; pray that he would grow close to the Lord, that he would be kept pure and that the Lord would bring us together in the proper time. I also pray for myself, that I would be drawn closer to Christ and that I would use this time to prepare to be a wife and mother. I ask myself what things do I need to work on, such a patience and self-control, and what skills can I improve or learn? I encourage you to start this as well! What a blessing it will be to our future husband to know that we have been praying for him before we even knew him! This is a wonderful way to fulfil Proverbs 31:10 which tells us that the virtuous woman is like: "she does him good not harm all the days of his life." All the days of his life includes those where we don't know him!

     Always remember to keep Christ number one in your life! This way whether we marry or not, Christ will be our ultimate goal in life, our closest friend and the center of our life! I will be praying for you and hope that this article has been of encouragement to you!

Bethany Ann

4 Words of Grace:

Rubies Like Ruth said...

Bethany Ann,

I really enjoyed reading this article. Keeping our thoughts pure is an area that many, many girls struggle with - and I am afraid that many try to justify.

Another way to change the stream of our thoughts is to memorize and quote Scripture. Psalm 119:9 says, "Wherewithal shall a young man {woman :)} cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy Word." From personal experience, I can say that it definitely helps to quote Scripture!!

Ana Renee

Miriam said...

So wonderfully written, Miss Bethany!
Although thinking about weddings is sometimes fun, we should keep our total focus on Christ and be content! =)
May our walk with Christ be our ultimate goal!
In Christ,

Lindsey Marie said...

I struggle with my thoughts a lot. I agree that it is so fun to plan your wedding and your bridesmaid dresses and the flowers, but all to often I find myself imagining the man at the end of the aisle more. God will give us a man to blow our dreams out of the water; we don't need to waste our time think about the perfect eye color!

Thank you for your reminder.

In Him,

Raechel said...

This is a beautifully written post. Thank you for taking the time to encourage us young ladies!
The Lord bless your work,