I’m trying on wedding dresses on Monday, and I am very excited. I have one picked out, on sale, and the store has it in stock. All of this wedding dress talk has really got me thinking. I’ve always loved the song “Wedding Dress” by Derek Webb, and I encourage you to listen to it before continuing to read.
“I am a whore I do confess, I put You on just like a wedding dress and I run down the aisle, run down the aisle. I’m a prodigal with no way home, I put You on just like a ring of gold and I run down the aisle, run down the aisle, to You.”
As I sought the Lord at the conference this past week, He graciously brought all my cluttered thoughts into one broad theme, and that is my identity. I’ve been reading books and articles recently about Godly womanhood, and a burden has been growing in me to foster that Godliness both in myself and in other women.
So I get to thinking about a wedding dress. Our clothing, our uniform helps create our identity. If we work at McDonald’s, we’ll wear a hat with the big yellow arches. A doctor wears a lab coat. A mom might wear yoga pants and an adoption t-shirt (okay maybe not…just had to throw that in there) J But in any case, our clothing helps to define us, and gives a little glimpse of who we are and what we do. When you see a beaming woman in a gorgeous white gown, she looks like a princess, and you know that she is a bride. She is going to walk down the aisle to her husband. The white is a symbol of purity, something that has lost tremendous value in the past 50 years, and it makes my heart ache. Regardless, the wedding dress is the outward evidence of a bride.
While I absolutely cannot wait to find that perfect dress, I am far less concerned about that than what is on the inside. What is my inward evidence of being a bride-to-be. Any bride can put on a dress and walk down an aisle to be married. But when that ceremony is over, she takes that dress off and she is not only a woman but a wife. When we become Christians, we become a part of the Church, which is the Bride of Christ. In one of my workshops last week, they gave us 3 qualities of the Bride of Christ which should in turn be possessed by women of the Lord.
- Beautiful- think and act beautifully. This means grasping on to the identity which is found in Christ with both hands, believing it with your head and your heart.
- Confident- This attribute stems from the first one. Your confidence in your beauty as a Daughter of the King should in turn be reflected in your actions. When others see you, they should see something different about you- a peace and rest about who you are as a person, and a confidence in your ability to be used by the Lord.
- Unshakeable hope- oh how beautiful these words are. We possess an unshakeable, unwavering hope that cannot be taken from us. Let me repeat that. It CANNOT be taken from us. I cannot tell you how many times I have let that be snatched away from my hands. A negative comment, a frustrating number when I step on the scale, a doubting professor, a disappointment. We are faced with these things everyday. For that matter, my first look in the mirror in the morning can dictate whether or not I claim that hope for today. But- if we claim that beauty from Christ, and with confidence believe it regardless of what the day brings, we will have this unshakeable hope.
So on Monday, I’ll be whisked away into every girl’s dream. I’ll try on dress after dress, I might cry when I find the right one, and I’ll truly feel like a bride. But in my heart of hearts, I know that this dress is only temporary, only an outward fixture of that big day. In the end, I am a woman of the Lord, a Princess Warrior, a Daughter of the King, and I have a lifetime of marriage to look forward to when the make-up is taken off and the dress is gone. Just as we don't want to slip on our identity as "Christian" and slip it off again, I do not want to just slip on the wedding dress and call myself a bride. Our roles as Godly women go much deeper than this.
As I seek the Lord’s face for what this season holds for me as a bride-to-be, I’m asking him to mold me, and put me through His refining fire, that I might come out on the other end a beaming woman clothed in the purity of Christ. And I long for this for every woman who is sitting staring at their computer screen reading these words. Truly. I care for your heart, I long for women to embrace our place in this world, the identity that God has given us. Will you join me on this journey of seeking the Father’s heart in a world that calls for the opposite of a gentle and quiet spirit with inward beauty? I believe that He has so much for us.
"but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves."
1 Peter 3:4-5
"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."