If you are just setting out in the process of planning a wedding it's easy to become overwhelmed (and stay that way) from the very beginning. So my mom and I developed a list of "10 Ways to Have a Christ-Centered Wedding" in order to aid couples in thinking through options and prioritizing the process.
Now let me tell you what this is not. This is not as simple as checking off a list of “Christ-Centered Wedding Tips” to ensure the gospel is proclaimed and at the heart of the wedding. As with other aspects of life, it’s our hearts that matter. So in the following list, you will see 10 ways to look at your heart as you plan a wedding. We believe a “Christ-centered wedding” flows from these things.
Today I'm featuring the first 5 of our list, and next week will include the second half.
1. Pray - A Christ-centered wedding begins with a Christ-centered heart. So pray for some of these to be realities:
- That God will draw you and others closer to Himself during your wedding planning;
- That He will drive the beauty of gospel truth deeper into your heart;
- That you will reflect His grace and love to others;
- That you will, by His grace, better understand your identity in Christ;
- That your marriage will begin at the foot of the cross, where you experience the freedom only found through Christ’s sacrificial love on your behalf.
2. Know Christ - In order for weddings to reflect Christ, we must first truly know Him. Spend time in His Word, learning what it means to be part of the church (Christ’s bride!) and what He has done for you. Your wedding will be a reflection of what you believe about your true Bridegroom.
3. Receive Christ-Centered Pre-Marriage Counseling - Begin counseling early, and meet with your counselor often. It’s easy to put it off, but the chaos of wedding planning is easier to keep in check when you are focusing on marriage more than wedding.
4. Make Gospel Proclamation the Goal - Revelation 19 pictures our future wedding--the Marriage Feast of the Lamb--when the church will be gathered with our Bridegroom, Jesus. When we focus on this, our present weddings become pictures of this future reality. One of the benefits of having your local pastor perform the ceremony is the freedom of trusting him to share the gospel during the ceremony. But there are many other ways couples can proclaim Christ to their witnesses, beginning with number 5 below.
5. Have a Wedding of Worship - One of our favorite things to see in weddings is the bride and groom standing together with the bridal party and witnesses, all focused on the same mission--worshiping their Creator God together. Congregational song worship, Scripture readings, foot-washing, circle prayers--these are all ways to focus the wedding on worship, not of the bride or groom, but of their Savior.
Come back next week to see numbers 6-10, but in the meantime I'd love to hear from you if you're in the midst of wedding planning! It's an honor and joy to pray for couples around the world. Leave me a note in the comments, or shoot me an email-- catherinestrodeparks(at)gmail(dot)com.
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