The Book

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A Christ-Centered Wedding: Rejoicing in the Gospel on Your Big Day

by Catherine Strode Parks and Linda Strode

Coming May 1, 2014 from B&H Publishing

Wedding planning has spawned a major industry. The average cost of the occasion now exceeds $25,000, and societal pressure to create the “perfect day” is so strong that even Christian couples forget what God originally intended for the sacred marriage ceremony.

While paying attention to the good fun that follows that special proposal (the dress, the flowers, the cake, the gatherings, etc.), A Christ-Centered Wedding first serves as a guide to believers who want their wedding to portray the relationship of Christ with the church and to reflect the gospel to all in attendance.

From the start, this thoughtful book looks to the Creator of weddings for guidance in planning by emphasizing the sacrificial love of the Savior more than the modern world’s idealistic view of romantic love. There are chapters filled with practical information about everything from pre-marital counseling and choosing a wedding location to other resources like a planning checklist and timeline, music suggestions, guidance on potential issues of conflict, a listing of traditional financial responsibilities, sample vows, and other great ideas from couples who have successfully put together a Christ-centered wedding.

 

Endorsements for A Christ-Centered Wedding

It’s your big day, at last! This is the day you’ve waited for, the moment you’ve dreamed about. But what if you’re not meant to be the star of the show? This book will prove to you that Jesus Christ is meant to be the center of your wedding, and, best of all, it will help you put him there.

Tim Challies, Blogger and Author of The Next Story and The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment


In America, weddings have become a combination of a circus, a spectacle, and a spending frenzy. Into this confusion step Linda Strode and Catherine Parks, a mother-and-daughter team bringing genuine biblical insight and Christian clarity that will help us all think more rightly, more biblically, and more faithfully about weddings. This is a timely and important book.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

 

Grounded in the gospel and chock-full of practical advice, Strode and Parks give brides-to-be much to consider for planning a wedding in light of eternity. In a season where it is easy to feel overwhelmed by centerpieces and changing relationships, this book centers a bride's thoughts and affections on the God who never changes.

Gloria Furman, author of Glimpses of Grace and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full

 

We know the wedding day is all about the bride, right? Catherine Parks and her mother, Linda Strode, collaborate in A Christ-Centered Wedding to help you find the answer; and that answer is no. The duo share compelling reasons why engaged couples should center their pre-wedding days on the gospel. Suggestions such as receiving mentoring and pre-marital counseling, to considering a budget in light of God’s word, will assist the blushing bride and starry-eyed groom well past their wedding date. Practical, honest, and grounded in truth, A Christ-Centered Wedding is the perfect book for anyone thinking about saying those five important words: Till death do us part.

Trillia Newbell, author of United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity

 

Catherine Parks and her mother, Linda, have created an unexpectedly necessary tool for pastors and counselors or anyone entering into the planning of a wedding. The beautiful truth that the gospel informs and changes everything from how to plan a wedding to your standing before God is brilliantly displayed in A Christ-Centered Wedding. We hope you pick up this book and are as pleasantly surprised as we were by the holistic view that the gospel is for all of life. 

Jessica Thompson and Elyse Fitzpatrick, co-authors of Give Them Grace

 

The Church has been waiting way too long for this book. How many of us have sat through, or officiated at, train-wreck weddings, wondering how the glory of Christ came to be eclipsed in all this circus? This book, by a wise mother and daughter team, offers guidance and counsel about how to plan a wedding where Jesus is the focus, not an afterthought. I commend this beautiful book to couples pondering marriage, to families planning weddings, and to pastors seeking to navigate through the morass of the modern wedding-industrial complex. This book liberates us to see the wedding as the means to the marriage, and not the other way around.

Russell D. Moore, Ph.D., President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission | Southern Baptist Convention

 

Many other wedding books we read seemed to add to our stress by telling us how to make our wedding "perfect." A Christ-Centered Wedding replaced that feeling with the constant reminder that our wedding will be about bringing glory to God, not about making us look good. Every time we opened this book we felt more excited for our wedding--not just to start our lives together in the way that God intended, but for the opportunity to glorify Christ and make Him known. 

Jacob and Rachel Dellinger, newlyweds 

 

There are books that need to be written and there are uniquely qualified authors who need to write them. It’s a special moment when book and author meet. An idea, hidden in the wide open of our experiences is finally seen. It’s always obvious once it’s seen. “Someone should write a book about that.” Reluctantly, the observer becomes the author. Their fate is to give the idea life. The result is not simply words and paragraphs and grammar and knowledge. It’s a gift. A singular undeniable notion brought to light. A contribution to the collective awareness of men. An audience that languished unknowingly in the absence of this wisdom is set free by that original convergence of book and author. That’s a book worth reading. The book you’re holding in your hand is such a gift.

A Christ-Centered Wedding should have been written a long time ago. The need is so obvious. Engaged couples, even Christian ones, can struggle to keep the true significance of the wedding ceremony front and center. By the time the wedding day arrives brides are exhausted people. Having planned, made reservations, scheduled events, invited friends and family, hired photographers and chased down countless little tasks the concept of worship gets lost. More importantly, Christ, the true honored guest, gets relegated to a back seat. No one intends this to happen. But, it will unless you are intentional. This is why A Christ-Centered Wedding is such a brilliant help. From the gospel to finances - and every thing in between – Catherine Parks and her mother, Linda Strode, will get you to the altar with your sanity and a heart of praise. This book is destined to become required reading for any Christian couple planning a wedding.

Byron Yawn, Lead Pastor, Community Bible Church (Nashville, TN), Author of What Every Man Wishes His Father Had Told Him & Suburbianity

 

This inspiring but practical stage by stage book will keep believers' minds on Christ. Attractive and practical ideas concerning every aspect of the wedding process are in this book, but its main design is to make your wedding turn eyes to Christ.

Jim Elliff, Christian Communicators Worldwide

 

Wedding planning too often centers on issues like flowers and the color of the bridesmaids' dresses, with little thought given to how God will be exalted and how the gospel will be proclaimed on the wedding day. Here is a resource that puts the most important part of every wedding ceremony back where it belongs, front and center.

Bob Lepine, cohost, Family Life Today