Magazines give us all kinds of tips on planning a beautiful wedding: The season’s hottest trends, Fresh ideas for hair and makeup, What to give your wedding party, How much money does the perfect wedding cost, Best picks for a modern gift registry…
I’ve yet to see a magazine that gives the best advice of all. How to love your spouse for the rest of your life.
So often the focus is on the material aspects, and of course there ARE a ton of practical things to consider when planning a wedding! Those things are fun and festive and even necessary sometimes to orchestrating our special days.
But, they don’t paint a complete picture. A wedding isn’t just about the coming together of two people, it is about the bond. The covenant. The dreams of a life spent together.
The bible doesn’t leave us hanging without wedding advice we can really use! In fact, weddings often traditionally include this famous set of Scripture verses, 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8. Many people can recite the first few words easily, so often have we heard them.
Yet, what if we really studied what this will look like played out in real marriage? Let’s dive in for a deeper look at the famous love verses (NIV)…
- Love is patient– when we don’t see the changes we hope for in our relationship, love doesn’t give up (because marriage is sometimes really, really hard work)
- Love is kind- it doesn’t seek to tear down our spouse or be a “right-fighter” (while fights lean toward hitting low, we aim to quench our fiery verbal darts before shooting)
- It does not envy- it celebrates our spouse’s accomplishments, even when our season might seem dry or stunted (while careers and dreams don’t play out on the same timeline)
- It does not boast- it remembers to be modest (and doesn’t remind the other how much they don’t pull their weight around the house, while we “do”…Ephesians 4:29)
- It is not proud- it chooses to be humble (especially when we feel slighted)
- It does not dishonor others- love doesn’t feel the need to bring others down to lift ourselves higher (when our communication falters and old habits want to fight for us)
- It is not self-seeking– instead, it seeks to respect and outdo love for our spouse (this comes back to us with mutual return over the years)
- It is not easily angered– when our natural response is fury, love determines to seek peace and not let the sun go down on our wrath (because we WILL get angry, sometimes rightfully so, but resolution seldom comes in the heat of the moment…Proverbs 15:18)
- It keeps no record of wrongs- naturally, we tend to do this, but love tells us to fight hard to let things go (the same thing we’ll need from the ones who love us)
- Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth– and this truth needs to be sought out with purpose (because our pride will often try and tell us the opposite)
- It always protects– and doesn’t speak maliciously about our spouse to our friends and family (it would hurt us deeply to think they talked bad about us)
- Always trusts- marriage is the place we feel safe (and requires constant guard against societal influences that don’t celebrate the sacred in marriage)
- Always hopes– love purposes to believe God can restore all things (because storms require navigation and marriage must weather them)
- Always perseveres- it requires and insists that we press on (thankfully, God always walks with us)
- Love never fails– although it might “seem” to falter, we can trust that our efforts don’t return without fruit (it might not be exactly what we imagine, but it will absolutely be pruned into something beautiful when we live with intention)
So what really matters to God on our wedding day? We’ll enjoy beautiful flowers, loving guests and a celebratory atmosphere. But, we’ll thrive and grow by preparing our hearts for a lifetime investment.
Love that builds up, loves hard, and stores up reserves for the future.
My own daughter plans to marry this year. This is what my mother’s heart would most want her to know—
A wedding isn’t about trends, but instead is a love story to come… a beautiful promise of God’s gift in the sacred ceremony of deep and abiding lifetime commitment.
It won’t be perfect, but then the best stories only become more beautiful as it progresses…