“The human mind may devise many plans, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established” Proverbs 19:21
PRINCIPLE: Believe that God will use you and your wedding for His glory.
God can do mighty things. You’ve heard stories of His wondrous power before, but let’s take it a little closer to home. Imagine you are happily married and living in rural, mid-west America; then, suddenly, a bale of hay is torched by God. As you go to check it out, you hear God’s voice tell you to leave where you are and go into the heart of Asia to release persecuted Christians from their abusive governments.
Imagine you are a casualty of an unforgiving economy, and you have nothing in your kitchen but a Cup ‘O Noodles and half a package of Saltine crackers. After you eat those, you will have nothing left, so you prepare to eat them with dignity as your last meal. Some man knocks at your door and asks for food and shelter. Although you have nothing substantial to give, your Cup O’ Noodles and Saltines feed you both, continuously replenishing themselves as you eat them.
Imagine you are engaged to be married (I know, this one’s cheating), and you end up supernaturally pregnant with a V.I.P. in your womb.
These scenarios sound crazy, but they have happened (minus the contemporary adjustments). Scripture is loaded with stories of ordinary people who had extraordinary faith in God’s provision and purpose. As you plan your wedding, certainly cross your t’s and dot your i’s to make sure everything is smooth and spectacular, but don’t forget to plan with eternal purpose. It’s not about whether the day goes off without a hitch; it’s about whether God uses the day to bring glory to His name.
The same God who freed a nation, multiplied a disappearing food supply, and gave the world a savior is the God who loves you, purposed you, and dwells within you. Your wedding could be a miracle that you cannot even begin to fathom! Leave room for God to show up and to make His presence known.
Why are you having the wedding you are having? Why not smaller or bigger? Why not cheaper or more opulent? Why not sooner or later? For every decision you make, there is a purpose driving it.
Personality in Practice
Is the purpose of your wedding to worship God? Is it to honor your family? Is it to throw a great party?
A great exercise to do with your fiancé is to list your wedding purposes. Start individually so you aren’t influenced by the other, and then see where your lists complement each other and where they clash. Refine it so you have a core list of purposes that you can both come back to when things get so stressful or tempting or emotional that you need to ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?”
You can also help identify latent purposes in each other that need to be addressed, confessed, and thrown off such as wanting to show off, wanting to spite your parents, or wanting to celebrate yourself. As Jesus says in Mark 7:21, the human heart is where evil intentions come from, so being diligent about searching your heart to identify the selfish purposes will free you up to act on the mighty ones.
Dream big. Pray for God to show you His purpose for your wedding. He used my friend’s wedding to turn me back to Him. Maybe He wants to use your wedding to do miracles in someone’s heart.
Father in Heaven, Your will is perfect. Please show me where my heart is selfish, so that I can confess that as sin. (Confess your sins). Forgive me, Lord, for all of the ways that I have made and will make this wedding and this marriage about myself. What purposes do You have for my wedding, both in this life and in eternity? You know the desires of my heart, You know the limitations of our time and budget, and You know the needs of every person who will be there. Direct my steps and teach my heart to trust Your perfect purpose for this wedding. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“Right after Matt proposed he was shipped out overseas again. Because I was planning most of the wedding by myself, I knew that I had to be intentional if I wanted to avoid stress. Matt and I made a list of what was important to each of us and what wasn’t. I also made a list of what I wanted on my wedding day, making sure to add in time for prayer throughout the day. Making these kinds of lists and keeping them in my wedding binder where I could see them helped to ground me. We could work backwards from them in order to glorify God with our wedding and to plan a party where Matt and I could really celebrate being husband and wife. It was a source of flooding peace to remember that all we had to do—the only important things for each day—was to honor and adore God, honor each other, and love the people whom God loves. Everything else was just a detail.” -Amber Sutton
• Also see Marriage Preparation
Adapted from the book, The Purposed Bride, by Lindsay Hall.
Get Lindsay’s book, The Purposed Bride
Copyright © 2013 Lindsay Hall. Used with permission.