My wife and I made a mistake in planning for our wedding day. Actually, the error lies with me. I thought that good stewardship was the goal when it came to the wedding day expenses. I thought that frugality was the way to honour God with our money on the day. I think I was wrong.
Being frugal might have been the way to honour God if the issue was buying a car for myself. But the wedding feast is not about what the groom is prepared to do for himself, it’s about what he is prepared to do for the joy of others and the beauty of His bride.
Weddings are given by God as a dramatisation of what Jesus does for us in the gospel. They are a portrayal of His death and resurrection and are accompanied by a generous display of hospitality for the joy of those who come.
We see reflections of this attitude in King Ahasuerus when he made Esther his Queen.
Then the king gave a great feast for all his officials and servants; it was Esther’s feast. He also granted a remission of taxes to the provinces and gave gifts with royal generosity. (Esther 2:18)
Here, debts are cancelled and those invited are the recipients of unearned generosity and hospitality.
We see this focus on the joy of others in the feasts God holds for His people,
Go and eat the fat and drink the sweet, and send out portions to those who have nothing prepared, for today is holy to our Lord. And do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
Why the big spend? Why the generosity? Because what we are celebrating is God’s offer of salvation and the remission of sins. A day of generosity, gratitude and joy.
The issue is not the amount of money spent, but on what you think the spending is for.
…spend the money for whatever you desire; oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household. (Deuteronomy 14:26)
As a shadow of Christ, the Bridegroom feasting with His bride and His friends, the feasts of Israel were characterised by a wide-armed welcome and generous hospitality to those God had invited to eat with Him.
And so, your wedding day is not an occasion for you to demonstrate your budgeting skills. It’s a day for you to willingly lay down what you have for the joy, comfort and hospitality of others – something that should characterise your home throughout life.
A Bride Made Beautiful
The same principle would apply to how you see your bride. What is her value? What are you prepared to invest in her beauty?
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure. (Revelation 19:6-8)
Again, the amount spent is not the point. Your eye should not be on your wallet but on Jesus who emptied Himself for the sake of His bride, in order to make her beautiful.
Done rightly, the feast and the celebration are both humble and abundant. It’s a day of warm hospitality. It’s a day for making sure that everybody else has enough wine (John 2:11).
Jesus has not bidden us come, “…get a little grace, but not too much.” He has said, “Come and be filled full to overflowing. Come and drink and eat with Me without payment and without price.” (Isaiah 55:1)
The day is to be a glorious depiction of that Supper that awaits us. Point to that day with your prayers, your praise, your pocket and with an eye on the joy of others. And remember that in the Gospel, Jesus invites you to point the day to Him in the abundance of the grace, grog and gladness freely given.
Marriage Preparation PDF
Marriage exists because Christ died for the world. He came to kill the dragon and get the girl. Which He did.
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