I recently attended a wedding for the daughter of some very close friends. It had to be one of the sweetest weddings I’ve ever witnessed. The biggest concern of the bride and groom was that attendees worshiped and heard the Gospel. Having a preacher for a dad to help conduct the ceremony didn’t hurt either!
What was so special was how this dad talked about his handing over to the groom the responsibility for being the umbrella of protection over his daughter, the bride. He talked about how he had spent all her life helping her grow in Christ, protecting her, and loving her each day. Even though he would always love her, now her husband had the responsibility of being the spiritual leader and protector for her.
Let’s relate that to the wedding feast that will happen when Christ returns. (Rev. 19:7) The joy we feel at earthly weddings will pale in comparison to the joy we will feel when HE returns! This dad (and mom!) prepared for the wedding day with such diligence and love. I wonder how we are really preparing ourselves and the Church for His return. Do we use the same diligence?
Martha Lawley wrote a wonderful Bible study, Attending the Bride: Preparing for His Return . In it she reminds us that Christ is the bridegroom (Mark 2:18-20) , the church is the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25-32) and individual believers are attendants to the bride of Christ (Matthew 25:1-13). Think for a minute about the responsibility of the attendants in the wedding. They help the bride prepare for the most important day of her earthly life. So what do we do as attendants for the Bride of Christ? Encourage, hold accountable, hold up when weak, challenge when making bad choices, help her become all Christ created her to be as she diligently waits for her Bridegroom.
As leaders, I think we should challenge ourselves and our teams…what are we really investing in? Just keeping our women busy, or helping them to get ready for the wedding feast? Food for thought for me, perhaps for you too.