Ephesians 5:25,27 – Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (NJKV)
The last time I looked for a wedding dress was in 1970. I was 19, the dress was pink, and the wedding was at city hall. I was a typical sixties-thinking, cute gal, and a white dress didn't have much meaning for me then. But this wedding would be different. For one thing, at 63, I was far less cute. For another, I had been scooped up by the heavenly Bridegroom at 27. So, although I had lost a husband to a blonde, the wedding gown would be white, since a modest, white gown is a biblical reflection of the purity of the Bride of Christ. I had waited twenty-four years for this groom – a godly man. Now He had provided an earthly groom for me, one of His best men, Allan Smith.
So there I was, a grandmother at a wedding gown boutique, with all the young cuties, trying on dresses. The first thing that I noticed was that all the wedding gowns were strapless and revealing. Gone was the notion that a bride was to look chaste and modest in a white gown denoting purity. One of the most meaningful comparisons in the Bible is that of Christ as the Bridegroom and His church as the pure bride. Being mindful of this, I knew that the gowns that I was seeing would not fit that comparison! Against all odds, I finally discovered a beautiful dress that was strapless but not revealing! A trip to another bridal boutique provided the modest lace jacket overlay. I knew that in this dress, I could feel like a Christ-following woman walking down the aisle to meet my bridegroom.
With the wedding just days away, I arrived with great excitement at the wedding boutique to pick up my dress. The gown was beautiful, and my heart was full of thanksgiving that God should grant me such joy at this time of life. Surely goodness and mercy had followed me. (Psalm 23) As I tried on my gown, the woman in the next change room began to talk to me. I could tell by her voice that she wasn't love's young dream either. I asked her if she was the mother of the bride or the bride. "The bride!" she said, sounding as excited as I was. Her name was Joanne. "Well I'm a 63-year-old bride," I responded. She told me that she was a 60-year-old bride. Stepping out of the change rooms we shared our romantic stories as if we had been friends for years. Both Joanne and I were to be married on the coming Saturday. What an unexpected kinship I felt towards her. I told her that I had found it difficult to find a modest gown. She shared that in her church it was important that a bride dress modestly. I shared that the Bride of Christ depicted in Scripture is pure, without spot or wrinkle, and that I wanted to honour that comparison with my wedding gown. She seemed really moved by these words. We shared a meaningful embrace and blessed each other as believers.
Whether we serve the Lord Jesus as married or single (which I did joyfully for many years), may we keep our souls dressed in the inner bridal gown, white and pure, until we go to meet our eternal Bridegroom.
Isaiah 61:10 – I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (NKJV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, enable Your church to walk through the world as Your chaste bride, with our lamps trimmed and our garments spotless, ready to meet You. We long to be with You as Your bride, dressed in our pure and modest white garments of salvation and righteousness. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Be Still My Soul" (Lyrics)