As the snow melts and the sun rises on this Saturday morning, we’re preparing for a bridal shower. This house will be bursting with women who dearly love a young woman and want to shower her with support, gifts, and encouragement. My favorite part will be when we balance our coffee mugs and brunch plates on our knees, sit around a circle, and share words of encouragement with the Bride-to-Be. It’s my job to get the ball rolling, so I’ve been pondering what I’ll say. (If you know me, you know I have a thousand things I’d love to share! I’ve gone round and round in my mind, reorganizing my list according to importance. If you want to keep me up at night, tell me I can only choose one word of advice about anything. Sheesh. It’s so hard to choose!)
What is the one thing you would say to a Bride-to-Be?
Through all of my pondering, one thing has repeatedly stayed at the top of the list.
It’s not original or insightful.
In fact, it’s the most obvious Christian thing to say, so I’m kind of hesitant to sound cliche.
But it’s the truest. So, I’ll say it with all my heart.
I’ll say, “Pray.”
Pray for your husband, but not just for your husband.
Pray for your marriage, and pray for yourself.
Pray for the marriages around you and pray for marriage in general.”
Building a strong, vibrant, and gospel-centered marriage is a task far beyond our capability. We desperately need God’s omniscience, omnipresence, and lovingkindness, so, we must ask Him for help. And thankfully, He delights to help us.
When it comes to marriage:
Pray when you are weak; you need God’s strength.
Pray when you are proud; you need Christ’s humility.
Pray when you are depressed; you need the Lord’s joy.
Pray when you are bitter, angry, perverse, disappointed, unloving, and selfish, for you need your Heavenly Father’s forgiveness and purity.
Pray when your husband is weak, and proud, and disappointed; pray when he is bitter, angry, perverse, disappointed, unloving, and selfish; you both need the Holy Spirit’s help.
Though there are countless aspects of our marriage that I haven’t prayed about yet, I can say with confidence that God has responded in full to everything I have ever prayed about concerning our marriage – from healing my most personal and regrettable thoughts to generously granting us our most specific requests for teachable children who love to cuddle.
God is doing more than I could ever hope or imagine in our marriage, in Ryan, in me. He is our help in times of distress and our salvation every morning. He is our Heavenly Father who delights to give us His Holy Spirit. Who do we have in Heaven but Him?
So, my encouragement to the beautiful Bride-to-Be, to the ladies gathered around, to you, and to me, is to pray.
What would you say?