A Single Believer’s Guide to Attending Weddings

I love weddings.

The beauty.

The joy.

The tears.

The message.

The speeches.

The creativity

The eating.

The dancing.

 

But for some of us who are not on the precipice of marital bliss, weddings can be…well…painful.

 

For the single mom who regrets her wedding day.

For the guy whose girl just left him.

For the girl who guys never fall for.

For the recently widowed.

For the girl who “wasn’t enough” to marry.

For the guy who was too late in asking her.

 

What do these people do as wedding invite after invite flood their mailbox? How do they prepare themselves for walking into yet another celebration feeling alone? How do they look forward to:

 

Sitting alone at the ceremony

Sitting out during the “couple dances”.

Sitting with all couples or families.

Or perhaps worst-sitting at the “single” table?

If you are a believer, I have 3 encouraging verses to share with you to help you honor God and enjoy the weddings you attend. These have wonderfully changed how I attend weddings and I can honestly say they are a JOY. Though during the wedding/reception the sting of singleness may still arise, its pain doesn’t linger, and I am truly able to rejoice in the day! I hope these help you to attend weddings with gospel rooted happiness, clarity of mind, and focus on others!

  • Pray for selflessness
    1. Romans 12: 15 says to “Rejoice with those who rejoice”. So, as you are tempted to think about your loneliness, your heartache, your etc. etc. etc., remind yourself that this. Is. Not. About. You! Yes, it may hurt, but take your eyes off your own pain and pray for eyes to see and rejoice in the excitement and joy of others. Pray for the ability to put your mourning on a shelf, and for the night, focus solely on praising the Lord for how he provided for this couple. How he blessed this couple. How he led this couple. Because it’s okay that he chose not to do that to you. His timing and his way is perfect, and he is to be praised in the land of plenty, and the land of drought.
  • Look for others to bless
    1. God is a God of comfort, and he desires and commands us to comfort other (2 Corinthians 1). Chances are that in this situation (as well as most situations) if you are slightly uncomfortable, there are others there feeling that exact same way as well. Try and find a person who looks like they need love, and make it your job to encourage them and help them have a joyful experience! By taking your eyes off yourself, and onto someone else in need-both you AND the other person will be blessed.
  • Let their love point you to a bigger Love
    1. In my opinion, the MOST IMPORTANT point to focus on during weddings is this one. Ephesians 5:25-33 talks all about how a husband and a wife are simply a PICTURE of Christ and the church. So during the wedding think deeply on what their love tells you about God’s love for his people. Think about your “conversion moment” when you hear about when the couple first fell in love. Think about your “salvation prayer” or when you dedicated your life to Christ as they exchange their vows. As you drive to the reception, reflect on the journey of life God has given you. When you reach the reception, know that when you arrive in Glory, there will be a celebration for the Groom and his Bride that will go above and beyond anything this life has to offer. And as you feast, and dance, and laugh, know that love IS worth celebrating and in Christ you have the most glorious, perfect love ever offered.

So before you apply your waterproof mascara or put that church’s address in your GPS, pray. Pray for someone to bless. Pray for a heart of gratitude and joy. Pray for eyes to see the parallels between husband and wife with Christ and the Church. Pray that your affections for God are strengthened and increased. Pray that you can impact others at the wedding with the love of Christ. And know that when you pray, the peace of God will guard your heart and your mind (Phil. 4:7)-and I guarantee your wedding experience will be better because of it! 🙂

Also, quick shout out to the 2015 weddings I went to that were FULL of worship and joy: Amber & Christopher Gomes, Amy & Blair Fisher- I love the four of you DEEPLY and am SO thankful for your love, example, and friendships! ❤

P.S. Below are some of my favorite quotes about marriage! Enjoy!

"Marriage is two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love & consolation, a haven in a heartless world." Tim Keller:

"The love language of all marriages is self-denial." (Burk Parsons):

John Piper on marriage:

John Piper, Momentary Marriage:

I have this marriage, so blessed.:

Marriage:

Marriage:

And this one..hee hee hee…

Google Employee Helps with Devotions

I read an article this morning titled, “This Google Employee Has  a Brilliant Time Management Strategy“. Here’s the video version of it:

You get the premise: you need to block out time in your schedule for your projects. Simple? Yes. But so very important. For the things that MATTER in our jobs, we must guard our time and use it well. We only have so many hours in a work day!

In that same manner, you have to block out time in your schedule for you time in the Word. If you don’t, many times, it will not happen. If it’s important-guard it.

So I challenge you-put time with God in your calendar, and don’t allow people to schedule over it. It’s worth it 🙂

If You Believe the Christmas Songs

Pentatonix.

I stumbled across their version of “the Little Drummer Boy” this morning, and my oh my I was in for a treat! Have a listen!

A newborn king to see. 

King Jesus. 

No gifts do they bring that would be fitting for such a child. 

And earlier this week I was listening to and thinking about their rendition of “Mary, Did You Know?”

So beautiful! Did you catch the words they are saying about the baby we are celebrating this month?

He would save our sons and daughters. 

He will deliver you. 

He has walked where angels trod.

He is Lord of all creation. 

He is the Great I Am. 

Here’s the thing. I don’t know where Pentatonix, or anyone on the Christmas radio station for that matter, lands theologically. I don’t know if they believe what they are singing about, if they think it is just a classic, endearing tradition, or if they think it’s a ridiculous, inflated fairy tale. But I know what I believe, and what I hope you believe.

Jesus was a real man-100% God, 100% man. He was born of a virgin, lived a PERFECT life because he was God, and then willingly sacrificed his life on the cross in payment for the sins of all who believe in him as Lord so that we could be reconciled to God. He rose on the 3rd day, conquering death and Satan and is seated at the right hand of God the Father-now and forevermore. I believe the Christmas songs we sing about Christ are rooted in truth and written to stir our gratitude to God for the beautiful, creative, selfless gift of Himself in the incarnation. The incarnation was the first human footstep of God to the cross, and our redemption. The manager was the first human resting place for our Savior who has now gone to prepare a place of final rest for us in his Father’s house.  

So as we listen to Christmas carols, and songs of the season that aren’t about hippopotamuses or the Grinch (which I love too, by the way!), know that the fact that we BELIEVE the foundation of the lyrics should change how we listen to them. Let’s allow our heart to swell with joy in thinking about the purposes for Christ coming. Let’s try not to just listen, or just sing these songs this year-anyone can do that. Instead, let’s think about the truth in the lyrics, and worship God because of them. 

Merry Christmas!

When They are Hard to Love

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For the family member that purposefully pushes each of your buttons.

For the broken friend that speaks harshly in every circumstance.

For the co-worker who irks you.

For the neighbor you try to ignore.

For the person you struggle to love.

Pray.

Pray for them over and over and over again. Pray for their day and their heart and their circumstance.  Pray for their joy, their holiness, their faith. Pray for God to give you His eyes to see them, and His heart to love them.

Prayer may change them, but it will absolutely change you.

Just Finished Deuteronomy

If someone were to ask me, “Hey Betty! What’s the book of Deuteronomy about?” This is what I would say:

Well, it’s a sort of peace treaty between God and the nation of Israel. He will be faithful to uphold his end of the treaty (land and descendants) even if they don’t hold up their end, but there will be ramifications for treason against him.

During the first 30 chapters God is building on the laws he commanded them in a previous interaction/book. He tells them the key to everything: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. All the specific laws that are recorded, are simply the “HOW” to do that. The commandments are centered on the heart and in wisdom, and cover topics including but not limited to:

  • economics
  • family & sexual relationships
  • religious observances
  • leadership
  • justice
  • guidance
  • food
  • poverty
  • warfare

I loved reading about all these commands, because it reminded me how beautifully wise and brilliant our God is, and its focus on the heart motivated me to increase my affections for God NOT just my knowledge of God.

Within this “treaty”, a couple of things are made VERY clear .

1.) God is simply THE BEST. He has power over every enemy and he is absolutely perfect!

2.) God cares DEEPLY about the hearts of his people. I circled “heart” “love/loving”& “joy” SO many times while reading-it was awesome.

3.) God calls us to constantly REMEMBER. There is a HUGE emphasis placed on REMEMBERING what God has done. Do whatever you have to to constantly REMEMBER his work and his promises!

I know this is short post, but I guess my encouragement to you is that God is perfectly faithful-trust Him. God cares about your heart-love Him. And remembering God’s goodness will change you-remember His works!