There’s that phrase, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” (Do guys have an equivalent? I’ve never heard “Always a groomsman, never a groom.” Clue me in on this, dudes.) It’s a bit sneery, if you ask me – whether someone says it to you, or you say it to yourself. Let me tell you: No matter who you are, no matter how many weddings you’ve participated in without experiencing the actual marriage – those words are wildly untrue.
If you’re a believer in Christ, you are always the bride.
I know if we’re being honest, that fact just isn’t as immediately fulfilling to some of us singles as the idea of being someone’s significant other – especially when you attend a few weddings and observe the extravagance surrounding the blessed couple. I mean, c’mon, man. There’s not even a REGISTRY that comes with being the bride of Christ.
The glamour surrounding marriage can make it hard for those who still go ring-less. (Please don’t misunderstand, married folks. I know love takes work once the glamour fades.) I’ll be honest: For some years I let my relationship status dictate my worth, just because I saw how much everyone celebrated my friends’ weddings.
Salvation doesn’t typically come with a big shebang (but now I wonder what would happen if we DID treat an individual’s redemption the same way we treat weddings). Still, for the married and unmarried both, as Christians we hold to the truth that in every circumstance we are the collective bride of Christ, and one day that union WILL be celebrated in marvelous fashion.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”
…Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
In the meantime, though, how do we live? Well, I can only speak as a bachelorette, but here’s what I’d like to share:
I do my devotions at night right before bed. Once I finish reading my Bible, I lay it on the pillow beside me and leave it there while I sleep. For me it symbolizes two things: 1) If I ever do find a man with whom I’d share my life, he MUST have God’s Word resting in his heart, just like that literal Word of God rests on the pillow. If it turns out I live my life alone, 2) this Bible laying next to me serves as a reminder I’m always God’s beloved, regardless.
It may not be a union that allows me to pick out colors or arrange my reception party playlist that’ll consist mostly of favorite video game tunes. (Oh, it’s totally happening.) But Christ’s presence in my life is steady, and His Scripture brims with love songs. They fill my heart and give me comfort and strength every day, even when I think there’s no way I’ll have enough. They point to the perfect love that wants for nothing – whether we need to be embraced as His child or as His ecclesiastical bride.
(Taylor’s Valentine’s Day post will reveal more about God’s songs of love to us.)
Life and love certainly never go as planned – for anyone, I’d wager. But we have a faithful Groom who knows our every need in any season. One day, we’ll ALL be a part of His extravagant celebration.
*Married readers, feel free to offer your perspective, too.*