By Maria Cheshire, Crosswalk.com
When you picture your guests seated at your wedding, do you picture Satan in attendance? Probably not! (No pitchforks allowed, please and thank you). Well whether or not he was invited, Satan could show up on your wedding day to try to distract you from the true meaning of the day.
Satan “works to bring doubt, pride, division, or whatever he can to turn people’s hearts from God” (ActiveChristianity.org). What could this look like on your wedding day? We are going to explore this concept together, hearing first the imagined voice of Satan, and then countering Satan’s words with a reassuring perspective.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”(1 Peter 5:8).Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/ViktorCap
1. The Weather
First, I shall darken the clouds and knit them together until they cast a foreboding, inky visage upon the sky. The humans will fret and titter about over the potential rain and the stain it could cause on their sacred day. They will wonder if God even approves of their union, for how could he, to allow such atrocious weather today of all days?
Do not use the weather on your wedding day as a sign of approval or disapproval from God. Faith is not built on superstition, nor strengthened by it. Embrace the weather for what it is—hot, muggy, rainy, stormy, cold, snowy—and focus on the real meaning of the day. Undoubtedly, your marriage will need to endure unexpected hardships and disappointments. Do not be weighed down by something as trivial as the weather. Your faith is built upon a rock, and no amount of rain or floods can shake the foundation of Christ (Matthew 7:24-27).
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Bryan Minea
2. Stressing Over Details
I shall focus the bride’s energy on items of inconsequence. She will wonder: “Are the ivory pillar candles appropriately suited to the white unity candle? Should the wedding program be printed with a glossy finish or matte?” These matters are silly, of course, but in her mind they will grow into real puzzles. She will struggle and ruminate on them, leaving little room for routine prayer, Christian service, or other tasks that would aid her God and strengthen her faith. She may even forget the original reason for the occasion, as these thoughts squirm in the crevices of her mind!
Remember, the purpose of a wedding is to profess your love and commitment to one another in front of God and loved ones. Your guests are there to support your decision and celebrate with you, not to judge your color choices. If you’ve every watched the show Say Yes to the Dress or Four Weddings, you will quickly see that brides have very different opinions on which dresses are beautiful and that a wedding can take many different forms. Honor yourself and your partner by choosing a style and décor that you like, and prioritize spending based on your own wishes, rather than what you think someone else expects of you. Accept that not all details will perfectly align and remember that years after the wedding, people’s memories will only remember the broad brushstrokes, like how happy you and your partner were.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/LElik83
3. Fear of Not Being Beautiful Enough
Next, I will plant a seed of fear inside the bride’s chest. She will start to wonder if she is worthy of the attention this day will bring. Did she choose the right hairstyle and apply the appropriate amount of makeup? Of course there is no “right” hairstyle or “appropriate” level of makeup, but she will agonize over each decision and check her appearance in the mirror over and over again. She will fear she is not enough, and this suspicion will follow her down the aisle.
You are enough, simply by being you. Your partner loves you with or without rouge lips and you are worthy because you are a child of God, created in His image. (Genesis 1:27) Remember that a public wedding requires vulnerability, which can be scary. In her book Daring Greatly, researcher BrenéBrown reminds us that, “vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center of meaningful human experiences.” So when you encounter this fear, you need to walk through it in order to fully experience the joy and emotions of the day. Be true to yourself, and your inner light will shine through.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Septian Simon
4. Family Drama
Sometimes the easiest strings to pluck do not even attach directly to the bride and groom. I can use their family members to do my bidding—a snarky comment just within earshot, a hurtful memory that suddenly resurfaces, perhaps even a petty fight over who caught the bridal bouquet. The conflict among family members will permeate the occasion with negativity.
It’s very unlikely that a side comment or squabble over the bouquet toss will allow negativity to permeate your whole event. Do not let hyperbole convince you of that. Seating arrangements and limited alcohol consumption are good preventative measures if you have certain family members who are prone to conflict or drama. Gravitate towards the people who are positive—most of your family members will be radiating love and joy; surround yourself with that energy to avoid Satan’s trap.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/CREATISTA
5. Unexpected Changes
My final strategy is perhaps the most natural yet. Though inevitable, humans still fear and loathe the unexpected. They fix an idea in their minds of what should be, and then hold tightly to it, perceiving anything outside of their expectation as a personal attack. They build a castle that is so easily shattered! All I must do is shift the bride’s focus to the unforeseen change: a wilted corsage, a groomsman with mismatched socks, a photographer’s delayed arrival. The bride will mourn when she would otherwise be rejoicing.
Do not let your joy be so easily extinguished! The purpose of your planning was to prepare for the event, but it is impossible to prepare for every single thing that may arise. When something unexpected occurs, assess whether or not it’s something that needs to be fixed. Mismatched socks hidden under pant legs can be overlooked, for example. If something does warrant attention, try to delegate the task to someone else like an aunt or cousin. Your loved ones are there to support you and are often eager to help. The phrase “It takes a village” extends beyond childrearing! Only get directly involved if the situation requires it. And remember, unexpected changes are not inherently negative! Maybe a guest is able to come at the last minute, or your nephew’s funny stunt as ring bearer becomes a viral sensation. Embrace whatever life throws at you with steady feet.
How easily will allow yourself to be manipulated on your wedding day? Satan has a whole bag of tricks, which he will use to try to distract and discourage. You, a child of Christ, will not be swayed. Peter, who warned us earlier that the devil prowls like a roaring lion, tells us to: “Resist him, standing firm in the faith…And the God of all grace…will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5: 9-11). Amen.
Maria Cheshire is a third grade teacher in Northern Virginia. She enjoys running, traveling, and playing with her dog Lilly. You can find teaching resources created by Maria here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Va-Sol-Superstars.
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