Around 14,000 couples will marry in Dallas County in 2014. I wonder how many of them have prepared for their marriage and have intentionally thought through the “what and why” of the wedding day and of marriage. In my role at Watermark, I have the privilege of working with hundreds of couples as they prepare for marriage, and in Merge (Watermark’s premarital ministry) we place a very high emphasis on the marriage prep side of relationships. Culture, on the other hands, tends to focus all of its energy on the wedding day to the neglect of the marriage prep side.
The wedding day is a highly significant day, and not only for the bride and groom. The wedding day provides an opportunity for guests, family and friends to hear the truths of the gospel and the significance of a Christ-centered wedding and marriage.
A Christ-Centered Wedding: Rejoicing in the Gospel on Your Big Day, written by mother-daughter writing team Catherine Strode Parks and Linda Strode, uniquely shares how to keep the focus on the right things in the wedding day prep and the actual wedding weekend.
This is a book I wish I had written, but I am glad Catherine and Linda did. I am grateful for a resource that highlights both how to have a Christ-centered wedding day, and places even more emphasis and value on a Christ-centered marriage.
Amidst a lot of decisions and questions involved in wedding preparation, the authors consistently keep the focus on Christ. This book is appropriate for couples preparing for their wedding day, for friends to give to engaged couples, and for brides and their moms to read. I believe it is also a great resource for pastors and wedding coordinators.
Here are a few of the my many highlights from this book:
- Planning a wedding is a lot of work… it’s so easy to lose sight of the point of it all – marriage.
- The process often becomes a frustrating exercise in trying to please everyone and failing.
- Brides feel the pressure to make their wedding the best wedding ever. This is not possible – the best wedding ever is the marriage supper of the lamb depicted in Revelation 19.
- Our marriages have a high purpose – to display the gospel to the world – this is both encouraging and sobering.
- As you begin to plan your wedding, dive into the Word of God and fully discover His plan for marriage.
- The vast majority of couples spend the bulk of their resources without much attention to the message of their weddings.
- A wedding is one of the best opportunities to proclaim the life-changing gospel to friends and family.
- Do marriage prep as an engaged couple (pre-engaged even). Premarried prep gets things out in the open so that when sin rears its head a few days, weeks, and months after the wedding, neither party is shocked. Walk into marriage with your eyes wide open, dependent on the grace of God each day.
- Protect your relationship from the tyranny of wedding details, sexual temptation and unnecessary conflict.
- The one key that protects the wedding process from tension and pressure is good communication.
- Fight against pride in the wedding budget – both sides – either how much you spend or how much you don’t spend.
- What seems so important to you now may not matter at all in a few months, but it can take years to repair relational damage done as a result of wedding conflict.
The book is full of practical counsel and questions to ask on so many topics: decision-making, type of wedding, budget, guests, rehearsal, showers, officiate, wedding party, registries, bachelor/bachelorette parties, wedding coordinator, order of ceremony, alcohol at the reception, organization, budget, who’s responsible for what, and much more!
In addition, most chapters end a with a list of practical to do items and discussion questions.
If you are in the midst of planning a wedding, or your engagement is right around the corner, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this very helpful resource. We like this book so much at Watermark Community Church that we recently made the decision to have every couple who gets married in our chapel read this book before they get married. I highly recommend this book for those of you who want a Christ-centered marriage and wedding.
If you are married: what is one thing you would want an engaged couple to know as they prepare for their wedding and marriage?
2019 Date Night Guides
Sign up today to get your 2019 Date Night Guides (124 Killer Date Night Ideas) and to be notified of new updates! When you sign up, you'll get access to both the Dallas-Fort Worth and National Date Night Guides!