I’ve been dreaming about my wedding day for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, I would scour bridal magazines, oohing and ahhing at each of the gowns. There was one gown in particular that, at the time, was my absolute dream wedding dress. I ripped the picture out of the magazine, folded it up and put it in an album, which I still have, for safekeeping. The dress was probably a stunner in the early 90s, but not so much now. Big, puffy sleeves, huge, silky rosettes, a cathedral train, all in this pale, baby-pink color. It’s horrendous, but I’ve kept the picture as a reminder of a little girl’s dream. A dream to one day be this strikingly beautiful bride, walking down the aisle to meet her husband.
I’ve had the pleasure of being in four different weddings. When my sisters were getting married, I spent hours working on party favors, looking for shoes to match our dresses, booking hotels, making appointments for hair, nails and waxing. For anyone who has been in a wedding party, you understand the hours (even days) of preparing, planning and primping.
Preparing is part of the process.
A few weeks ago, I attended a worship-night event at my church. Actually, I was running the projector and song-show program during the service, which meant I was focused on serving rather than worshiping. I had worked some long hours in the previous days and was pretty grumpy going into it. I wished I could be in bed rather than behind a computer screen. My focus and priorities were selfishly skewed toward myself as I had my own little pity party in the back of the sanctuary.
God had other plans though. As the worship band played through songs, they came across one I’ve been drawn to in recent months called “Even So Come.” But that night God highlighted something I hadn’t paid much attention to earlier. In the song, there is a line that goes:
Like a bride waiting for her groom, we’ll be a church ready for you!
As Christians, we are that bride, and it’s important that we are ready for His return. In Matthew 25:1-13, Jesus shares a parable about 10 virgins who were waiting for the bridegroom. Their job was to lead the processional by lighting the way with the lamps they carried. They knew what they would be doing, but even knowing that, five of the bridesmaids showed up with their lamps but NO oil. They came unprepared. When the time came and the bridegroom finally showed up — unexpectedly, I might add — the foolish bridesmaids weren’t ready. The five bridesmaids who had come prepared with oil for their lamps were able to usher in the bridegroom and enter into the celebration.
The main point of that parable is simple: Be prepared. The parables surrounding this parable have the same message. Prepare yourself for the kingdom of God, because in an unexpected moment Jesus will return, and He’ll be looking for a bride who is ready.
My desire is to be a woman who is prepared for her King by using every opportunity I have here on Earth to become more and more like Christ. That is what kingdom of God prep looks like.
In that same mindset, I desire to be a woman who is prepared for her future husband. I’m not sure where he is or what is taking him so long, but I know that when the time comes, I want to be ready for him. That preparation looks very similar to the preparation I described previously — using every opportunity to be more and more like Christ.
Every day that I am single, I have one more day to prepare. One more day where I can allow God to sand off selfish desires or impatient attitudes or any unkindness that I carry. If I’m willing, I can allow God to work in me and through me in every circumstance (yes, even my singleness) so that I am more ready for my husband. Will I be perfect? No. But I will have a few more kinks worked out before I enter that lifelong covenant.
As Christian singles, our waiting time doesn’t have to be wasted time. Like a bride prepares herself for her wedding day, we too can prepare ourselves for our mates, doing whatever we can now to make ourselves more and more beautiful by being more and more like Christ.
Get ready, friends!