I’m going to go ahead and assume that I am not the only one who thinks that weddings are awesome! There’s nothing quite like seeing two people come together who are committed to spending the rest of their earthly lives devoted to loving and serving one another. It is the greatest covenant promise two people can make. And afterward, of course, everyone celebrates like crazy! As family, friends, and other loved ones join together to witness this ceremony, there is one group of people who play a very important role in the marriage: the wedding party.
My sister, Ashley, is engaged. Engaged! I knew it was coming, but, to be honest…I’m still in the first stages of shock (mild shock, at least). In my mind, she’ll always be fourteen. After all, that’s how old she was when I left home for college (ah, the beauty of being the oldest sibling) and I truly haven’t been back since.
I couldn’t be happier with the groom God chose for her. Jordan is quite the young man and his personal testimony speaks volumes of who God has made him to be. I pray for blessings upon their life together and more.
Ashley couldn’t contain her excitement the night he proposed. She texted me first to see if I was free, sent a photo of the ring and then called to ask if I would be her maid of honor. To say that I was thrilled would be an understatement. I began envisioning her wedding ceremony, how gorgeous the bride would be, and what the venue would be like. God, however, intervened my daydreaming pretty quickly with the question: “Anita, do you understand the responsibility that comes with being a bridesmaid? More than that: a maid of honor?” That was all I heard from Him, and I realized that, no, I didn’t realize the responsibility. I mean, I thought that I was just there to support her, love her, and have fun, right? Not quite.
I clearly remember that question entering my mind (thank you, Holy Spirit!), and my utterly dumbfounded feeling that followed. If this whole bridesmaid thing really was a responsibility, I knew that I needed to figure out what that needed to look like. By the grace of God alone, I believe that I have.
I came to the convicting conclusion that being my sister’s choice as maid of honor meant agreeing to partner alongside the couple through supporting, loving them, and, even more importantly, in praying for them. Not only that, but I believe that being a part of the wedding party also means holding the bride and groom accountable to one another and to God, and that doesn’t end once the wedding is over. I am convinced that marriage is the most sacred of human relationships, and as the image of the covenant relationship between Jesus and the Church, it will undoubtedly face hardship and spiritual attack. Two people choosing to devote their lives to one another and, more importantly, to bringing glory to God absolutely needs prayer warriors on their side. They need people to hold them accountable and to be in constant prayer for their marriage for the rest of their lives.
Before I am asked to be a bridesmaid, I make it a point to explain my conviction to the bride-to-be. My sister knows that I don’t take the job lightly, and that I likely will not be just a fun, crazy, or carefree bridesmaid. I want her to know that I am committed to supporting her through the engagement season, to lifting prayers on the behalf of her marriage, and to a lifelong relationship with her and her husband-to-be.
And so, as the maid of honor in my sister’s upcoming wedding, I pray that I will uphold all that I believe a bridesmaid should be, namely a spiritual partner and prayer warrior. Yes, it is a big responsibility. But it is an even bigger blessing.