Saturday, January 28, 2012

Here Comes the Bride

          (I cannot believe I’m about to start a bog with this sentence.)  The other day I was watching The Learning Channel’s (TLC) reality show “Say Yes to the Dress.”  In my defense, I’d just come home from riding horses (that’s a very manly activity, right?), and my wife already had it on the T.V.  (I know, I know, “Sure, Justin.  Whatever you say.  We know you watch it ALL the time.”)  I do admit, however, that it was me and not my wife that picked up the remote and pressed the “pause” button so that I could contemplate what I was seeing and hearing.
          For those who have never seen the show (bless you for your purity), it’s basically a “reality” show that follows “brides-to-be” seeking the perfect wedding dress in the premier bridal salon, Kleinfeld in Manhattan.  You can imagine the drama that unfolds on any episode as drama queens, stage moms, mother-in-laws-to-be, and grooms in waiting use passive-aggressive, or very aggressive tactics to get their way.  It is indeed a train wreck that might be difficult to turn away from.
          As I made my way through the living room pretty much oblivious to the television (stop snickering), I overheard a consultant asking the bride-to-be what she was looking for in a wedding dress.  The woman’s response was “Trashy.”  Insert clip here of consultant in an interview obviously recorded later, “I’ve had brides say in response to that question, “edgy” or “over the top” or even “gaudy”, but never “trashy”.
          Why?  Why would a bride ever want to look trashy on her wedding day?  Well, quite honestly, I don’t know.  I could offer a guess about this woman’s family background, self esteem issues or the persona she wants to project, but that would be total conjecture.  The real question I want to ask is “Are you a trashy bride?”
          I love my bride.  I think she is an amazing woman.  I even call her “The Amazing Kelly” sometimes.  You can talk bad about this broken down, bent-over redneck all you want to.  I’ll even let you get away with talking bad about my snot nosed kids, a little bit.  But talk bad about my bride, talk bad about Kelly, then we’ve got problems. 
Many times throughout scripture, the church is referred to as Jesus’ bride.  Revelation chapters 19-21 is the picture of a wedding ceremony between Jesus Christ the bridegroom and we, the church, his bride.  Ephesians 5:25-27 reads, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her  to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”  Doesn’t sound trashy to me.
Listen to Chip Ingram’s thoughts on this subject as related in “Living on the Edge.”
          In our efforts to…become relevant to “the culture,” it appears we have fallen into it.  I fear we have become a generation of Christians convinced that sex, salary, and status are the real keys to a life of fulfillment and happiness.  The average believer, according to research, does not live in any appreciably different way from those outside of Christ.  The culture’s promises…have resulted in unprecedented divorce, financial collapse, disenfranchised children…The church of the twenty-first century is weak and worldly…At the heart of “worldliness” is who you love and who you trust to meet the deepest needs of your life…If we would begin to feel deeply sad about running into the arms of (this other) lover (called “the world”), and comprehend how deeply this grieves our God who loves us and longs to give us the best, I think we would see a lot more Christians living like Christians.
In the fourth chapter of James, the Bible says that anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.  There’s an old country song that says, “I like my women just a little on the trashy side.”  Maybe so………but God doesn’t.

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