I think the wedding dress is a much misunderstood article of clothing. When I have premarital couples in my practice for their handful of counseling sessions before they tie the knot, this is often a significant topic of discussion. It means soooo much to the bride that her dress is absolutely perfect, not overstated, but certainly not upstaged by anything else at the wedding....often times including God.
Most of the time when a bride meticulously selects her gown for her big day, the focus is on how she looks in the dress; style, fitting, train length, etc. The topic rarely leads to a discussion about what the dress signifies.
In a wedding, the groom stands up at the front awaiting his bride, coming down the aisle. He is a metaphor of Christ; who calls Himself the 'bridegroom'. (Luke 5:33-35) The bride is adorned in beauty, and is the one processing through the midst of the church. She is a metaphor of God's children among humanity; the church of God in the world. We, the church, live our lives moving toward our reunion with the Holy One; our Savior, Jesus. That's why the Bible calls us 'the bride of Christ.' (Song of Solomon 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 - implied) As the metaphoric representative of the church, the bride is adorned with the same clothing that we all are, who are in Christ. She is wearing the metaphoric righteousness of Christ; the pure white robe, washed in the blood of the Lamb.
This begs the question: Why, when some women get married a second or third time, do they choose to wear a beige or even pink dress on their wedding day? This is the misunderstanding that I mentioned at the beginning. Brides often assume that the white color of their wedding dress refers to their own purity, innocence, and righteousness. That is not the case. It is always the purity, innocence, and righteousness of Jesus Christ that covers us as God's children. This would include people who are getting married a second or third time.
This is a great opportunity for people who are 'just starting out' to start off on the right foot. Marriages focused on Christ and loving each other with His selfless, sacrificial love are much more likely to succeed in their life together. Having that same focus on Christ and his righteousness as the basis for that wedding day experience takes all the pressure of the couple to be perfect or even perfect for each other and allows them to be who they are; Christ's beloved.
by Timothy Schlensker, M.A., Registered MFT Intern, Supervised by Dr. Cathryn I. Harris, PhD, PSY13199
Tim currently sees clients in Brea and Diamond Bar.
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