Photo from nashvillemarriagestudio.com
Ever heard of people referring to someone as “Bridezilla” for disagreeing with their mom or their bridesmaids’ opinions? Just watch a popular wedding show, like “Say Yes to the Dress” and you’ll get to see that brides are often considered selfish for knowing what they want and saying so –especially when loved ones have other ideas.
For the Christian bride, this sort of scenario can be especially precarious. As believers, we know that putting others first, seeking wise counsel, and honoring others are all important. Many Christian brides are so concerned with being “selfless” and “peaceable” not just so that they aren’t called Bridezilla but also so that they glorify God in all things, including wedding planning.
But here’s the thing:
SELFISH: Letting Everyone Walk All Over You
Sounds backwards, right? It isn’t. When you let people walk all over you, you’re giving up the person and the will that the Lord gave you. You’re allowing fear of others or a desire to please others to dominate your decisions. In the process, you might gain the unnecessary approval of people and might be freed from responsibilities that are by all rights yours.
Expecting or allowing others to be responsible for your happiness –or your unhappiness- sets other people as masters over you. “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” –Galatians 1:10
When you allow others to control you or make decisions for you, you run into a whole lot of selfishness in your heart. You may experience, for example, the selfish sensation of pride (because you think you are so selfless.) It’s common to start feeling as if others owe things to you because you’ve given so much to them –another form of selfish gain.
UnSELFISH: Setting Godly Boundaries
Boundaries were created by God. When He created human beings, with free wills and individual identities, God created boundaries as well. He respects boundaries and teaches us concerning boundaries as we learn to speak the truth in love (rather than agreeing at all costs.) We’re told to guard our hearts, to work diligently while minding our own affairs, and to be mastered by no one but our Lord.
Setting Godly boundaries can be challenging –especially when you’re planning a wedding alongside loved ones and entering the first part of unifying yourself with one person for forever. The sad news is these boundary challenges are just the beginning.
You will be responsible, throughout your life, for establishing, upholding, and respecting Godly boundaries. As you enter marriage, form a new family, raise children, and follow God’s plans for your life in ministry, in friendship, in a career, and in many other spaces, you will need to know how to have your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no” (Matthew 5:37).
Practice saying “no” lovingly and respectfully as you plan for your wedding.