giving God what is God’s. | how stressful wedding planning has given me a fresh look at Mark 12:17

You know, in planning a wedding, I’m learning a lot. I’m getting stressed out by a lot, but I’m learning even more.

One of the greatest points of contention for me and my family has been over things that I (and/or my fiancé) want vs. things that our families want. The biggest example being the amount of available alcoholic beverages at our reception: I was willing to provide wine, but no liquor and no beer. A majority of our guests are not heavy wine drinkers, and those who do enjoy wine the most can certainly be trusted in this kind of event to not be going crazy because they’re close to me and know how I feel, so that is why I was much more apt to allow wine in the first place. However, beer is not the same, and liquor is certainly worse. Generally speaking, beer gets consumed much quicker and liquor, itself, is naturally stronger than either.
Bu a few family members wanted beer. They wanted beer to be at the wedding so badly that it turned into a knock-down drag out argument where finally, we caved and now there is beer at our wedding. It got ugly, and I’ll be honest – I didn’t handle it the way that I should have. I was so upset that family members couldn’t just respect what I had asked for my own wedding day, and I felt like the importance was more on the guests in attendance and their expectations than what I would want for my own wedding day. And continuing my honesty, I still feel that way, I just try to be in a better mood about it for the sake of my own sanity and for that of my future husband.
There have been other little things here and there that may or may not have been a big deal, the aforementioned just being the most noteworthy because one of the reasons I didn’t want it was because I didn’t want drunk people at our wedding. I don’t like drunken people; I don’t find them funny, rather, I am embarrassed for them and whoever is with them. I don’t like to be drunk myself, and if what I wanted for my own wedding day wasn’t reason enough, the Bible says:

“Envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:21

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is lead astray by it is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

As a representation of God in this world, an ambassador, and a member of a kingdom of priests of God, the last thing I wanted on my WEDDING day was a bunch of people wasted. In my heart, I would (and still do) really feel as if I would be enabling their sinfulness – and my own. Even though most of our guests would be well within an appropriate limit, that doesn’t mean everyone has such an easy time moderately consuming alcohol or has any conviction about it whatsoever.
The Bible says: “It is good to not eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.” Romans 14:21. I don’t want my brothers (and sisters) to stumble – even if they are or are not raging alcoholics, even if they are or are not Christians, even if they do or don’t know or think it’s sinful, the TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS THAT IT IS SINFUL to be drunk and I know that.

That’s all why I DIDN’T want it and I’ll end that rant there, but the fact of the matter isi do brew that people very close (who do not follow Christ) to us DID. And things got way out of hand in their attempts to get us to agree to allow it and I am really truly heavy-hearted to admit that they won. Important to note in their defense: they argued for beer and beer is all they got. I was never challenged about liquor. So now there is beer at our reception, what’s done is done. Some have said “Why don’t you just tell them ‘no’ now?” But my fiancé and I have agreed that we have gone back and forth on this enough, we aren’t changing things again.
I was really hurt because this whole day felt like there was this big black stain on it. I had hoped for a pure and God-focused day, and that would have been so beautiful – and it was gone. It rips my heart out; all I wanted to do all day was point upward, say this marriage is to glorify the Lord and I have prayed and prayed and prayed for His presence and love to rain down on that day. And not just rain, but REIGN…. to RULE the day… I wanted Him to own it. And here, the enemy gained a foothold in my moment of weakness and stole some of it, and used my own family to do it.

This has loomed over me for weeks, months… And combined with everything else that has happened, it has stolen my joy in regards to this wedding. And not to say that I have this all figured out – I am literally in the process of healing from everything that has worked against me in this process and it, too, will be its own little journey as I learn truth from lie, but God is showing me something that is helping me so greatly to begin to pull my head above the water and begin to breath in that joy that is our strength again:

worshipGOD IS GLORIFIED EVERYWHERE, NOT BECAUSE OF US, BUT DESPITE US. His Glory is evident everywhere and even people who don’t think He exists still glorify Him because they ARE. He is the wonderful and mighty Creator of the world and everything in existence sings of His glory. There is no power in hell, no scheme of man, or anything in all of creation that can change that.
It was like the Holy Spirit just came to me and cut right to my heart – I can’t make His glory happen. It already IS. All I have to do is be the door, and so with the help of the Lord, I welcome the challenge.
The enemy can do or say or have whatever He wants, but what belongs to the LORD will belong to the LORD. The day we get married is a day that belongs to HIM and Him alone and His glory and His power and His authority and His favor and His love WILL REIGN. There is no doubt.

May 30 is the big day, guys. Drinks or no drinks, china or plastic plates, come hell or high water – we’ll be singing His Name at that altar. If you think of us, please pray for our event and for our marriage, and declare with us that IT ALL BELONGS TO JESUS WHO HAS OVERCOME! Thank you!

“Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him.” Mark 12:17

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