Anticipation intensifies. The guests rise in silence. All eyes focus intently on the chapel doors. Beads of sweat form on my son’s forehead. His heartbeat escalates with each passing second. Glancing at me, he gives a quick love wink. Within seconds, I feel my betrothed of twenty-eight years grasp my hand. His gentle touch calms the nerves surging through my body.
Within seconds, flashbacks of my son’s life flood my mind. Faded memories seem like yesterday. For twenty-six years I prayed for this very moment. Deep within, a tender praise ignites, “Thank you, God! She is the bride you picked for our son. They both love you with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength. Their purity is a picture of Your design for marriage. Bless this covenant of marriage, this union between You and Your children. “ Tears of joy cascade down. Contentment captivates me like never before.
The music fills the sanctuary. Anxious hearts anticipate the bride’s entrance. Heads oscillate back and forth between the groom at the front of the chapel and the doors at the back. The song begins its crescendo. The doors slowly open and there, standing before the bridegroom, is his bride.
I quickly gaze back at my son. To my amazement, I catch a glimpse of the image of Jesus as the bridegroom waiting for His bride, the church. My son’s look of anticipation reminds me of Christ’s return and His love for the church. A snapshot forever imprinted on my heart. A thankful heart connects my soul to God.
With each step, the bride narrows the gap between her and her beloved. For a brief moment, tears distort my son’s vision. His heartbeat plays a love song for her only. The bride’s father places her hand in my son’s palm. An immediate rush of joy overwhelms the onlookers. God’s love envelops the couple. God’s presence overwhelms the guests. His blessings pour out in the midst of this covenant ordained by Him.
All at once, I recall Song of Solomon 1:15, Behold, you are beautiful, my love! Behold, you are beautiful. You have the eyes of a dove. I sense my son’s love, desire, and commitment for his pure, innocent, and beautiful bride. I am captivated by God’s love story being displayed. I sense Jesus proclaiming to the guests, Behold, you are beautiful, my love! Behold, you are beautiful… My heart pounds, and once again tears well up.
Finally, a kiss seals the covenant, and the pastor presents Mr. and Mrs. Luke McDougal. Running hand-in-hand down the aisle, the couple’s joy shines brightly. Showers of blessings fall from heaven. God’s love story washes over all who witnessed this pledge between a man of God, his bride, and God–the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Begin praying for God to unite your child or grandchild with His chosen spouse. I started praying for their mates while my children were still in my womb. I asked God to draw this special one to Himself and for Him to prepare each for the other. As parents, our goal is to raise our children to love Jesus with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength. Pray for them to choose a helpmate who has a passion and love for Jesus. It is so much fun watching God puzzle their lives together.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God. For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness. As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
–Isaiah 61:10 (NKJV)