How Our Wedding Traditions Are Based on the Bible
It is fascinating how the Bible lays out the past and the future. Yet, we can read Revelation and not have a clue what is going to happen. God is so mysterious! But wait, did you know our current wedding traditions actually reflect what the Bible has said about the Bride of Christ and the upcoming wedding?!
First of all, I want to share the meaning of the Bride of Christ and how wedding traditions have evolved from the Bible and biblical times.
Am I the Bride of Christ?
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on a cross for your sins and have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, yes! You are a part of the bride of Christ.
For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:2
Several times in the Bible, the Church is referred to as the bride of Christ. So, what does this mean?
Understanding the Bride of Christ
The Church, or bride of Christ, is anyone who is a believer.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27
In biblical times, the groom would be separated from his bride for a period of about 12 months before they were wed, referred to as a betrothal. Sometimes, the bride and groom had never even met. The bride and groom’s fathers sometimes arranged their marriage early on.
Next, the groom would pay a price to the bride’s father to marry her. Thus, this was confirmed their marriage covenant. Then, he would return home for the betrothal period and prepare a place for the bride to join him.
After the betrothal, the groom would leave his home and come for the bride. However, only the bride’s father knew when the groom would be arriving. The bride was to be ready and waiting for the groom to come and get her, at any time.
When he arrived, they would return to the groom’s father’s home. The bride would be submerged to be cleansed and then they would wed. They would consummate their marriage and host a wedding feast for up to 7 days.
Sidenote: I’m over here thinking, oh my lanta… So, she didn’t have any idea when he was arriving?! Where are the details she spent almost a year planning? And a wedding feast for 7 days, that sounds like a lot of work for someone! Can we just appreciate whoever put this shindig on, for a moment?
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How Jesus has prepared to marry us, His Believers
So, how has Jesus prepared to marry His believers? God, the Father, has arranged the marriage. Jesus left His Father and came down to pay the bride price by paying our sin debt and shedding His blood on the cross. Only the Father knows when Jesus will return for His bride.
So, we must be ready at any moment for Jesus to return for us. Jesus will take us to His Father’s home, where He has prepared a place for us.
In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? John 14:2
So, Jesus is currently preparing a place for His believers at His Father’s house! I think that is so cool. Not just a place for me, but for you too!
Bride of Christ verses in revelation
The Bridal Cleansing
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. Revelation 19:7-8
Christ and the Church Marriage
And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:9
As you can see, the ceremony is a private event, invite only.
He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. Revelation 19:13
The New Jerusalem
In the Bible, the apostle John sees the New Jerusalem coming down dressed as a bride.
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:2
New Jerusalem is referring to Jesus’ believers as a whole.
The Characteristics of Christ’s bride
Proverbs 31 gives us a little insight into a perfect wife for Christ. A wife a man is proud of. For example, she is loving, gentle, a servant and much more.
A lot of women have told me they are intimidated by the Proverbs 31 verses, because she’s perfect. However, this set of verses is my favorite.
Here’s why and how to become a Proverbs 31 wife your husband is proud of here.
Similarities between our wedding traditions and the upcoming holy wedding
Only the Father knows… So, in a modern-day engagement, the groom asks the dad of the bride for her hand in marriage. She doesn’t necessarily know he is asking and it is usually kept a secret, so the groom to be can pop the question. In the upcoming wedding of Jesus Christ and the Church, only God, the Father, knows when this will take place.
Marriage Covenant…The marriage between a bride and groom is usually discussed with their parents beforehand. Just as Christ did in His First Coming.
Bridal Chamber…The husband prepares a home for him and his bride before the wedding. Jesus is at His Father’s house preparing a place for us!
Ceremony…Just as the Bible mentions that the wedding ceremony will be a private event where only those invited will attend, we have a guest list for wedding ceremonies today.
Consummation…In addition, in Biblical times, the bride and groom would consummate their marriage and then attend their marriage feast with their guests. In addition, modern-day couples consummate their marriage on their wedding night, as well.
Marriage Feast… So, just like in Jewish traditions, our wedding traditions now usually include a celebration with food and drink for our guests.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.” Matthew 22:2
You can read even more about the Jewish Wedding Analogy here.
As the bride of Christ…
Firstly, the similarities are eye-opening. Before reading more about the bride of Christ, I had no idea that so many of our current wedding traditions were derived from God’s Word!
Lastly, the upcoming wedding invitation has me really excited. Thus, I’ll be over here, preparing for His return and waiting!
As the bride of Christ, are you ready?! 🙂
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Recommended Resources What does it mean that the church is the bride of Christ?