I sat in the congregation recently, awaiting the bride’s entrance, when it struck me – somewhere I crossed a line. Without even knowing, I walked right over it and was on the other side. You know those lines in life, the ones you don’t really see coming. Like growing up or getting older, you rarely realize it is happening until you look back and realize, you’re there. You crossed right over it.
I sat, taking in the music, the flowers, the details, the beauty. I was reminded of my own wedding, 15 years ago this summer. The loveliest dress I’ve ever worn is now a bit outdated. Those bouquets of flowers I chose so specifically, ordered so carefully, are long dried and dead and not the style now anyway.
As I looked around the room I realized, with the gentle passing of time, I’ve somehow become nearer to the role of mother of the bride (or groom) than I am to my own day as a bride. A sobering thought to say the least.
I felt hot tears forming as the bride walked down the aisle, because yesterday, really yesterday, she was the age of my own little girls. As old as that makes me feel, reflecting in such a manner, I had watched that bride grow up with my very own eyes. It happens.
After that evening of celebration and beauty, my mind turned to my own girls for a bit. When you catch a glimpse of how fast this is all coming, how fast it really is going – what exactly are you to do when you know you can’t stop the train?
You prepare for it. As much as you can, you pare down to the basics, you consider what really matters, and you become intentional with the time you are given.
What does that look like? Here is what I want my daughters to know before they become a bride.
1. I want my girls to really know Jesus. It has been said that “a woman’s heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man must seek Him in order to find her.” Those words look beautiful scrolled out on a little graphic on Facebook, but they look extraordinary scrolled out in real life. I’ve seen it. If I want my girls to know Jesus, really know Him, these are my years to introduce them to Him. These are my years to help them build a relationship with Him, to see Him in the big and in the small, to feel Him in the storm, to hear Him in the calm. I get that privilege right now, and I don’t want to waste it.
2. I want my girls to really know who they are. In a world where social media distracts and detracts like never before, I want my girls to know their true identity. I want them to know they were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20), Christ abides in them (John 15:5), and they are a treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6).
3. I want to model what a healthy marriage looks like. A healthy marriage not only benefits my husband and me, but all the little people in our home who are naturally taking mental notes. Daily, I am showing them what submission looks likes. Daily, I’m showing them what faithfulness looks like. Daily, I’m showing them what true love looks like, what giving looks like, what serving looks like. Or, I am not. If I want my girls to be bold and brave, God-fearing women who honor Christ, submit to their husbands and “[do] him good all the days of his life” then I best be living that.
It is that simple, and that hard, at the very same time. But each day lived is one day closer to crossing another invisible line. Their childhood will be gone in no time, my influence will minimize before I know it and I want desperately to spend this time well – everyday faithfulness for a future, a legacy, that brings glory to Him.