Did you know you are still a Bride?
I heard a husband refer to his wife as “my bride”. I loved that! Because to me, it meant he still saw her in that white dress coming down the aisle.
“You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.” Song of songs 4:9
As you roll your eyes and think, “My man does not think that way of me!” I ask, “Why not?”
And, before you place blame on HIM (which we LOVE to do as wives, unfortunately), start looking in the mirror at yourself (If you’ve been married for long, you know you can’t change HIM).
Work, stress, kids, and life…they all happen. Then we look at ourselves in the mirror hardly recognizing ourselves for who we once were. Instead of looking like the Bride we did on our wedding day, we look more like the Bride of Frankenstein. What happened?
It didn’t happen overnight, but it was those little things every day. The not wearing makeup one day…which lead to weeks. The staying in our PJs one day…which lead to our “uniform”. The pregnancy weight that never left but stayed and grew. The business of taking care of the kids…which lead to hardly acknowledging when our spouse came home from work. The crazy schedule of our kids…which lead to not having date nights anymore. The being “tired” from life…which lead to lack of excitement in the bedroom. The unmet expectations of the marriage that left you feeling apathetic.
But, what if you reminisced and went back to your wedding day. How did you feel that day? How did you feel about life? How did you feel about your Bridegroom?
Do you want to get back to that place?
I feel like it is our duty as spouses to do that.
Hear me out…I said SPOUSES. I think the Bridegrooms should still act as such! But, again, we can only control ourselves and our actions.
Answer these questions:
- Do you act as a “Bride”?
- Do you take care of yourself?
- Do you put your husband first like you did when you were dating?
- Do you speak his love language like you once did?
- Do you say “yes” to so many things that you should have said “no” to, so now you are too exhausted to put forth effort?
- Do you view yourself as you did that day you walked down the aisle?
If you said no to any or all of these questions…TODAY is the day to make a change. It’s time to leave that apathetic life and view yourself as the BEAUTIFUL Bride that Christ has called you to be.
In Revelation 19:7 it says “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.”
Of course, in the Bible they are talking about making ourselves ready through sanctification for the day when Christ returns. But, do you know what the word sanctification means (Because it’s not a word we use in every day common language.)? Sanctification is the act or process of acquiring sanctity, of being made or becoming holy. When you think of HOLY, don’t you think of a Bride…in white? And, it’s an act or process…meaning it is ongoing.
So, not only are we to still view ourselves as our husband’s bride but also the Bride of Christ…who is constantly working toward sanctification (or holiness) until the day Christ comes back. Notice he didn’t say, “let yourself go and I’ll come back anyway.” He sets us up to STILL be brides making ourselves beautiful until the day He comes. We had spent those months and months preparing for that very day! Guess what…that DAY (your wedding day) didn’t just come and go. That DAY is every day that you are married until you are parted by death.
Let’s go back to those questions above and turn them into YES by making some changes. Here are the five changes you can start making today:
Start Each Day With Forgiveness.
Marriage did not turn out as either of you had dreamed up in your mind. You married a sinner who is NOT perfect…and neither are you. Forgive yourself for your shortcomings, and forgive your spouse for his. When we don’t forgive, it leads to apathy. Apathy creates a whole web of problems. So, let’s start by forgiving…every day. And, asking for forgiveness…every day.
Clear Your Calendar.
The business of your life will destroy your family. Period. Yes, there are great causes out there. But, guess what? There is no super mom award. I checked. I wanted to win it – especially as a life coach. But, it doesn’t exist. If there were one, you’d get it by being the best wife to your spouse so that you have a secure family. If you are so busy that your spouse becomes last on the list, then you can’t have that secure family. Your spouse will feel last and will turn to other things that make him feel first (this also goes the opposite way). YIKES! And, I’ve watched it happen to so many of my friends. It wasn’t on purpose, but those little choices added up.
Make Yourself a Priority.
How can you change your mood and how you view yourself? Here are a few ideas! Get exercise, put on makeup, take a bath to relax, wear clothes other than yoga pants (hey…you have until he gets home…it still counts when it’s 5pm and you get these done! HA!), eat to fuel your body (not to self medicate or sabotage), and plan special date nights (don’t wait for HIM to do it…remember…we can’t change HIM).
Exercise and eating better will give you energy. Exercise will also release endorphins that help with depression and anxiety. And girls like getting dressed up sometimes, huh? Remember how beautiful you felt on your wedding day? Wouldn’t it be great to feel that way every day? (Truth…sometimes I wear my wedding dress around the house just to freak out my family. But, I secretly really feel like a princess. Ha!)
Read “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Smalley Together.
This book is a marriage classic for a reason! Together, you’ll discover what your love languages are…this is the ways in which you feel loved. Once you know them, DO THEM. If your spouse’s love language is “Quality time”…get off your phone and pay attention to him. Again, if your spouse does NOT speak to you in your love language, it does not give you permission to not speak to him in his. You cannot change him, but you are responsible for your actions.
Change Your Mindset.
I think the final change is to change the way you view yourself. You are a BEAUTIFUL Bride. The ultimate person who loves you JUST AS YOU ARE is Christ. It isn’t bad to move toward a better you, though. But it starts with your own realization that God created you for his glory. Sometimes this is hard to put in practice. One idea is to create scripture cards and keep them with you. You can read them when you are listening to the lies that you aren’t who God says you are. Song of Solomon and the Psalms are great places to start.
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139: 13-16
You are Christ’s beautiful Bride, ultimately. So, my prayer is that you remember that and act as such.