Honestly, I do not want to be writing as my fingers nervously dance across the keyboard. Yet there sits even stronger a tug about my heart to write. I realize very openly that while I may not always try to be accepted, I always try to be acceptable- to have the potential to be noticed and applauded and agreed with. I want to choose words wisely, often truthfully to glorify myself, rather than the One who has given me the ability to choose words to begin with. Yet here I am lead to speak, to write. Despite the nervous pit of my stomach to always do and say the right thing—that phrase being the root of what I feel spilling from my heart as words from the Lord pour over me—“we’re gonna take back what the enemy has stolen”.

The enemy has stolen a lot that we have the ability to reclaim if we stand up and notice. And today, what we need so desperately to reclaim is the wedding industry. Marriage itself is a whole separate topic, as marriage is Christ’s greatest picture of the way He so desperately loves each of us. But today, it’s not marriage that I feel called to speak out about: it’s the process leading up to a marriage.

I do not mean to speak in generalizations, but speaking out of my own experiences of planning a wedding, there is so much attention focused on doing “the right thing” or “the proper etiquette”. So much of planning has consisted of negativity pushed onto Andrew and myself that conveys ways that we are “failing” in the means of wedding planning. Andrew and I both recognize that we are humans and we are selfish, but daily refined. What we want most in the world to come out of this engagement process is a marriage of precious material—pressured and refined into a love that represents the deep love the Lord has for us. But yet too much of this stage is focused on the “law”: the do’s and don’ts, the who’s team are you on’s, the fighting for separate sides. Why? Who says every single thing must be ruled by the etiquette of years past? Who determines what is right and wrong? Are we not truly living under the freedom of Christ? Are we not called to simply walk in love and humility? If I’m free, if I’m walking and lead by the Holy Spirit—my actions fall from love rather than law. Why then, is planning a wedding not focused on how one can bless the other? The two of us have been humbled moment after moment—how can I serve YOU, the one I am about to join with, in this process? And yet we see it all around us: you are doing it wrong, you should have done this, you should have said that.

Galatians 5: 1
“It is for freedom’s sake that you have been set free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened under the yoke of slavery”

vs. 13, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love”.

Romans 8:9
“You, however, are not in the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit lives in you.”

Absolutely should we consider others in every aspect of our lives- a wedding celebration especially. But what is so key to remember is that our actions should come from the kindness that is in our hearts from the fruit of the Spirit inside of us, rather than because “that’s what you are supposed to do”. The law is not the opposite of freedom (Romans 7:7-12), instead, we follow the well wishes of the law by living according to the Spirit. We do not “use our freedom” to get what we want or hurt others, but rather to live according to a life lead by love.

Wedding planning is not about the party. It’s not about who gets what or whose family is better represented. It’s about celebrating a freaking COVENANT. It’s about surrounding one another in love and each person—bride, groom, friends, family—choosing to walk in love instead of selfishness. So many people I have talked to throughout this season have told me that “wedding planning is just stressful”, “it’s just frustrating”, or “weddings are just a production now anyways”.

Why? Why are we letting society take the most precious representation of love we have and tarnishing it? And why are we, as people lead by the Holy Spirit, focusing on the law of the norms of a world that doesn’t know what real love is? As people led by the Spirit, we should take weddings back.

We have to take back what the enemy has stolen.
We have to reclaim, for freedom’s sake.