Little girls imagine fairytale weddings with castles, horse-drawn carriages, and of course, a handsome prince. Finances or the lack of royal pedigree will prevent most of them from fulfilling this dream. Still, many will spend a small fortune on their special day. While preparing for an unforgettable moment at the altar is good, preparing for a lifetime of memories beyond the altar is better.
The Real Cost of Tying the Knot
According to the online wedding planning service Zola, the median wedding budget in 2022 was $25,000-$35,000.* There is nothing wrong with celebrating in style. Notably, Jesus kept the party going at the wedding in Cana by turning water into wine (John 2:1-12). However, His presence and participation affirmed more than merrymaking. Jesus validated marriage itself.
Marriage is to be “held in honor among all” (Hebrews 13:4, ESV). It is a solemn covenant instituted by God between a man and a woman for life. The wedding celebration should not overshadow the sacredness of marriage.
The actual cost of tying the knot depends on the intangible investments made before the ceremony. Couples who invest wisely will reap dividends of lasting love and commitment. Unwise investors risk a life of failing love and marital bankruptcy.
A Marriage Investment Plan
If you are planning a wedding this year, here are three investments to make before saying, “I do.”
1. Invest in yourself. Have you trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? In what ways are you improving your communication skills?
2. Invest in biblical marriage education. Are you certain you are ready for marriage? How would you rate your understanding of biblical marriage?
3. Invest in biblical pre-marital counseling. Do you feel your marriage expectations are realistic? Have you discussed roles and responsibilities with your fiancée?
In fairytale nuptials, the bride and groom always live “happily-ever-after.” In real life, marital bliss is not guaranteed. Happiness, like any emotion, is an unreliable measure of success in marriage. Our moods can change based on what we had for dinner.
But there is good news! Marital joy is often the byproduct of consistent friendship, forgiveness, and unselfishness.
The goal or payoff of a Christ-centered marriage is knowing you prepared well, loved unconditionally through trials and triumphs, and remained faithful to the end.
*Biblical Marriage Institute does not endorse Zola nor any wedding planning service.
This article first appeared in Birmingham Christian Family Magazine.