It was a highly guarded secret, and the object of months of speculation. Fashionistas watched with bated breath as the royal bride stepped out and at long last debuted her wedding dress: an elegant English and French Chantilly lace gown designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. She looked stunning. And she beamed with joy when her groom leaned over and whispered his confirmation, “You look beautiful!”
Every bride desires to look beautiful for her groom. And every groom desires to admire his bride’s beauty. The focal point of preparation for a wedding revolves around a bride’s efforts to make herself as attractive as possible for her groom. It culminates in the moment when the groom sees his bride dressed in splendor, standing by his side, ready to be wed.
The King Desires Your Beauty
Psalm 45 is a song celebrating the marriage of a Hebrew King to a foreign Princess. But it’s also a messianic prophecy pointing to the relationship between Christ the King and His Church-Bride. The Bride in the Royal Wedding Song is described as “all-glorious.” She and her attendants make every possible effort to ensure that she looks spectacular for the big day:
“All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold. In many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions following behind her. With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king.”
A Bride makes herself as beautiful as she can for her Bridegroom. And the groom expects and anticipates that she will do this for him. The wedding psalmist declares to the Bride: “The king desires your beauty!” (Psalm 45:11)
Scripture uses the imagery of a bride adorning herself for her groom to illustrate how we are to make ourselves beautiful for our King. The Lord wants us to clothe ourselves in fine, spotless garments of righteousness—in holy character and holy deeds. Our King greatly desires our beauty. He expects that we will prepare and make ourselves ready. He longs for the moment we will stand by His side, ready for the wedding of the Lamb. (Revelation 19:7—8)
Dress to Impress
I’m amazed when I think that God created manhood, womanhood and marriage as an object lesson about His character and plan. I’m amazed that He wrote the parable directly on human flesh—that He penned the divine story directly on my body, and yours. I’m amazed that the illustration has been inscribed on each of the millions and billions of women and men that have ever lived. I’m overwhelmed with wonder each time I witness a wedding, and see how the Bride has adorned herself for her groom, and when I think of the great Love Story to which all earthly love stories point.
The fuss over the Royal Wedding and the bridal gown of Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge, reminds me of these cosmic truths all over again. It challenges me to consider whether I am making myself ready for the big day. Am I clothing myself in a spectacular, spotless wedding gown, resplendent with the holiness of Jesus? Am I making every effort, as God’s chosen one, holy and beloved, to “put on” compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness, and love toward others? (Colossians 3:12-14) Are you?
Because our preparation for our debut at the Royal Wedding is important. The King desires our beauty. He wants us to dress to impress. He wants us to say YES to the dress—and to look amazing for that much anticipated Day!