I don’t know about you guys, but being engaged was one of the most overwhelming seasons of my life.
Not only was I planning a wedding, working, battling my parents, facing life changing decisions, fighting for purity, and planning a move… Jeremy was still in school in Santa Barbara during that time. Planning a wedding and preparing for a marriage in different states wasn’t exactly rainbows and fireworks….
We fought more than we ever have in our entire relationship during the days between, “Will you marry me?” and, “I do.”
ATTENTION: If you just got engaged, or think you will be engaged soon…. Read this post all the way to the end!!!
For context, I’ve been a bridesmaid quiteeeee a few times…and since I am only 24, I have lots of unmarried friends and family… aka I don’t think my bridesmaid days are over. Prior to engagement, I remember all my married friends being sooooo anxious to have a “ring by spring,” but once they had that rock on their finger, a different kind of anxiousness took them over like wildfire.
Most recently, my very best friend, Ellen, got engaged to be married this summer! WAHOOO! I started thinking about truths that I want to encourage her with before she begins this wild once in a lifetime season.
Verses like Ecclesiastes 4:12 and Ephesians 3:20 popped into my head. I was reminded of how powerful and encouraging it was to have these truths engraved on my heart during that insane season.
Planning a wedding, and preparing for a marriage, opens the floodgate of lies:
“What if I can’t stand living with my husband?”
“This wedding is going to tear my family apart…”
“I’m going to look fat on my wedding day… what if I don’t fit in my dress?”
“I just want to give up I am too stressed out..”
“Maybe I shouldn’t be marrying him…”
“I wish my fiancé would be like my friend’s husbands…”
“What if I’m bad at sex?”
“Everyone is going to think our wedding decorations are ugly.”
Here are 15 truths to overcome those lies. I wish that I had memorized these scriptures before my wedding day, but now I can encourage Ellen (and hopefully you) with these truths that every bride should memorize before they say “I do.”
1. “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
For when you face trials and adversity – This structure of a braid, paints the perfect picture of accountability within a marriage. Christ being the head, then the husband, and then the wife. Throughout scripture Christ’s love for us is made known through his, unconditional love, relentless pursuit, provision and protection, truth and guidance, and mercy and grace. In the same way, (if the braid is in tact) the husband and wife both have access to that love. A love that gives more than what they could give on their own, “Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” So many couples enter into marriage and become, “better than one,” but dismiss the accountability of the third strand (Christ), which prevents the unraveling. This third strand makes it possible for love to grow stronger, deeper, and wider, with time. This verse is where Jer and I coined the phrase we often use, #braidit. You can read more about “Braid It” >>here<<
2. “Love is patient andkind; lovedoes not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-13
For when you just don’t like them – This verse is more than just a paragraph often read at weddings… It is the definition of love the way God intended. Paul writes these words as instructions for how we are to love. It’s almost like God knew that over time we would be saying crazy things like “I love ice cream,” and “I love my wife.” This scripture reminds us what God’s love is like and therefore how we should love, and how we should not love. Love does not envy, boast, resent, demand, hold grudges, harbor bitterness, or keep record of wrongs. We should love patiently, kindly, graciously, truthfully, with hope and endurance, regardless of circumstances, and without end. This definition of love will prompt quick reconciliation. Know it!
3. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
For when you are believing the lies – I call this verse the, “how to think” verse. If you memorize this verse, it will echo in your ears exactly when you need it. Whenever you find yourself believing lies, feeling worried, or experiencing anxiety, this verse will help to extinguish the lies, and proclaim the truth. This verse is one of those ripple-effect verses because it will help you recall other scriptures as your thoughts become more aligned with Christ, hope, and truth.
4. “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20
For when you have doubts and need hope – No matter what it is that you are going through, the impossible situation, the doubts, fears, stress, anxiety, grief, heartache, or trauma, God is able. He is ALWAYS able to do MORE than you could ever dream up. This verse is my favorite verse in the entire Bible. It is where my life mantra comes from – #alwaysmore. You can read about “always more” >>here<<
5. “…For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 1 Corinthians 7:3-5
For when you fight about sex – Basically, don’t say no to sex. Yes, I just said that. Unless you have both discussed and agreed to refrain from sex for a limited time (there has to be an end date in place) for circumstances like pregnancy and postpartum, loss of a loved one, major anxiety, health issues, ect. The scripture is clear that if you do choose to abstain for a limited time, you should “devote yourselves to prayer.”
6. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” Ephesians 5:22-24
For when it’s hard to follow your husband – Many people read this scripture and think the husband has it easy, and us women have to shut up and do what our men say. I do NOT believe this is what the scripture is saying. This verse is not a power trip for men. And actually, I think this is even harsher for a man to read! If I am submitting to my husband “as to the Lord” that is one heck of a daunting task for Jeremy! His leadership must be wise, loving, patient, confident, and worth trusting. Marriage is a dance, someone has to lead, and God designated man.
7. “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct.” 1 Peter 3:1-2
For when you wish your husband did_________(fill in the blank) – When you feel like yelling at him for not doing the dishes, reprimanding him for how he acted around your friends, or convicting him on a spiritual discipline…. Remember that, “they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives.” Basically, focus on being the best wife you can be, instead of focusing on morphing your husband into who you want him to be. Your life speaks louder than your words ever will.
8. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23
For when you are feeling unappreciated – Work for an audience of one. When you work wholeheartedly for the Lord, He will reward and bless you. This scripture will remind you that you are worthy, your labor is not in vain, and God sees all of your efforts to love, serve, and respect your husband
9. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
For when you feel anxious or worried – Even if you are getting married a year from today, start memorizing this verse now. This verse got me through the crazy, stressful, intense, busy, overwhelming process of planning a wedding, and preparing for a marriage. It doesn’t make sense to be at peace during that time of your life, but the peace of God will “transcend all understanding” when you lay your worries and requests before Him.
10. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
For when you feel unsure of your future – Remember that as a child of God, your Father has good and prosperous plans for you. He delights in giving good gifts to His children, and desires to bless those who love Him with their lives.
11. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25
For when you fear destruction – When you build your marriage on the The Rock, it will not fall. You may weather the storms, endure the floods, and bear the winds but you will not be defeated or destroyed. A leaky faucet and a cracked window will not cause you to waiver, it will prompt you to pick up your tools to reconstruct, renovate, and revamp what is already there. Build a foundation for your marriage on The Rock – Christ.
12. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-3
For when you grow tired and weary – Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires endurance, perseverance, resilience, and faithfulness to the finish. Finish the race the Lord marked out for you, and run well. Give it all you got, and when you feel like you have nothing left to give, remember that the Lord will always give you more.
13. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
For when you are harboring bitterness or resentment – This verse will remind you that love ‘rights’ the ‘wrongs,’ and reconciles the hurts. Love allows grace to triumph justice. Forgiveness is the action of abundant grace, and grace fleshed out is love.
14. “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9
For when you feel attacked or divided – Remember you are on the same team. Fight together not against. Don’t let the fiery arrows of attack bring you down. Wear the full armor of God every day so you are prepared for the battle. The battlefield is not your marriage, it’s the external forces that seek to divide your marriage.
15. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
For when you don’t understand – Worry takes over when trust has ended. Trust in the Lord more than you trust your own understanding. By submitting to Him in trust, He will lead and guide you on straight and well lit paths.
A challenge for all you go getters: Memorize ALL of Proverbs 31. I recently memorized all of Proverbs 31 and it has shifted my focus towards becoming a Godly wife, instead of wanting a Godly husband.
There are many great scriptures in the Bible about marriage, but I figured this is a good list for all those brides getting married this summer! You have (give-or-take) 6 months to plan your wedding. Commit to memorizing one of these verses every two weeks! Have your future husband, mom, or maid of honor hold you accountable! Knowing these truths will build your confidence, fight the lies, bring you peace, usher in hope, and keep you sane!
If you are already married, please share other verses that you feel would help all the future brides out there! Comment with your suggestions below!
This is the wife edition. If you would like to read the husband edition, Jeremy wrote a post titled “12 Verses Every Groom Should Memorize Before Their Wedding”
“Spend more time preparing for your marriage than your wedding.” – Audrey Roloff