If they made a spin-off of the movie Wedding Crashers called Wedding Criers, I'd be your star.
The second the guy gets a glimpse of his future bride for the first time and starts to choke up, forget about it. I'm a goner. And then you go to a wedding like the one I went to this weekend for my dear friend Kris Wolf (aka…the NICEST guy in the entire freaking universe) and his lovely bride, the former Miss USA, Kristen Dalton.
Blubberfest, I tell ya.
Amidst the colorful pink, blue, and purple bridesmaids poised in their best pageant poses, the former queen glowed with a radiance brighter than any earthly crown she had ever won. She was a woman in love, a woman who had been swept off of her feet, and a woman who had dreamed as a little girl about this fairytale moment. And here was her prince charming–at almost a decade older in years–who stood in front of her confessing that as year after lonely year rolled by, he though maybe God had forgotten him. But he had persevered and stood strong, waiting and holding onto hope for this very moment.
And by waited, I mean waited. In every sense of the word.
Both had said no in years past when love seemed strong, but there was no covenant. Both had fought the hard road, had resisted what seemed natural and normal to now stand before God, family, and friends and come together as one.
And as she pulled off the purity ring she had proudly worn from a young age, placing it into his hand–and as he took it from her like a precious prize, having fought to keep her pure—she gave him more than just a ring of gold.
They gave each other years of agony.
They gave each other years of longing.
They gave each other years of overcome temptation, of saying no when they wanted to say yes, of precious moments of sacrifice that money can never buy.
They gave each other the gift of themselves.
Some say purity is dead in our modern world, but I saw it alive and well this weekend in the actions of my friends. It's a hard path, a costly path, but the payoff is far greater than what was sacrificed.
Some call that foolish. Some call that naive. Some would laugh and scoff, championing loveless sexual escapades and experiences that lead to simply another memory of a person they will never truly know. But as new life begins together as one flesh, they aren't bringing the past into their marriage bed. They're bringing the hope of their new future, along with the sacrificial gift of themselves.
And what better wedding present could you bring to the one you love?
If you've read my book God Loves Ugly, you know that this gift of physical purity was the gift my Studhub brought to me, but one I was unable to bring to him. Because we no longer have to live under shame as believers (thank you Romans 8!), I carry absolutely NO shame of this in our marriage, and Lucas doesn't hold me to any shame. I will say though, the pain of my past sexual disfunction, of sexual abuse and struggling in that area for years–has felt like a mountain on top of layers that needed healing within our relationship.
And dang, it would have been much easier if that mountain hadn't been there to begin with. But it was and is…so we move FORWARD.
The fabulous thing is, all sexual disfunction, all past experiences, ALL of it was absorbed into the person of Jesus Christ when I said yes to Him. The memories are where the battle is. The conditioned responses and thought patterns are where the battle is.
If I could have brought physical virginity to my husband, are you kidding me? No brainer! But if Jesus doesn't remember our past….if they're removed as far as the east is from the west…..then WE must choose to forget them as he does.
If you haven't waited then guess what….THERE'S NO SHAME. AND WE ARE FORGIVEN AND HEALED.
But the time and energy I have had to spend on forgiveness and healing, I would have much rather been able to simply enjoy the purity of my relationship and build from that foundation.
And I have a feeling my friends Kris and Kristen would say IT'S WORTH IT.
To read more about Kris & Kristen, his newest blog “10 Ways To Win A Girl's Heart” is amazing!