The Dress Matters

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In three short months I will be a mother-in-law.  This mother of three boys could not be more ecstatic!  God seems to have handpicked this lovely young woman for my oldest son and she will soon be an official member of our family.  I am blessed. The bride-to-be has many decisions to make.  But as we all know, shopping for “the dress” is really big.  To my delight, Anna invited me to go with her and her female posse in the hunt for the one.  As I drove to the bridal boutique I began to let my mind drift back.  It had been exactly 30 years since I had been in a bridal shop to find my own perfect dress.  My menopausal brain forgets a lot lately, but oddly, I still remembered what it felt like to slip into the one.  To feel the fit and swirl around, knowing that somehow that dress meshed with who I was and made me feel more beautiful with it on than I felt without it.  The dress matters.

At that quaint little bridal boutique in Grafton, Wisconsin, I watched Anna try on dress after dress after dress.  In every single one she seemed to leap off the pages of a bridal magazine.  Elegant, sleek, sweet, smashing!  But there was one that made her light up.  There was one that lifted her eyebrows, brought color to her cheeks and made her hands float up a little as she twirled in front of the mirror.  This dress meshed with who she is and made her feel more beautiful with it on that without it.  The dress matters.

There are clothes that matter and clothes that don’t.  The sweats I wear to clean my house or to walk the dog just don’t really matter.  The jeans and t-shirt I wear to the baseball game don’t really matter so much.  When I think about it, there are not very many situations in this life where what I put on my body really, truly matters.  But the bridal dress does.

What the bride wears matters.

Walking down the aisle 30 years ago to become one with my husband was the second most important moment of my life. Saying “I do” to Christ was the most important.  As I accepted His gracious gift of new life I slipped into my eternal “wedding dress.” As I became part of the beautiful bride of Christ, his Church, my life was made completely new—as fresh and pure as that white dress.

I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness.I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.  Isaiah 61:10 NLT

In the weeks since that trip to the bridal boutique I began thinking about my own wedding dress, sitting on a shelf in the basement, boxed up and preserved for the past 30 years.  I wondered what it would feel like to put it on again.  So the other day, I got the box down and carefully unearthed my now “vintage” treasure.  Under no delusion that it would actually still fit me, I slipped it on and zipped it up (halfway!)  And yes, I even did a little twirl.  After all these years it still meshes with who I am.  And although this dress no longer fits me like a glove, the dress that really matters, seems to fit even better.  Unlike my 1984 satin wedding dress, my eternal wedding dress gets more beautiful each year.  That’s God’s plan.

But now you have arrived at your destination: By faith in Christ you are in direct relationship with God. Your baptism in Christ was not just washing you up for a fresh start. It also involved dressing you in an adult faith wardrobe—Christ’s life, the fulfillment of God’s original promise.  Galatians 3:25-27 MSG

In my day-to-day life I am often fashion dysfunctional!  I have a love hate relationship with my wardrobe.  Beautiful colors, textures and patterns lure me.  Latest trends catch my eye.  Beautiful dresses tempt me.  But I am often overwhelmed by the choices, not sure of what looks best, and to be honest—not up for the effort of it all!  Then I am reminded, by that still small voice that speaks to my heart, that there is only one dress that really matters.  And I’m already wearing that one.

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes.  You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.  1 Peter 3:3-4 NLT

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12 NLT

Are you wearing the only dress that really matters?

by Beth