Ever since I got engaged I’ve gotten hooked on a show called “Bridezillas.” It’s one of those train-wreck type shows that you just can’t look away from, but I’ve also been watching it to keep my perspective on this whole wedding planning process in check. Whenever I find myself stressing over insignificant details like the color of the reception chairs or table card designs, I think of Bridezillas and it jolts me back to reality.
In case you’ve never seen the show, here’s a clip that will give you a good taste of what these bride are like. CRAzy!!!!!!!
(For the sake of the groom, I really hope that was staged….)
What’s especially interesting about the show is that each episode follows a specific and consistent plot line. The viewer follows the bride as she belittles her bridesmaids, treats her fiancé like dirt, and goes nuts over the tiniest of details. She is a living nightmare.
Yet in spite of these brides’ horrific personalities, the shows always ends the same. Magically, at the moment of the wedding ceremony the bride is transformed! As if her fairy godmother had flitted into the church and waved a wand about her, the bridezilla’s monstrous behavior is but a distant memory. While she walks down the aisle smiling sweetly, the narrator concludes that the Bridezilla has now “changed into a blushing, beautiful bride.”
It doesn’t matter that she almost called off the wedding the day before, or that she repeatedly told her fiancé how stupid he was, or that she forced her bridesmaids to gain weight since they weren’t allowed to look better than her. Without exception, the narrator always states some variation of that line–the Bridezilla is now a Princess Bride.
After awhile, this part of the show really got to me. I mean who are they fooling? Just because you slap a white dress on a girl and put a tiara on her head does not a lovely bride make. These women are absolute horrors and their fiancés should run for the hills! No spin on the situation can change that fact.
But here’s what really struck me about the whole thing–While I get so angry at the narrator for such a blatant misrepresentation of the situation, for covering over the clear hypocrisy of the bride–promising to love and honor her husband after just having called him an idiot or a fat pig–I do not apply that same high standard of consistency and authenticity to myself.
When you think about it, Bridezillas is an illustration of the Christian life. We as Christians are the Bride of Christ. We get all dressed up and then step into the church with our best faces on. We sing songs to God, hold our hands high and take meticulous notes on the sermon.
But what were we doing just hours or days before walking into that church? Did we honor and respect our spiritual groom, or did we deny him with our words and actions? Maybe we failed to share the Gospel with a co-worker when given the chance because we were afraid of what she might think. Perhaps we gossiped about other Christians to make ourselves look better, all the while tearing down the Body of Christ. Or maybe we spent our money selfishly instead of giving of it generously.
Every day of every week we give our hearts to other lovers, the countless idols that have our true devotion. We are bridezilla Christians who fail to love, honor, and be faithful to our heavenly groom.
And while we live this life of marital infidelity to Christ, we put on a facade of purity and holiness. I am certainly guilty of this. As I walk through the doors of my church it’s as if I magically transform into “Perfect Christian.” I know just what to say and how to act. I praise God loudly and nod affirmations during the sermon. But oftentimes the image I project is about as authentic as a Bridezilla masquerading as a sweet and innocent wife-to-be. The show’s portrayal of her supposed “change” is a complete farce. And oftentimes so is mine.
While God does desire that we set aside time each week to gather in worship of Him, that time is not meant to be in contrast with the rest of our week. Nor is it a weekly spiritual pick-me-up. It is instead a natural continuation of of our every day lives, one of many ways that we praise and worship our Heavenly Father. Just one of many.
There is a reason why the Bible describes Christians as the Bride of Christ. The fresh and excited affection of a young bride is the exact image that Scripture intends to define the entire Christian life. On the day I get married, I will be enthralled with my fiancé. I will be eager and willing to give my whole self over to him, to love and respect him the rest of my life. And that is the type of love we are to embody every day of our lives–that of a bride who yearns to be united with her groom in unconditional, everlasting love. We aren’t fooling anyone if we play the part of a bride on Sunday morning, and then live as spiritual bridezillas every other day of the week.