Mother of the Bride. If weddings aren’t a better snapshot for motherhood in general, I don’t know what would be. Here you are trying to control a zillion details and people, none of whom sit still long enough to get in a coherent word, there’s lots of money involved, oh and tears… and sleepless nights. Not to mention the fact that you have no idea how it will all turn out. Yep, that’s motherhood in a nutshell.
MOB’s Need Encouragement
Why might you need a little encouragement? First of all, you’re in charge. Surprise! Maybe you thought those duties were safely handed off to the caterer, florist, and wedding coordinator. All these are worth their weight in rose petals, but at the end of the day, people will look to you. This was clearly illustrated during the wedding of my son when the MOB forgot to sit down after the vows were exchanged. The pastor, young and inexperienced, carried on beautifully but neglected to notice the church full of fidgety guests who, with panicked faces, wondered if they would be standing for the entire ceremony. Finally, after some not-so-subtle across-the-aisle gesturing, the bride’s mother took her seat. The collective “whomp” as the rest of us did the same was cause for much rejoicing. The point is that no matter how skilled your helpers, you will still feel a sense of responsibility to your guests and to your family. If you feel overwhelmed, you’re normal.
Second, this event is the culmination of a very stressful few months. The decisions, budgets, details, and logistics that go into this kind of event are not minor. Please hear me when I say this has nothing to do with the amounts or numbers of anything. Whether you have 25 guests or 250, whether you serve donuts or a 5-tiered cake, the nature of the event itself is a mixture of indescribable joy mixed with not-a-few tears. Expect it. Because we’re moms, we want everyone to be happy.
Like so many of our children’s life events, this is a milestone, but a milestone that is in a class by itself. There is a hello, but there is also a good-bye. Someone once said, “Sons leave, but daughters are given.” Mom, are you ready to see your daughter’s hand placed into the hand of one who will now promise to love and cherish her? In a sense our job is over. Is it any wonder we are a little (ok, a LOT) emotional?
MOB’s Need to be Mothered
There is good news, however. In addition to your waterproof mascara and supply of tissues, there is a ready resource that I can’t recommend highly enough: your sisters. Maybe you are fortunate enough to have actual biological sisters to help you through the day or maybe your sisters in Christ will be there to see you through. Either way let someone “mother” you.
Before the big day, these sisters can be a valuable sounding board and a voice of clarity. Who is a voice of wisdom in your life? Who do you trust to say “calm down” and “peace, be still”? Who is that precious older woman who will remind you to take a longer-term perspective and not get caught up in the details of just one day? There is no such thing as a perfect wedding any more than there are perfect children or perfect parents. Something can, and usually does, go wrong. What a gift to have friends to help us carry on.
When the big day arrives, plan ahead (stewarding your resources, remember?) and ask these dear ones to be available when needed. You and only you can be there for your daughter, but someone else can grab you a water bottle, tell the florist where to find X, or drive to the park’s gift shop to buy a sweatshirt for the small child who fell in the mud. (Don’t ask. Cindy – you’re a saint!) You’ve spent months, days, and hours leading up to this point. It’s ok to ask someone else to help with the last minute details.
While God’s word doesn’t have specific verses directed to the MOB, I would like to show you three places you can look.
Hope for MOB’s
Look backward. Psalm 127:3 reminds us that “children are a heritage of the Lord.” They are a gift. This daughter, the one who takes your breath away as you help button up her gown, has been a blessing from God for your joy, your sanctification, and your growth. Take a minute to remember and rejoice at what the Lord has done in this young woman’s life. You dressed her as an infant, you helped tie her bows, and now you are lovingly watching her begin a new journey. God is good.
Look forward. Marriage is a good thing. We read in Genesis 2:18 that “it is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” As you think of your daughter and her new role as a wife and a helpmeet, pray. Pray for her to depend on the source of her strength. Pray that she and her husband will be unified as they face their future together. Pray for the Lord to send other women into her life to disciple and encourage her. This is God’s plan and it is good.
Look to the end. Revelation 19:9 reminds us there is a wedding feast to come that will put every earthly wedding to shame! “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the lamb.” Every time we attend a wedding, we have the privilege of just a taste, just a glimpse, of what that day might be like. The church, Christ’s beautiful bride, will be presented in all her radiant glory and celebrated even more gloriously. The groom who laid down his life will be waiting. This is the gospel and it is very good.
Yes, the wedding day will rush by in a whirl and a blur. Stop. Breathe. Find a quiet place. Look into your beautiful daughter’s face and tell her how much you love her. It’s a moment you will treasure forever.
About the Author:
Renee is passionate about teaching. She loves nothing more than to gather around God’s word with the women of Christ Church in Katy, Texas. She also teaches high-school writing and literature at PREP classes, a homeschool tutorial, as well as mentoring Classical Christian teachers through the CiRCE Institute, and serving on the advisory board of Covenant College. She and her husband Steve have 5 children and 7 grandchildren and Renee’s suitcase is always ready for the next trip. Closer to home you can find her baking, weightlifting, or trying one of Houston’s new restaurants.