Wow! It seems Spring has sprung? The first sign at our house is the loud and undeniable croak of thousands of frogs in our back pond in search of the right companion. Not only are the croakers croaking, but the wedding buzz is buzzing! My daughter is a wedding photographer and she keeps me up to date on all the latest matrimonial trends. In fact, she's asked me to join her at the FOX Theater in Atlanta for a Bridal Show in a couple of weeks! I'm tagging along as the author of her #1 Recommended Read for New Brides!
Palace Living or Pond Dwelling?
Since love is in the air, I thought I'd share my thoughts on palace living over pond dwelling for all you future Brides! Choosing a Prince over a Frog is crucial to one of the most important steps you'll ever take toward palace gates. I'll never forget New Years Eve many years ago when a handsome guy sang a song he'd written just for me, got down on one knee, and asked if I'd be his teddy bear for the rest of our lives. Then he gave me the cutest stuffed bear I'd ever seen. I wasn't sure if he was proposing or just being romantic? I said “yes” to the question, while my heart pondered silently the situation of a bare finger. An hour later, while watching a movie, he offered me a box of Cracker-Jax and challenged me to open the prize at the bottom of the box to see which of us got the best surprise. Out fell a heart shaped diamond ring! As he placed it on my finger, he said "I'm giving you my heart for the rest of my life." In that moment, I knew I had myself a prince and not a frog. It wasn't the proposal or the ring or even the Cracker-Jax. It was his character, his heart, and his love for the Lord that had captivated me along with his commitment to cherish me for a lifetime.
Why Did I Ponder the Prince?
Strangely, as we headed towards our wedding day, I began to panic inside. I started to question if this was really Mr. Right ? Thankfully, someone handed me a book on preparing after the proposal, and wah-lah, "mystery solved!" There's apparently a huge difference between the sexes. (Wow, who knew!) It seems once a beau beckons a bride, he never looks back. For a lady in waiting, once the proposal transpires, all the doubts flood in like rushing water. If you happen to be a damsel in doubt, take a deep breath and relax. To ponder the choice of taking a prince from the palace or a frog from the pond is all a part of the plan. Every woman wants to marry Mr. Right and live happily ever after. It's in the nature of who we are to desire a knight in shining armor who will love us till death do us part. God created it that way for a purpose.
What's the Purpose for the Ponder?
Research says men ponder from the meeting to the ring and then ask the question “Will You?” Women ponder from the ring to the altar and answer “I Will.” Why? Because God takes marriage seriously and he wanted to make sure the journey from the first encounter to the altar was completely contemplated. After all, the groom has to be willing to lay down his life for the sake of the kingdom if necessary, and defend his maiden to the death if need be. From the proposal to the "I Do" the bride has to fully consider her choice. After all, this will be the king of their kingdom, and father of her children, destined to lead wisely and protect bravely. She too must determine if she's committed to loving him for the rest of her life. This choice is one of the most important decisions in a couple's future because marriage is a covenant. In fact, the ceremony is full of traditions that represent covenants dating all the way back to the time of the Old Testament, and those covenants were never meant to be broken. (To learn about the covenants, check out my book "Chaos in the Castle or Peace in the Palace?" where I discuss in chapter 4, "What Makes a Wedding Royal").
How Can You Tell a Prince from a Frog?
Before meeting my husband, I was everybody's bridesmaid and nobody's bride. In my desperation, I almost kissed a frog. I was dating a guy I'd dreamed of marrying since childhood. After several months, his favorite line was, “We could get married since we both want the same things: a nice house, nice cars, and a couple of kids.” Every time I heard those words, my heart skipped a beat. Not a flutter of love but a putter of panic. My parents had the same "happy life" list and I knew from experience those things didn't bring palace paradise. I wanted more. I wanted to marry a man who would love me for who I was and honor and cherish me all the days of my life. Thank goodness, one Saturday morning, as I lay in bed pondering the pond over the palace, it finally hit me. This was not the prince God had for me. Immediately I ended it and asked God to take over. It was a "Jesus take the Wheel" sort of moment. It was time to quit trying to change my frog into the prince he could never be and trust my Father in Heaven who knew me best to bring me my prince charming. Literally, the next day I walked into church, my eyes met the eyes of a mystery man across the room, and I was captivated. That night he asked me out on our first date and a year later we were engaged, teddy bear and all. I found my knight in shining armor, and he's been mine now for almost twenty-eight years! Scripture says in Jeremiah 29:11,
I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.
This is God's promise and his covenant to you. If we surrender our lives and embrace his plans, we will never be disappointed in love. We may face disappointment in life and circumstances but in the midst of difficult times, knowing you married the one meant for only you will glue you together when everything else tries to tear you apart.
Will You Miss Mr. Right?
After marriage, I realized there were a lot of toads I could have kissed at the altar, but giving up and letting God lead me to the noble man meant to be mine was the most important decision I made in exchanging the yucky pond for the peaceful palace. I acknowledge that meeting Mr. Right rarely happens that fast with a frog one day and a prince the next. The truth is, when I consider how close I came to missing the prince God had for me and the catastrophe had I not surrendered the day before, I realize just how muddy my life would have been. I was literally one day away from running out of time and instead of a royal wedding I would have had an empty wishing well. That thought blows the lily pad right out of the water.
What's My Royal Takeaway?
Pondering Mr. Right is never wrong. Asking yourself "Is this the one God created just for me?" is one of the most important questions you will ever ask. It's just as important as the answer you will give on the day you say “I Do.” Once you say "I Do", it becomes "I Will Forever" or at least that's how your Father in Heaven meant it to be because he knew being faithful means forever.
Will You Release, Run, and Wait?
If you're in a dilemma and dating a frog, don't waste another minute. Back in the days of Kings and Queens, a daughter of the King never married beneath herself because marrying a frog could mean losing the crown or lead to the demise of the entire kingdom. The same is true today. If you want everything God has to offer you in love and marriage, start focusing on becoming the beautiful princess you were created to be instead of chasing down an unworthy frog and calling him a prince. My best advice, release that frog back into the pond, pick up the hem of your robe, and run as fast as you can from the icky, sticky mud to the living water. It's a fountain overflowing with all the love you need to make you fulfilled as the Bride of Christ. Once you're fully satisfied in him, he will order the steps of your prince right to your palace door!
Because Pharaoh refused to release what was in his hand, he was plagued with frogs... Exodus 7-10
Do you want to live in a war-torn castle or a peaceful palace?
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