By Erin Thiele
One beautiful bright sunny morning, an adorable baby boy was born. His parents were overjoyed. The very day he was born, his parents wrapped up a special gift for him “for he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” It would be a gift not really for him, but for his wife whom he would meet and marry many years later.
When he was just a little boy his mother and father told him that this special gift needed to be protected, to be kept safe for his wedding day. So they were very careful whom he associated with during his years as a youth. “Do not be deceived: bad company corrupts good morals.”
Time passed very quickly as the little boy grew to become a handsome young man. One spring day this young man was introduced to the girl of his dreams. “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!”
Both he and his parents believed her to be a good Christian and they had no indication that she would be anything less than what she appeared to be. The young man, so in love, promptly asked her father for her hand in marriage and the plans for the wedding began.
The handsome young man beamed with excitement as he thought of the priceless gift that would soon be given to his adorable bride. For years he had carefully hidden his special and costly gift away. No matter how others had tried, no one had ever seen his gift, so carefully was it hidden from everyone.
The special day finally arrived. The wedding was beautiful. Excitement was in the air. The flowers, the cake, and the beautiful wedding attire—everything was perfect.
Soon the big event was over, but for this young man, anticipation was still increasing. The moment he had been waiting for, dreaming about, was about to take place. The young married couple registered at the front desk of an expensive hotel and they were escorted to their room.
The groom smiled at his beautiful young wife as she sat on the end of their wedding bed. All his thoughts were on the gift that he would soon present to his very special lover, his wife.
Yet strangely, his new wife’s expression was odd, she seemed distracted, concerned. But nothing could spoil this moment for them, or so he thought. With excitement ready to burst forth, he told his nervous wife to sit and wait there while he went to get his gift.
Very soon he walked toward her holding the most beautiful and magnificently wrapped gift. The paper was more beautiful than the day it had been wrapped. It was gold and white with sparkles of bright, glittery silver that shone like stars.
Gingerly, carefully, with trembling hands, she began to open the gift. But instead of joy, her face showed a heavy heart. As she folded back the delicate tissue paper, she saw the most gorgeous evening gown she had ever seen. It was perfectly fitted for her small frame: the fabric, pearl buttons, sequins, every detail was lovelier than anything she had ever seen. As she looked into the face of her dear young husband, she saw tears of joy running down his handsome cheeks. For he had been faithful to his beloved wife before his wedding day, and now, his heart overflowed with ecstasy.
As was the custom, it was now her turn to present her gift to him. So excited was this young husband about giving his gift that he had almost forgotten that he, too, would receive a wedding gift. Yet, his young wife seemed to be uneasy, her eyes fixed, staring at nothing, yet purposely her eyes never meeting his. Undaunted, he took her delicate hands in his, and with only his eyes and a smile, he encouraged her to bring her wedding gift for him.
Slowly and deliberately, she proceeded to the closet and emerged with a box. When he first saw it, he was so stunned that the smile stayed fixed on his glowing face. Then reality struck, and his innocent face took on a painful despondent appearance. Without her eyes meeting his, she placed her gift on the bed next to him: she was so ashamed, she could not place it in his hands.
Together they sat in silence until he had the faith to accept the fate that lay before him. He picked up the gift, managing a small and painful smile. The wrapping paper was torn and stained, barely covering the box. The ribbon, too, was frayed, tattered, and ragged. It required very little effort to unwrap the gift; the paper simply fell onto the floor, exposing a very battered and worn box.
As he opened the box there was no longer tissue paper covering the contents. For there, lying alone at the bottom of the box was a very damaged tuxedo. He could tell that at one time it had been a flawless pure white, but now it was yellowed, stained, torn. The buttons made of costly jewels were now missing or were hanging by only a thread.
Tears clouded his vision. Shaking, he picked up the worn-out garment and, without a word to his wife, he made his way to the next room to change into his tattered and worn tuxedo, leaving her alone with her priceless, perfect gown.
Within only a very few painful minutes, he and his new bride were walking down the hotel corridor, arm-in-arm, on their way to their special wedding dance. As they stood in the elevator, his eyes fixed to the floor, he could hear the people snickering behind his back.
As they walked into the ballroom, the guests stood in silence—there before them stood the newlyweds. As the music began, horror appeared on his parents’ faces. As he took his wife’s hand and turned, they could see his entire garment. As he moved, his tuxedo began to come apart, and a button fell to the dance floor to everyone’s horror or amusement.
Many of the young men were laughing, pointing, and whispering to one another, telling each other about when they had worn this very tuxedo. They gathered in the corner to share their stories, glancing often to catch the eye of the shamed groom. The young bride, too, wore a face of shame and humiliation. Her gown was magnificent, yet because of her impurity, she could not enjoy wearing it. She knew she had no right to wear such a gorgeous dress, while her wonderful and faithful young husband wore rags. She could feel the eyes of his parents as they burned on the back of her neck. She could sense the utter disgust and shock that they must be feeling as they looked at the girl who had deceived them all.
Oh, how she wished she could go back. Go back to the time when she first had entertained thoughts of giving her gift to her first “real” boyfriend. As soon as it was opened the first time, the once priceless gift was much easier to give away a second and third time. Now, years later, she honestly could not even remember how many had opened that gift and worn her husband’s tuxedo that she now wished she had saved for him—the one who deserved her faithfulness.
Her face burned red in shame; her guilt pierced her heart and caused her to feel sick in the pit of her stomach. There was no doubt that her young groom had always been the one for her, but she had not waited. She had lived “for today” … and now tomorrow had finally come.
Soon her shame turned to horror as she thought of all she had lost: the love and respect she once had from her young husband who had adored her, her in-laws, even her own parents who were now sharing the shame of their daughter who had not waited until her wedding night. There she was, wearing a white gown deceitfully, which should have represented her purity.
There will be no turning back… and so, for the next few months, and then years, life moved along terribly.
Without warning, her sin of unfaithfulness, which had begun years before she had met her beloved husband, incredibly began to resurface—a stronghold. Discontented at home, with her husband, basically unhappy with life, she returned to her old ways. Once again she was giving away what truly belonged to her husband. She no longer knew right from wrong; “wiping her mouth, she said she wasn’t doing anything wrong.” When she spoke to her husband, she was “bitter and sharp as a two-edged sword.”
One dark day, her sin of unfaithfulness was discovered. When she came home from shopping, her young husband had taken their two young children and was gone. Where? She didn’t know. He had left her “without a word.”
With a broken heart and a life destroyed, she sat weeping uncontrollably on the end of their bed. Hours later, she still sat there stunned, wondering how this nightmare had begun. The pain was unbearable. What could she do to get them back?
As you can see, my darling, dating is not the way to find a good husband. It is actually at the source of girls giving away what they should save for the man they are going to marry. Don’t you agree? But if dating isn’t the answer, then should you try “courtship”? After being asked about my opinion on courtship, I have to honestly say that I do not encourage courtship since there is nowhere in the Bible that suggests this method. This is the solution that Christian parents created to counteract dating, but it also has many drawbacks and pitfalls. Though the couple guards their physical intimacy, courtship does not protect a couple's emotional intimacy, which is also very important in marriage. If you want to follow the Bible to the letter, then parents would have to be the ones to select wives for their sons.
Well then, how do you find the right man if you choose not to date? I encourage young women who want a godly man to trust God, their Heavenly Father to choose for them. Then I guarantee the right man for you who will pursue you at the appointed time!
Unfortunately, if you pursue or run after someone to love you now, rather than waiting for the Lord, I also guarantee you will have to keep running after him. After heading up a ministry for women for many, many years, I know the heartache of women who ran after and caught the wrong man. Marriage should last more than 50 years, so it IS worth the wait to find the right man by pursuing the Lord, not just anyone! I am sure you would agree. And while you are waiting and pursuing the Lord, trusting your Heavenly Father at the appointed time, He will begin to create you to be a woman of virtue who finds true love.
This allegory and its warning may have come too late because of unforeseen circumstances that have left you defiled and violated. Maybe it happened when you were very young, someone you trusted robbed you of your innocence and it left you confused, frightened, and unworthy of the love you deserve.
You may feel there’s no hope, and due to this, why hope things could be different?
Maybe it happened later, maybe a boyfriend you trusted, or maybe a guy you didn’t know well who robbed you of what you wanted to save for your wedding day.
Maybe you gave in due to lies he said when he confessed his never-ending love for you. No matter how you got to this hopeless state, there IS hope.
His Word can wash you, cleanse you, and His love can heal every wound—making you feel whole and clean and worthy of the love of a prince once again.
It begins with being loved by the Prince of Peace.
This has been an audio recording of the “Wedding Clothes” read by Yvonne in South Africa. NarrowRoad publishing hopes you will share this with each of your friends and PLEASE visit our website for other languages of this book AND OTHER His Princess books to share.
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On behalf of NRP, thank you for listening!!