When to Say Thanks

Say Thanks

My friend Rachael is getting married this year. She was my wedding planner extraordinaire, and I am attempting to return the favor this year as I plan hers.

Although Robby and I were married just six years ago, I had already forgotten how many details go into a wedding.

No Thanks!

One of those details that many brides forget about is the thank-you cards.

I never knew this was an issue until after our wedding. As soon as we got back from the honeymoon, I started writing thank you notes to all our friends and family members who supported us in one way or another, whether they threw us a party, donated to the honeymoon fund, or gave us a traditional gift. We took great care to let everyone know how much we appreciated them.

Then, we started to hear it.

I can’t believe you actually sent me a thank-you card! I haven’t received one of these in years!

 I just can’t thank you enough for my thank-you card! I thought proper etiquette was dead.

I was flabbergasted! I had no idea that people were actually foregoing this most basic of common courtesies.

The Faux Pas

Reputable wedding sites (such as Brides.com) still dictate that thank-you cards be handwritten and mailed within three months of the wedding (or within two weeks for engagement and bridal shower gifts). Yet an online search will prove that there is a pervasive trend of thanklessness. It’s so bad that jilted guests are threatening to stop bestowing gifts because no one seems to appreciate them.

Some speculate this might be an issue today because young couples feel a lavish reception is thanks enough for those who attended the wedding or gave them gifts. Well, it’s not. We want our thank-you cards!

The Responsibility

Now, the man may be the head of the household, but the woman is the CEO of Hospitality. It’s ultimately our responsibility to keep up with social etiquette, from ensuring the thank-you cards get mailed to stocking toilet paper in the guest bathroom. Guys just don’t think of this stuff.

It’s true that social norms change with the times. However, if you want to keep your friends and earn the respect of your new family (especially your mother-in-law), you’re going to have to write those thank-you cards.

The Heart Behind It

As Christians, everything we do is important because we’re representatives of God’s kingdom. Paul even wrote that we should perform all our work “heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men…. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (Colossians 3:22-24 NAS).

Thankfulness, in particular, is something we should be ready to share because it’s rooted in love. Not only does love come from God, but Jesus commanded that we love one another as He loved us. Why? “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35 NAS).

An Attitude of Gratitude

I’m so proud of my friend Rachael. She’s already purchased her thank-you cards, and she’s included the cost of stamps in her budget. Rachael is prepared to show her appreciation.

If you’re planning to get married soon, I encourage you to approach the thank-you list with an attitude of gratitude. Thank the Lord for your family and friends; thank Him for blessing you with a beautiful wedding, a great husband, and a new life together; thank Him for all the goodies that now fill your home. Then let that spirit of thankfulness overflow as you write to those who cared enough to support you. Your guests will thank you.

“I thank my God always concerning you…” (1 Corinthians 1:4a NAS).

Ashley L. Jones of BigSisterKnows.com

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*image by Lindsay Osborne.

 

 

Here Comes The Bride

Let us rejoice and be glad; let us praise his greatness! For the time has come for the wedding of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself for it. She has been given clean shining linen to wear.” (The linen is the good deeds of God’s people.)  

Revelation 19:7-8 TEV

The pastor’s hand was poised over the elegant white wedding dress. From a distance, the contents of the jar in his hand appeared dark purple. Probably grape juice, I thought. As he talked, he and the jar moved closer and closer to the dress, I cringed and leaned over to whisper to my daughter. “Oh no … he’s about to ruin that beautiful dress.”

We both watched in horror as the young pastor splashed the grape juice onto the shiny white material. He proceeded to paint something black on it, then finished it off with a bright red substance. A collective gasp went up from the congregation. Not only was the dress ruined, it stood in stark contrast with the identical dress on the opposite side of the stage.

As you can probably guess, the first dress was a vivid picture of a life stained with sin … the second, a life washed and made clean by the blood of the spotless Lamb of God.

It’s been a long time since I saw that poignant illustration, but this time of year always brings it to mind. Spring is a magical season in many ways. The harshness of winter passes and the days dissolve into warm reminders of summers past. Trees that stood naked of covering now proudly display their fullness, and it seems the whole earth bursts forth with life.

But flowers and trees are not the only thing in bloom. As they say, “love is in the air.” This is why May and June are the most popular months for weddings, especially in outdoor settings.

I attended a wedding recently and listened with heightened awareness as the bride and groom repeated the timeless words, “I do” and “I will.” The young couple made promises to each other and created a covenant meant to last a lifetime.

As I heard the vows being made, I thought about how we enter our relationship with Jesus—our Bridegroom—and it broke my heart to think how flippantly some people approach Him. It’s amazing how some want to flirt with the Lord or try him on like a pair of shoes. Others would rather be “roomies” and live with Him for a while before making a lasting commitment. Then the first time things don’t go as expected, they become discouraged and disillusioned and … out He goes. Evicted.

The truth is, our Lord is not looking for a girlfriend; He’s looking for a bride—a pure, spotless bride who is preparing herself for His return. He takes this relationship seriously and so must we. He paid the price for this marriage with His life and is creating a special place for us to dwell in His presence for all eternity.

For God so loved the world that He GAVE. His invitation to the wedding is, COME. It will be the most spectacular wedding celebration ever. Are you preparing yourself? Have you returned your RSVP? If not, do it today. This is one wedding you can’t afford to miss.

Andrea Merrell

Visit Andrea @AndreaMerrell.com

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