For those of you who are not familiar with “Say Yes to the Dress,” it is a T.V program in which those who are going to be brides search for the prefect wedding dress, often bringing a crowd of family and friends to help them pick what they will wear when they get married.
I liked looking at the pretty dresses but I actually learned a lot from this show.
One of the main things I noticed is that people often depend on others to decide what is best for them in cases when it doesn’t really make sense. Now, it would be one thing if the people they brought along for support were accountants and other financial experts to help them find something reasonable, within their budget and calculate the long term payments and give objective advice. However, most of the people’s advice was focused on the subjective, such as how attractive the dress looked to them, not even how well it actually fit her body, which would be more objective.
In life we are often guilty of setting ourselves up as the standard for others and/or letting others’ thoughts and options define us. This shouldn’t happen. “One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.” Romans 14:5. We should not try to force our convictions on others or allow others to force theirs onto us. God expects us to make decisions for ourselves.
Another thing I noticed is that the bride would heed the personal options of others even if they were not happy with the opinion expressed because others offered to help pay for the dress. People thought that because they were contributing financially they had to like what others did with the money and not have a right to refuse to help if the dress didn’t suit their personal taste. The bride felt burdened to appease others because of this. However if we feel entitled to something from the person or institution we are donating to we are not really giving, we are buying gratification for ourselves.
No one should use “gifts” as an excuse to exercise control over others. That is not giving, that is bribing. “Yeshua also said to the one who had invited him, ‘When you give a lunch or a dinner, don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives or rich neighbors; for they may well invite you in return, and that will be your repayment. Instead, when you have a party, invite poor people, disfigured people, the crippled, the blind! How blessed you will be that they have nothing with which to repay you! For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’” Luke 14:12-14
Another thing I learned from “Say Yes to the Dress” is that sometimes we are so committed to a perceived idea of what we think we want, we don’t even consider that other options can be better. Some women had a certain style of dress in mind but found out a dress in another shape was better after trying on what they thought they wanted and being disappointed. It is good to keep an open mind in life and sometimes it is only after we try what we think we want that we learn we don’t really want it. God may use our disappointments or confusion to get us to see that what we always imagined our life would be really wasn’t the best match for us personally. So we should learn to let go. If something doesn’t work, instead of giving up and assuming our lives are ruined we can trust that God has something better in mind.
Picture originally found here