I talked with Catherine Parks (@cathparks) about an exciting book that she and her mother are writing on the gospel and wedding ceremonies called The Christ-Centered Wedding (B&H Publishing, 2014).
1 – We love the gospel! And it’s especially brilliant when displayed in a Christ-centered wedding. Please tell us about the book you’re writing.
Yes, and thank you so much for asking. This book came about as a result of a conversation I had with my mom in 2011. As a pastor’s wife she has seen many weddings and we were discussing the sad reality that many Christians miss out on viewing their weddings as an opportunity to proclaim the gospel.
In fact, I believe I missed out on that chance as well. I wanted my wedding to glorify God, but in the seven years since that day I have grown so much in my understanding of the gospel-rich symbolism of weddings. Having been witness to some beautiful, Christ-exalting ceremonies since that day, I had a deep desire to do something to increase awareness of this opportunity for others.
So my mom and I decided to try to write a book. It is an interesting process – I’m doing the writing, but my mom is extremely creative so she is collaborating with me in giving her own wisdom and ideas. The book is due out in April 2014, so we have quite a long road ahead of us, but so far I am loving it. The Lord is graciously using this process to teach me what it really means to give Him glory.
2 – This sounds like fascinating subject matter. What are the particular topics you two will be discussing in The Christ-Centered Wedding?
Rather than writing a “wedding planner” with charts and checklists, we decided to design this book as more of a guide in thinking through the various aspects of a wedding. For that reason we are attempting to discuss everything from premarital counseling to wedding showers, and then of course the elements of the ceremony and reception.
The more I write, though, the more I realize it is truly just a book about the gospel. Hopefully it will help others in thinking through and applying the gospel to this special time in their lives, but more than that I pray it would help readers to go deeper in their love for God and their appreciation of Christ’s work on the cross. The writing process is certainly doing that for me.
We also hope readers will come away with a greater understanding of God’s plan for marriage. Genesis 2 shows us that marriage was God’s design and that it is His doing, and we get a glimpse of the first wedding as He brings Eve to Adam. The Bible has a lot to say about marriage, but essentially it is a beautiful opportunity for us to better understand, and then exemplify to the world, the sacrificial love and leadership of Christ toward the church. The great news is that our weddings can also exemplify this as we have this rare opportunity to share the gospel with a captive audience and to lay a solid foundation for marriage.
3 – Many ladies reading this interview today may be in the process of wedding planning right now or in the very near future. What advice do you have for these ladies?
1 – PRAY. Pray with your future spouse, with your family, with your pastor, with your friends. Seek God in humility and the right perspective on wedding planning will come about as a result.
2 – Keep an eternal perspective. It is right to spend time and money and thought on this celebration of God’s work in your lives, but keeping an eternal focus will greatly aid when you have to choose where to cut corners on spending or how to deal with conflict.
And the bonus is that both of these things count not just in wedding-planning, but in all of life!
Thanks for sharing, Catherine!
I know many women will cherish this book. Catherine has recently started blogging at Don’t Waste Your Wedding and I’m looking forward to reading more of her thoughts on displaying the gospel on a “not-so-mundane” big day.