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“Marriage, is what brings us, together, today.” Wedding season is upon us, my friends. I have already gone to three weddings this year, and it’s only June 5. I also have two different family members who got engaged to be married in May. Everywhere I go, weddings!

I am in my mid-20s, so naturally at this point in my life, friends and loved ones are getting married almost every weekend. And you know what? I LOVE IT!

As I sit in different variations of white, folding chairs, either inside or outside, I love to take in the glorious wedding details unfolding before me.

I watch groomsmen file in to a wedding they probably wouldn’t attend if they weren’t IN the wedding. Then I watch bridesmaids with large smiles across their faces, sometimes met with tears, but also looking at the groom like they know something he doesn’t know, how gorgeous his bride looks today. And then finally a father escorting one of the most precious things he’s ever known or loved, down and aisle to present her to another man. It’s the same, yet different in every wedding.

But for just a moment, let’s not focus on the bride and groom. Literally just a moment though, because the wedding day is about them, after all.

Let’s focus on the guests. This is something I’ve always taken seriously, and if you plan on attending a wedding this summer, or ever really, you should take seriously as well. Listen closely.

As a guest of a wedding, by your presence, you are announcing your approval, support, encouragement and all other things that go with being a witness to marriage. Have you taken a second to realize that before? It is so important.

To the bride and groom potentially reading this, the people you invite to your wedding are the people who are supposed to be there for you as a couple, in good times and bad, uplifting you, encouraging each of you separately, and together. These people are important.

It is for this reason that at my own wedding nearly two years ago this July, my husband and I had our guests, if they were willing, take vows as well. To this day, it is one of my favorite things about our ceremony. In these vows, our guests said they would help us uphold our marriage and bond with each other and the Lord. They would only speak good into and about our lives as husband and wife. They would be there for us in good times and bad, and in those bad times, remind us of the vows we took that day, and do their best to support our marriage in all ways. This is so important.

Everyone is a critic these days, myself included at times. We pass judgment quickly and harshly. It’s especially easy to do this when it comes to weddings and looking at others’ relationships. But this is where we are called to be better.

As opposed to judging a couple and how they may do things, or the difficult season they may be going through, think of ways to encourage them and point them back to the Lord if they lose sight. Rejoice with them in the good times, and be their comfort in the bad.

These are things I’ve begun to consider while sitting at weddings. While I enjoy the decorations, food, fun times and fellowship with friends, I think about how I could best pray for the couple.

I am not under the delusion that every person at every wedding will be an integral part of every bride and groom’s marriage, for the rest of their days. I do however think that even if it’s just a prayer, it’s important to uplift and honor those around us entering the holy union of marriage. What they are doing is honorable.

So encourage the newlywed couple around you. Encourage the engaged couple. Encourage the couple that has been married for 40 years. There are no limits to how many people you can encourage with words of hope and love from the Lord.