Reality shows have become very popular on TV in the last few years. According to Wikipedia, the genre began in earnest in the early to mid-1990s. It exploded as a phenomenon in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Reality television as a whole has become a fixture of television programming. Various channels, for example MTV, have retooled themselves to focus almost exclusively on reality TV.
One program that I like to watch with my daughter is “Say Yes to the Dress”. This show presents various brides who are looking for their wedding dress. They go to the bridal shop with friends and family members to get input during the selection process. When the bride finds the perfect dress for her special day she proclaims “Yes” to the dress!
Why are reality shows so popular these days? I believe it’s a reflection of the deep unconscious cry in people’s hearts for … well … reality. We long for that which is true, authentic, the “real deal”. Whether we admit it or not we’re tired of the superficial stuff that doesn’t satisfy. We’re weary of the fantasies that fail to deliver meaning and purpose to our existence.
Recently my daughter and I had the privilege and honor to be invited to go wedding dress shopping with my son’s fiancee. There were six of us who gathered in the bridal shop along with the bride-to-be. Carmen had done her research on-line and knew pretty much what kind of dress she wanted. So half an hour later, after trying on a total of three dresses, she joyously declared “Yes” to the dress. Accompanying cheers of approval arose from those of us who were watching. Carmen’s chosen dress suits her perfectly – she will present herself a radiant and beautiful bride on her day in September.
A marriage takes place when two people decide that they truly love one another and desire to spend the rest of their lives together. Part of the process of planning a wedding is deciding what to wear.
As I was out for my morning walk today I was listening to some music and reflecting on a few things. It occurred to me that my life as a believer in Jesus has some connections to reality shows, and also to my experience of being in the bridal shop last weekend. Allow me to explain.
The day I decided to become a Christ follower, and every day since, it has been my desire to live a life that would count. I’ve never been all that interested in the “bells and whistles” of life, the perks, the fluffy stuff that’s here today and gone tomorrow. Material blessings are nice, but they aren’t what I live for. My aim is not to be rich in the things of this world, but to be rich in values, relationships and goals that will be eternal. Jesus offers me the ultimate reality, so why would I settle for anything less?
When I said “Yes” to Jesus many years ago – when I decided that I truly loved Him and wanted Him to be an integral part of the rest of my life – it was a marriage of sorts. The Bible says that when we belong to Him we are His Bride. Deciding to commit my life to Him was the first step. Then I needed to learn what sort of “dress” is most attractive for a Christian. The Bible provides excellent guidance.
Romans 13:14 “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ …”
Colossians 2:12 “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
1 Peter 5:5 “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.”
Galatians 5:11 “Put on the full armor of God…” (truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God)
Isaiah 61:3 “Put on the garment of praise…”
These passages describe what “dress” I will look most beautiful in. I want so much to please Jesus. I want to be a radiant bride in His sight. I desire to know my Bridegroom intimately and to learn more about what kind of “dress” will bring him pleasure and delight. With joy in my heart, I make a daily decision to say a resounding “Yes” to the dress. His smile of approval is my reward.
When any of us say “yes”, God rejoices!
The Lord, the angels and all of heaven applaud when our “Yes” to Him, and our “Yes” to the dress, goes forth. There’s a party in heaven – and a wedding banquet to come!