Weddings are usually a beautiful time, and a lot of time is spent on making things beautiful, especially the beauty of the bride. In fact, it seems there is often a lot of pressure on brides to appear as beautiful as possible for the wedding. Brides can feel pressure to use the world’s standards for beauty to judge how well they accomplish that. However, the Bible is fairly clear about what makes a bride beautiful. Using Ephesians 5 as a standard, here are some things that make a bride beautiful.

1. She is set apart to her husband. Ephesians 5:26 says she is “holy,” which means “set apart.” A bride is beautiful when she is a one-man type of woman, looking to please her husband and honor him alone. What a gift to a husband is a wife who wants to do that with her life. She should dress to please him, not everyone else.

2. She is clean; that is, she has been washed with truth and lets truth guide her. What a gift to a husband is a wife he can trust to not be deceived by the lies of the world, a wife who desires truth and lives by truth. She truly can help her husband when she does not listen to lies and will stand with him against his enemies.

3. She is joyful. Verse 27 describes it as “radiant” or “glorious.” Part of the meaning here is that it is a joy to be accepted and received by the husband. She looks upon it as a privilege and is filled with awe at the joy of uniting with her husband.

4. She is glorious; that is, she shows off the preciousness and the value she places on being united to her husband and the gift she is giving him. There are many ways to do this, of course, but her goal is to let everyone know how precious she views both the gift she is giving and the value her husband is to her.

What’s amazing about Ephesians 5 is that as Christians, we don’t have to do this for Christ. He is the one Who accomplishes these things in our lives. He makes us beautiful. It is his grace that accomplishes it, not our efforts and skill. How beautiful to rest in our Savior’s love!

A small application to husbands: Depend on Christ and strive to help your wives see how beautiful they truly are and how Christ is making them even more so that way.