Weddings are joyful and magical occasions. Almost every little girl grows up dreaming of her wedding day, the day she becomes a bride. According to Scripture, all Believers are the “Bride of Christ.” What better way to explore this concept than with a ladies retreat? A Bride of Christ themed ladies retreat can be used to celebrate, educate and uplift female believers. And since weddings are not just solemn events, but occasions of laughter, fun and reminiscence, a Bride of Christ themed ladies retreat can be as well.
Ladies of all ages are faced with many challenges, and they often feel overwhelmed and alone. A Bride of Christ themed ladies retreat can be helpful in discussing not only a woman’s duty as a Believer, but also her value to God.
For example, 2 Corinthians 11:2 speaks of God’s plan for believers to have an intimate relationship with his Son, Jesus.
2 Corinthians 11:2 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
2 For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy, because I have promised you in marriage to one husband—to present a pure virgin to Christ.
No matter her earthly marital status, all women want to feel loved and appreciated. Isaiah 62:5 is perfect for describing God’s love and care for his people.
Isaiah 62:5 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
5 For as a young man marries a young woman, so your sons will marry you;
and as a groom rejoices over his bride, so your God will rejoice over you.
Another beautiful description of the Savior’s love for his bride can be found in Paul’s writing to the Ephesians.
Ephesians 5:25 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her
Armed with the knowledge that God sacrificially loves his people and expects their faithfulness, retreat attendees can begin to explore ways to deepen their relationship with God and grow closer to their Savior.
Opening: Bridal Tea
Bridal teas have become quite fashionable and would make a perfect opening for a Bride of Christ retreat. A tea provides a way for attendees to gather and make introductions. To keep it a light-hearted affair, offer an assortment of flowery hats, costume jewelry, boas and other “finery” for attendees to dress up in. This is a great way to break the ice and make everyone feel more comfortable. Keep the menu simple and light: finger sandwiches, vegetables and fruit with dip and a small assortment of cookies or tarts. To encourage conversation among attendees who may not know one another, here are a couple of fun options:
1. Conversation Pebbles– These are easy to make and customize to any specific occasion, setting, or group.
2. Printable Share Cards– These cards are pretty and can be printed right from your computer.
More ideas and pictures can be found here.
Fun and Games: Bridal Shower
Second only to the wedding ceremony, the shower is a highly anticipated bridal event. For the Bride of Christ theme, the bridal shower can be adapted any number of ways depending on how many and what types of groups attend. The menu can be as simple as mints and nuts or as elaborate as hors d’oeuvres or tapas. Of course, no bridal shower is complete without games. Here are a few ranging from classic to trendy:
- Toilet Paper Wedding Dress– This game has been in the bridal shower game repertoire for many years, but it remains a popular choice. Guests are divided evenly into groups with one person in each group serving as the dress model. The other guests have a set amount of time to create a wedding gown from toilet paper. When finished, the “dresses” are judged and the prettiest and most creative dress is declared the winner.
- What’s In Your Purse?- For this game, guests are given a printable score card and asked to check off any items that are in their purses. The player with the highest score wins.
- Put a Ring On It– Players of this game are given a plastic ring (available in bulk at most discount stores) and asked not to use the words “wedding” or “bride.” If a player slips up and says one of the forbidden words, another player can steal their ring. The player with the most rings at the end of the session is the winner.
Bridezilla is a fun variation of this game. Instead of losing a plastic ring, the player who uses one of the forbidden words is declared the Bridezilla and must wear a hideous veil until another player slips up.
Since the purpose of a shower is for the bride to receive gifts, create a small goody bag with treats like mini nail polish, manicure sets or picture frames for each lady in attendance to take home.
Ideas: Heart, Health and Home Wisdom Share
Brides get a lot of advice (welcome or not) before their big day. A time of sharing womanly wisdom can be a productive way to get ladies not only talking, but bonding. The ideas shared can be written on note cards or printed onto pages for the attendees to keep.
- Heart– Ladies can share inspirational verses or passages of Scripture that have gotten them through difficult times.
- Health– Ladies can share their favorite healthy recipes.
- Home– Ladies can share their best “old family secrets” such as a recipe for homemade dish detergent, a no-fail stain removal strategy or the best method for cleaning a microwave.
Closing Vow/Dedication Ceremony
A Bride of Christ themed ladies retreat could close with a wedding-like ceremony in which the attendees can make personal dedications to Christ of how they wish to strengthen their relationships with him based on what they’ve learned over the course of the retreat. These vows can be written down on a decorated card and can be shared or kept private. Rings or pins could be given to remind the attendees of their vows. Follow up the ceremony with a reception complete with wedding cake and finger foods.
Like weddings, a Bride of Christ themed ladies retreat can be a joyous occasion for all in attendance. Ladies can be uplifted, form new friendships and learn about themselves as a Bride of Christ. A Bride of Christ themed ladies retreat can also be a useful tool in helping women to examine their relationships with Christ and to learn how to be even more faithful and loving Brides for Him.
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