Bridal Shower Devotional Resource Book By Marsha Iddings

Copyright 2010 Sufficient Grace Publishing

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the King James Version of the Bible. ©2010 by Marsha Iddings Published by Sufficient Grace Publishing Printed in the United States of America All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author. Marsha Iddings

Email: truthsetsfree@clarkston.com

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Table of Contents
Introduction Bridal Shower Devotional Examples • A Happy Home Recipe • 11 Practical Suggestions for Being a Good Wife • The Fruit of the Spirit for Wives 7 9 9 14 21

Bridal Shower Devotional Resources
Scripture Verses Marriage Quotes Undeveloped Devotional Outline

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Public Speaking Tips

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Introduction

So you've been asked to give a bridal shower devotional! Congratulations!

In this e-book I will give you several complete bridal shower devotionals, resources for helping you to put together your own devotional and some public speaking tips to help ease the butterflies and make you more comfortable speaking in front of others. I hope you will be inspired and encouraged through this e-book.

Scripture tells us that the older women are to teach the younger women. Titus 2:3-5 says, “The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Now, I am assuming that most ladies asked to give a bridal shower devotional are either older than the bride or have been married longer than the bride. Giving a bridal shower devotional is a great way to encourage the bride-to-be in her new role and fulfill the command of Titus 2:3-5.

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Bridal Shower Devotional Examples
I have included three bridal shower talks below. They are written just as I planned them and gave them. You are welcome to use any ideas from them that you like or to rewrite them to suit your particular needs.

A Happy Home Recipe
Pass around recipe cards and pencils.
Introduction: (At this point you can give a short introduction of what you are about to do.) We start with the ingredients.

The first ingredient is:
4 Cups of LOVE

1 Corinthians 13:4 tells us how love behaves. “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;”

Suffers long speaks to me of patience. When your husband does things that irritate and upset you, love holds back its temper and is kind.

When your husband proudly tells his co-workers how he remembers when your anniversary is and he then tells them the wrong date, love nods her head and smiles like he got it right and then later in private kindly tells him what the right date is.

When you are tired and having to fix the meal while your husband sits on the couch, love doesn't seethe with envy because he is doing what you'd rather be doing. When you have disagreed with your husband about something and it turned out you were right, love doesn't say, "See! I told you so!"

The second ingredient is:
2 Cups of LOYALTY

2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”
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1 Kings 8:61 “Let your heart therefore be loyal to the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day."

A wife needs to be loyal to the Lord. If she is loyal to the Lord, then it will naturally follow that she will be loyal or faithful to her husband.

The third ingredient is:
3 Cups of FORGIVENESS

Matthew 18:21-22 “Then Peter came to Him and said, 'Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?' Jesus said to him, 'I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.'”

When you live under the same roof with someone, there are bound to be times when someone gets offended. He may not squeeze the toothpaste the same way you do. He might invite someone home to dinner without checking with you first. He might steal the covers at night. He might complain about what you cooked for dinner. He might leave his socks on the floor for you to pick up. How many times are you supposed to forgive him? Up to seventy times seven. Sometimes that is no easy task. You need God's grace to do it!

The fourth ingredient is:
1 Cup of FRIENDSHIP

I have several verses to share on friendship.

Proverbs 27:14 “He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, It will be counted a curse to him.”

First of all be careful WHEN you bless your husband---your friend!

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Song of Solomon 5:16 “His mouth is most sweet, Yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem!”

Enjoy your husband as your best friend!

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”

Make sure you have a girl friend who is godly and who will help keep you on the right track when you need someone outside your husband to confide in. Choose a friend who will not encourage you to criticize your husband when you are upset. Choose one who will point you in the right direction and help set your perspective straight.

The fifth ingredient is:
5 Spoonfuls of HOPE

Psalm 119:114 “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.”

Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.”

Make sure your hope is in the Lord and His Word. Don't put your hope in your husband, keep it in the Lord. Man will fail. Husbands will fail. The Lord will not fail.

Lamentations 3:26 “It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”

Not only should you hope in the Lord, but you should wait quietly for the Lord. When times are tough, do your best to not get all upset and fretful. This only causes undue stress for your husband and you. Wait quietly.

The sixth ingredient is:
2 Spoonfuls of TENDERNESS
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Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;”

Kindness, humility, meekness, patience, a gentle and quiet spirit all speak of tenderness to me.

1 Peter 3:1-6 “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel--rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.”

Tenderness does not include nagging. We women are so good at nagging. We call it just reminding...but our husbands see it as nagging.

The seventh ingredient is:
4 quarts of FAITH

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

James 2:18 “But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.””

James 2:20 “faith without works is dead?” Speaking of Abraham, James 2:22, says, “Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?”

James 2:24 “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.”

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When we have true faith in God, it will be a working faith. If we say we trust God, then we need to act like it. Our faith at work will speak volumes to our husbands and they will be blessed by it.

The last ingredient is:
1 Barrel of LAUGHTER/JOY

Proverbs 15:23 “A man (or woman) has joy by the answer of his (or her) mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!”

Be careful that what you say is appropriate. Don't make a joke if it is going to embarrass your husband. Say things that will lift him up in front of others. This will bring joy to your relationship.

Be willing to laugh at yourself. Be happy. Be joyful in the Lord.

Proverbs 15:13 “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”

Nehemiah 8:10 "...the joy of the LORD is your strength."

Now let's mix all the ingredients together: Take love and loyalty, mix them thoroughly with faith. Blend it with tenderness, kindness and understanding. Add friendship and hope, sprinkle abundantly with laughter. Bake it with sunshine. Serve daily with generous helpings. In closing, I'd like to read from Romans 15:13: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

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11 Practical Suggestions for Being a Good Wife
I remember before I got married, hearing stories of couples ending up in the marriage counselor's office because the husband left his socks and underwear on the bedroom or bathroom floor and the wife was upset because she always was having to pick them up! Or she was upset because he left the news paper in a heap by the couch or God forbid....he squeezed the toothpaste in the middle! I used to snicker about these stories until I got married and realized Rick didn't always do things as I thought he should. So I set about to change him. I told him what I thought about the way he did things. I nagged. I fussed. You know what? It didn't help matters at all. Instead it only caused tension between us.

1 Peter 3:1-4 says, "In the same manner, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the behavior of the wives, while they behold your chaste conduct coupled with fear, whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of braiding the hair and of wearing of gold or of putting on of apparel, but let it be that hidden man of the heart in that which is not corruptible even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." God showed me that while trying to change my husband only made matters worse, allowing God to change me made a whole lot of difference! One of the most important things you can do to help your relationship with your husband is to develop a meek and quiet spirit. Webster says meek means patient, mild, gentle, kind, not inclined to anger or resentment. Quiet means unobtrusive, quiet manner, calmness, stillness, freedom from turmoil or agitation, not easily excited or disturbed, not forward. A quiet spirit would be that character quality that remains calm in the face of overwhelming odds. After 26 years of marriage, God still has me in boot camp to learn these character qualities. I believe it is something that takes much practice and believe me, if you ask God to help you develop these in your life, He will arrange the circumstances for you to learn them!
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I'd like to share eleven practical suggestions that God has shown me over the years to help develop a meek and quiet spirit.

1. Spend regular, daily quiet time reading God's Word. Psalm 119:15 “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.” I have found that when I do this first thing in the morning, I am better able to handle the frustrations that come my way that day.

2. Develop a constant attitude of prayer and communion with God. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.” Of course, we need to set aside time specifically for prayer, and that might be best done at the same time you spend reading His Word. But a constant awareness of God's presence in your life and constantly talking to God through out your day is so important. When things are going great, just thank Him as you go about your daily routines. When things are getting tough, talk to Him where you are.

3. Develop friendships with godly women with whom you feel free to share your innermost struggles and be that kind of friend to someone else. Make sure it’s a friend who won’t just fuel fires of resentment in you toward your husband.

Proverbs 27:9 “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart; so doth the sweetness of a man's friend, by hearty counsel.”

Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

I’d like to read a piece I received in an email recently:

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Sisters
A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and visiting with her Mother. As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter. "Don't forget your Sisters," she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass. "They'll be more important as you get older. No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need Sisters. Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them. "Remember that 'Sisters' means ALL the women... your girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other women relatives too. You'll need other women. Women always do." “What a funny piece of advice!” the young woman thought. “Haven't I just gotten married? Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!” But she listened to her Mother. She kept contact with her Sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her Mom really knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, Sisters are the mainstays of her life. After more than 50 years of living in this world, here is what I've learned: THIS SAYS IT ALL: Time passes. Life happens. Distance separates. Children grow up. Jobs come and go.
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Love waxes and wanes. Men don't do what they're supposed to do. Hearts break. Parents die. Colleagues forget favors. Careers end. BUT......... Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you.

A girl friend is never farther away than needing her can reach. When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end. Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you... Or come in and carry you out. Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended family, all bless our life! The world wouldn't be the same without women, and neither would I. When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other. Every day, we need each other still. Author Unknown 4. Listen to uplifting music during the day. 1 Samuel 16:23 “And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand; so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from

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him.”

Music is a good tonic to lift your spirit through the day. When you are having a hard day or maybe feeling a little blue for some reason, put on some good uplifting music that you can sing along with. It will make you feel much better.

5. Exercise! 1 Timothy 4:8 “For bodily exercise profiteth little, but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of life that now is and of that which is to come.”

This verse isn't saying that exercise is useless, but that it is not as profitable as godliness. I believe you can do both. I walk. What a blessing it has been in my life! It is a good stress release and it helps clear my head and helps me to think straight. If you walk alone it's a great time to spend in prayer, exercising yourself unto godliness!

6. Keep a journal. Proverbs 3:3 “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee; bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart;”

I have filled sixteen journals in my life time. When I am going through particularly difficult times, keeping a journal where I write out my frustrations, concerns, prayers, praises is really a good emotional outlet. I also write what God has been teaching me and showing me through His Word and through the situations I find myself.

7. Reread your old journals. There you can see where God was faithful to get you through circumstances that may be similar to what you are going through now.

Psalm 77:11 says, “I will remember the works or the Lord; surely I will remember thy wonders of old.”

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Remember what God has done for you in the past. It will give you encouragement to keep going.

8. Pray together. Ephesians 4:26-27 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil.”

It is difficult to be angry with your spouse and pray with him at the same time. If you find it difficult to pray with him, then maybe you need to examine your heart to see if there is something you need to clear up between you…an area where you need to forgive him or ask forgiveness.

9. Remember your marriage is for better or for worse. Mark 10:9 “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Life will not always be bliss and happiness. There will be times of difficulty and heartache. But if you have built a strong foundation of faith in Christ personally and with each other, your marriage can withstand even the worst of trials.

10. Be thankful. Colossians 3:15, 17 says, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Cultivate a spirit of thankfulness. Be thankful for God’s provision in your life. Thankfulness and joy go hand in hand. When you learn to be thankful, joy will be the natural outcome. A woman who is thankful and joyful will be attractive to her husband.

11. Love your husband like this will be the last day he will be alive.
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You never know what a day may bring. Never take him for granted. I have not mastered all these points yet, but God is still working on me.

I pray that God will bless your marriage and that you will grow to trust Him and lean on Him when you would rather try to fix things your own way. I pray that you would learn to respect and love your husband even when he hasn’t earned it, and that you would develop a quiet and meek spirit, forgiving him of his faults and letting God change you into the kind of helpmeet your husband needs. "The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you." Given by Marsha Iddings, March 17, 2007

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The Fruit of the Spirit for Wives

As I was trying to come up with something to talk about tonight, I realized that the first bridal shower I spoke at was Beth's, Mimi's daughter. And so it is an honor to be asked to speak at Mimi's bridal shower too.

I was racking my brains trying to come up with something to say tonight, so I got out some quote books and started reading quotes on love and marriage. Here are a few I found that I thought were good.

Love doesn't make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.---Franklin P. Jones

Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots. -Hoosier Farmer

Love is the only service that power cannot command and money cannot buy.

This next quote, I couldn't resist because Mimi, like me, is small in stature.

A little house well fill'd, a little field well till'd, and a little wife well will'd, are great riches.

"a little wife well will'd"; I thought about that. I think that "a little wife well will'd" might be one who displays the fruit of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23.

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“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Let's spend some time looking at some of the fruits of the Spirit. They are so important to success in our relationships. I think there will be something here for all of us, married or not. I'd like to use another quote that I found as my spring board for this.

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT---LOVE JOY is love exulting. PEACE is love in repose. LONGSUFFERING is love on trial. GENTLENESS is love in society GOODNESS is love in action. FAITH is love in endurance. MEEKNESS is love at school. TEMPERANCE is love in discipline.

JOY is love exulting.

That's celebrating others happiness's....tonight is a good example. We are showing our love for Mimi by celebrating her special day. In marriage and the family, it's celebrating your spouse's or children's victories and happy moments.

Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”

PEACE is love in repose. It is trying to maintain that spirit of quiet calmness, instead of getting upset and causing others to be upset too. Being still instead of anxious....I think of Psalm 46:10. “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
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This is an area I need to work on. How often has the day been frustrating in one way or another and instead of greeting Rick with a smile on my face when he comes home, I have immediately complained about what an awful day I have had. It doesn't start the evening off very peacefully. I need to be still and know that He is God.

LONGSUFFERING is love on trial.

When circumstances become unpleasant due to illness, adversity, or irritations, longsuffering is being patient through it.

Romans 5:3-4 “...but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope:”

GENTLENESS is love in society. This is treating others with tenderness. The Apostle Paul gives a good example of gentleness. He says in 1 Thessalonians 2:7 “But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children”.

We have all watched a mother with a new baby and observed how tenderly she treats that baby. Paul says we should treat others with gentleness.

In 2 Timothy 2:24-25 he talks about how we should conduct ourselves with others:

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;”

GOODNESS is love in action.

1 John 3:18 “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”

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This is showing each other our love by doing random acts of kindness not because we owe it to them, but because we just want to show we care.

FAITH is love in endurance.

It's looking up and trying to see things from God's perspective, and not giving up. It's staying power. Hebrews gives a good picture of faith.

The Revised Standard Version says it like this: Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (RSV)

Hebrews 12:1-3 tells us what we will see with the eyes of faith.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

A runner in a race must keep his eyes toward the goal. Our goal is to be conformed to the image of Jesus. We are to run the race that is set before us. God has set a particular course for each of us to run. My race is not your race, therefore, we shouldn't look around at how others are running or we might trip. It also says we are to run with patience. The Greek word for patience here means cheerful or hopeful endurance.

In our marriage, family and other relationships, we can show our love for others by encouraging each other to see things through the eyes of faith and not give up.

I remember a time when I was at my all time low when a friend said to me, "Don't loose your faith, Marsha. It's your anchor. It's what will get you through this." Because of this friend's concern and

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encouragement to not loose my faith, I was motivated to hang on and endure. My love for my family was also a motivating factor to hang on to my faith and not give up.

MEEKNESS is love at school.

This is being humble, willing to learn and willing to take correction. Often, God uses people to correct us when we are wrong. That is difficult to take from others because we have to swallow our pride.

It is being willing to say to our husband or children, "I'm sorry I was wrong." Or, "Help me to do this better" or "Remind me when my attitude needs adjusting." Other times the Holy Spirit speaks quietly to our hearts convicting us of when we have done wrong.

Here's what the Bible has to say about being humble and accepting correction.

James 4:6 “But He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

Hebrews 12:11 “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

TEMPERANCE is love in discipline.

This is exercising self-restraint or self-control in our dealings with others and in our own personal lives.

1Timothy 3:11 talks about the behavior of the wives of church leaders. I think it is a good example of self-control that can apply to all of us.

It says this, “Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.”

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Another verse that speaks of self-control and self-discipline is 1Timothy 4:7: “But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.”

Paul also talks about self-control in our dealings with our children. These verses are directed at the fathers, but I believe they apply just as well to the mothers. Ephesians 6:4 “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Colossians 3:21 “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”

When we exercise self-control in our dealings with our children it helps them to not become discouraged.

I think of my adventure in teaching Sarah how to sew. My nature is to hover over her and nag her. If I do this I know she will become discouraged and want to quit. By God's grace, I am learning to control myself, and we are having a good time with the sewing lessons.

We wives can do the same thing with our husbands....when we nag and badger our husbands, they become discouraged.

1 Peter 3:1 “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (behavior) of the wives;”

When you look back over the fruits of the Spirit, you will see that these are all attitudes of the heart.

Our relationships with other people, our families and our spouses all depends on our attitudes....ours and theirs. It is no wonder then, that attitudes of the heart are spoken of so frequently in the Bible.

The Fruit of the Spirit is important to the success of our marriages, family and other relationships.
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Mimi, as you join with Rob in this marriage, blending two families into one, I pray that some of these thoughts on the Fruit of the Spirit & attitudes of the heart may be useful in developing those new family relationships.

I would like to close with a quote from Charles Swindoll. He said this:

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than the past, then education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do.

It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break an organization....a school...a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.

We cannot change our past...We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have. And that is our attitude....I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...."

A Bridal Shower Example from the Web: http://dyingtolivebythespiritofadoption.blogspot.com/2010/02/devotion-for-hannahs-bridalshower.html

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Bridal Shower Devotional Resources
I have gathered together Scripture verses below that might be of some help in preparing a Bridal Shower Devotional. I have used the King James Version over other versions due to copywrite issues. You may want to look these up in the version of your choice.

• Scripture Verses
What the Bible says About Christian Marriage: http://www.christianadvice.net/christian_marriage.htm Bible Quotes & Promises & Inspirational Quotes
http://www.bibleinsong.com/Promises/Temporal_blessings/Marriage/Marriage.htm

Bible Verses for Your Wedding Ceremony: http://www.westchesterweddings.com/ceremony_bible_verses_1.asp

Blue Letter Bible Online http://www.blueletterbible.org/ : This is a searchable Bible that you can use to search for key words to find scriptures that might help you in preparing your bridal shower devotional.

Genesis 2:18, 20 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him...And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

Ideas: Talk about the importance of the wife being a help meet for their husband. Do some research on what is meant by help meet and talk abou that. Help Meet http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Family/Marriage/help_meet.htm

Genesis 2:23, 24 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man....Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

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Ideas/Resources: The Covenant Way: a Wedding Service Built on Promises http://www.reformedworship.org/magazine/article.cfm?article_id=1043 1 Corinthians 11:3-12 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoreth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

Ideas/Resources: I would couple this passage with the one above it in talking about the unity of the man and the woman in the Lord and how God designed the chain of command not because the woman is inferior, but simply because that is how He designed it and in submiting to our husbands, we submit to God. What does it mean when the Bible says, "the man is head of the woman?" http://www.carm.org/questions/about-doctrine/what-does-it-mean-when-bible-saysman-head-woman

Proverbs 31:13-27 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
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She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

Ideas/Resources: Proverbs31Woman.com http://www.proverbs31woman.com/

-Jesus present at the Wedding in Cana of Galilee John 2:1-5 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

Ideas/Resources: This passage could be used simiply to show that Jesus' blessing in on marriage.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know
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even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Ideas/Resources: Use this passage to talk about characteristics of true love. Wedding Sermon on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (get some ideas from this sermon) http://www.trinityurcvisalia.com/sermons/1co13v4f.html Galatians 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Ideas/Resources: The Extreme Significance of the Fruit of the Spirit in a Marriage Relationship.
http://www.divorcehope.com/fruitofthespirit.htm

Fruit of the Spirit: The First Steps to an Enduring Marriage
http://www.crosswalk.com/11605129/

Ephesians 4:2-3 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ideas/Resources: If each one in the marriage seeks to have these character qualities in their lives and keeps the unity of the Spirit a top priority, peace will be the result. Philippians 1:9-11 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

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Ideas/Resources: A Time to Rejoice
http://www.wmu.com/userfiles/file/library/ceremonies/time- rejoice.pdf

Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Ideas/Resources: Talk about Christ's love and how we as wives should be willing to love our husbands with a love that sacrifices our own selfish desires for the good of our husbands. Give practical examples of how this might be done in every day life.

Titus 2:4-5 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Ideas/Resources: You could go through each of these duties of the wife, giving practical examples and then making the application of why we need to strive for these things in our personal lives...that the Word of God be not blasphemed.

Colossians 3:12-18 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

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Ideas/Resouces: This is another great passage of scripture for a bridal shower. Take each of the character qualities mentioned and expand on them, giving practical examples from your own life or the lives of others.

Song of Solomon 2:15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. Ideas/Resources: Talk about the things that cause stress and strain in a marriage. They are the little foxes that spoil the vines of marriage. I would use this in the context of a talk that includes positive light hearted points as well, so as to not make the talk too heavy and full of negatives. You want your audience going away feeling uplifted and challenged.

Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Ideas/Resources: Dealing With Anger in Your Marriage http://searchwarp.com/swa210488.htm

There are many more Scriptures that can be adapted and used in a bridal shower devotional, but these should get you started.

• Marriage Quotes
Marriage is like a pair of shears Oft times working in opposite directions, but punishing anyone that comes between them. Sydney Smith

A great marriage is not when the 'perfect couple' come together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences. Dave Meurer We all have a childhood dream that when there is love, everything goes like silk, but the reality is that marriage requires a lot of compromise. Raquel Welch
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In marriage, each partner is to be an encourager rather than a critic, a forgiver rather than a collector of hurts, an enabler rather than a reformer. H. Norman Wright and Gary J. Oliver

Love is a verb. Eileen Flanagan

When two people love each other, they don't look at each other, they look in the same direction. Ginger Rogers

Everyone makes mistakes. To forgive those mistakes is the action of love. To forgive strengthens our love. John Gray

Love doesn't make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. Franklin P. Jones

To keep the fire burning brightly there's one easy rule: Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other warm and far enough apart―about a finger's breadth―for breathing room. Marnie Reed Crowell

You can give without loving but you can't love without giving. Amy Carmichael

Love is generally confused with dependence; but in point of fact, you can love only in proportion to your capacity for independence. Rollo May

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Acknowledge and respect your differences. You and your partner are not identical twins. Riki Robbins Jones

Understanding moods is as important to people in relationships as understanding weather is to an airplane pilot. Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey

Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle.
Amy Bloom

All young women begin by believing they can change and reform the men they marry. They can't.

George Bernard Shaw

There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends. Homer

What you are as a single person, you will be as a married person, only to a greater degree. Any negative character trait will be intensified in a marriage relationship, because you will feel free to let your guard down -- that person has committed himself to you and you no longer have to worry about scaring him off. Josh MacDowell

To keep your marriage brimming, With love in the loving cup, Whenever you're wrong admit it; Whenever you're right shut up.
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Ogden Nash

Marriage is the alliance of two people, one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other who never forgets. Ogden Nash

The first duty of love is to listen. Paul Tillich

The success of marriage comes not in finding the "right" person, but in the ability of both partners to adjust to the real person they inevitably realize they married. John Fischer

A good marriage is the union of two good forgivers. Ruth Bell Graham

ACCEPT- the secret of a good marriage. Attraction Communication Commitment Enjoyment Purpose Trust Unknown

Motto for the bride and groom: We are a work in progress with a lifetime contract. Phyllis Koss

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There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching a door at the end of a day knowing someone on the other side of that door is waiting for the sound of his footsteps. Ronald Reagan

The heart of marriage is memories. Bill Cosby

Let the wife make her husband glad to come home and let him make her sorry to see him leave. Martin Luther

• Undeveloped Devotional Outline
Below you will find an undeveloped bridal shower devotional outline. Perhaps this will be a good starting point to help you develop your own devotional.

Thesis statement: Like Ruth, we need to be women of excellence. Preposition statement: From the romance story of Ruth and Boaz, I'd like to share three things that helped make Ruth a woman of excellence. 1. Her loyalty to Naomi ~ Ruth 1:16-17 2. Her willingness to help Naomi by working ~ Ruth 2:2 3. Her hard work--she wasn't afraid of hard work. It all resulted in a reputation for being a woman of excellence and Boaz was attracted to her and they were married. ~ Ruth 4:13

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Public Speaking Tips
Speaking in front your peers can be a frightening experience. In this section, I would like to give you some tips to help chase the butterflies away and make this an enjoyable experience for you.

There are six reasons for fear in public speaking: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Not being well prepared Fear of rejection by your audience Fear of having a memory lapse Fear of fainting, getting a stomach ache, etc. Fear of not being able to communicate content or feelings Lack of experience

Adequate preparation is the most important thing to prevent fear. Preparation develops confidence. To prepare well, write out what you plan to say. Read it aloud and time it to determine if it fits your time allotment. Trim it down or add to it if needed. Try not to go beyond your time limit because if you do you will lose your audience's attention.

Some make short outline notes on 3 x 5 cards of their main points to trigger their memory as they speak. Using this method, each point has its own card with key words or phrases.

I prefer to write out what I want to say, highlighting the main points to help me stay on track. This way if I draw a blank I can quickly scan what I wanted to say and get back on track.

Read over your notes numerous times and video tape yourself giving your devotional. This will help you to see if you are fidgeting or doing anything to distract from your message. Practice, practice, practice. This will build confidence as you will get to know your material very well.

Rejection may be controlled by knowing your audience. Chances are, if you've been asked to give a bridal shower devotional, that you know the bride and her audience quite well. If the majority of her
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guests are young women who are either single or newly married, you can tailor your devotional to that audience. If there are lots of older married women in the group, then try to add something that will also apply to them. To establish rapport with your audience, you might start off with something light hearted like a joke, a funny story or a humorous personal experience that relates to marriage.

Rejection can also happen due to appearance, attitude and speech. Come dressed appropriate to the occasion. Dress slacks, or casual skirt and blouse are appropriate. Check to see how formal the event will be and dress accordingly. Come with an attitude of humility, not with an air of superiority, as if you have arrived and are an expert on the matter. Try to avoid slang in your speech.

Use good eye contact with your audience and smile. If it makes you nervous to make eye contact, then look at their forehead instead. Try not to read your devotional word for word from your notes. Relax and just share your heart with them.

Speak loud enough for all to hear. You might ask in the first couple minutes if everyone can hear you okay. This shows consideration for your audience and builds rapport with them.

Be natural. Don't be afraid to use your hands when speaking if it is appropriate to the content. This makes it more interesting for your audience than if you sat or stood stiff as a board in front of them.

Lack of experience in public speaking can cause fear. This is normal. Take a deep breath, say a silent prayer for help and go for it. The more you do it the easier it becomes. A good natural remedy for stress is Bach Rescue Remedy. You can get it at most health food stores. Four drops under the tongue just before you go in to your speaking engagement does wonders for calming the nerves.

Internet Resource: Becoming a Christian Women's Speaker
http://christianwomensspeaker.wordpress.com/about/#comment-305

The above resource has a wealth of information on public speaking tips that will help you. I highly recommend it.

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Conclusion:
Giving a bridal shower devotional can be scary. I've given several talks now, and I still get butterflies each time, however, the more I speak in front of people the easier it gets and the fewer butterflies I have.

This is a great opportunity for God to use you to encourage others, so don't shrink from it. You can do it! God will give you the strength and courage you need and others will be blessed by your efforts.

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