veiled gloryveiled beauty
I think I understand why brides wear veils.
A friend of mine showed me a passage from a book that talked about how women are beautiful because they are the image of God's beauty. I had forgotten that man and women are the image of God and I realized that I had never really considered God to be beautiful.
Sometimes girls are too beautiful to look at. It almost hurts to see them. I've always relegated that to the "strange guy-girl phenomenon" pile, but now it makes complete sense—the glory of God is shining through them. Moses saw a glimpse of God's glory and had to wear a veil. The beauty of a woman is the image of God's glory and beauty.
The Bible is very clear that marriage is a symbol of our relationship to Christ. The whole idea of submission is an image of our submission to God—it is one way husbands reveal Christ to their wives. What my friend found liberating and I find stunning in its simplicity and truth is that wives reveal the glory of God to their husbands by being beautiful.
We cannot see God's face on our own. It is only when we turn to Him that we see His face (2 Corithians 3:12-18). Wedings are symbols of that: the bride is veiled, just as God's glory was veiled. Once the bride and groom are married, the veil is removed and the groom can see his bride as she is.
I always knew that marriage is a beautiful symbol of our relationship with Christ, but I only saw half the story. The husband and wife are simultaneously showing and being shown Christ. At the same time, they both see Christ in and and show Him to each other.
The crazy beauty of this just makes me want to praise God! How does He think this stuff up?