The bride, Nadine Schweigert, walked down the isle at a chapel in Fargo, North Dakota. She was wearing a teal blue satin dress and clutched a bouquet of white roses. Forty of her closest friends and family watched as she made her way up to the front where she stood there all alone. Typically, people would have been concerned by the absence of the groom, but not for this ceremony. On this day, Nadine was getting married to herself.
Nadine had an interview with TV host Anderson Cooper about the ceremony. Here was her explanation for her actions, “It was me standing up for myself and owning that I’m responsible for my happiness. There would have been a time that I would have placed that on others, to change myself to make them happy, or expecting them to change to make me happy and that really wasn’t working, not at all. I was very unhappy. I started discovering that all the love I need, it’s in here [gesturing to her herself]. No one else can give it to me…I did this to celebrate the progress I’ve made in my life. Six years ago I would have handled a problem by going out and drinking. I smoked, I was 50 lbs overweight. This is just celebrating how far I’ve come in my life.” Sticking with this commitment, Nadine also takes herself on dates, as she explained, “to be married to myself means I have to invest in this relationship.”
To be honest, this entire situation is strange and uncomfortable. It is completely understandable that we should learn to love and be happy with who we are. But actually planning a formal wedding ceremony for herself and taking herself on dates just takes it to an awkward level.
Beyond this, two main problems really stood out to me with this situation. First, this boils down to selfishness. I understand she is celebrating how far she has come through adversity, but that is just it, it is all about her. She is focused on herself and now married to herself. We might even call this the ultimate form of selfishness. Everything in her future is now about what makes her happy. Second, she is completely reliant on herself. There is no focus or reliance on God. Several times Nadine talked about how she is all that she needs and no one else can make her happy. What she is really saying is, “true happiness is only found in yourself.” No one else, especially God, is seen in this picture.
This kind of mindset is completely opposed in Scripture (Psalm 119:36; Proverbs 18:1; Matthew 22:37-39; etc). Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
While there is nothing wrong with learning to love and be happy with ourselves, we can most definitely take that too far. Our culture has become focused on self and situations like Nadine’s are simply products of this focus. The more we focus on ourselves, the faster we will lose focus on God. Let’s make sure we always focus on what is really important, God.