Preparing for Marriage
Preparing for Marriage – Decision Making
Preparing for marriage is the first step in your walk thru life together. You’re busy with wedding preparations, but you understand that preparing for marriage is important too! As you embark upon this adventure, you both carry high expectations for the best marriage possible. Marriage preparation will set your course and make the way smoother.
Preparation for marriage includes working together as a couple to make decisions. During this prenuptial time you will lay the groundwork for decision making as you decide on your wedding date, the budget, your wedding party, ceremony decisions, and honeymoon plans. When conflicts arise, how well do you resolve them? Discuss how you can improve the way you work together and communicate about these decisions.
Preparing for Marriage – Premarital Counseling
Premarital counseling is an essential part of preparing for marriage. Ask local church leaders what classes they offer for premarital counseling or contact a Christian counseling center in your area. In premarital counseling, you’ll discuss various issues like:
- What are the roles of the husband and the wife in a marriage?
- What does the word love mean to each of you? How do you best show and receive love?
- What are your individual expectations for marriage?
- How will you resolve conflict?
- What boundaries will you set to ensure purity and faithfulness?
- What sort of budget will you have for your first year of marriage?
- What career and family goals do you have? Are they compatible with your fiancés’ goals?
During this time, you will also discuss the spiritual aspects of marriage. Are you both believers in Jesus Christ or are you combining different worldviews? If so, what challenges will that bring to your marriage? Conducting a spiritual check-up is a clear demonstration of your commitment to the success of this union. Before you embark upon the sea of matrimony, consider unloading the undesirable baggage of bad thoughts and judgments that you are carrying.
Throughout the years of your marriage, you will be unpacking a suitcase of memories, blessings, heartaches, and struggles that were packed as you lived life. Dealing with these memories and struggles before marriage is prudent.
Preparing for Marriage – Learning from others
Another essential in preparing for marriage is to learn from others—both those whose marriages have been successful and those whose marriages have failed.
“My husband and I are at the fifty year mark in our marriage—our golden anniversary! We think we have discovered why. The Bible says that we will go thru the ‘refiner’s fire’ to be made and molded into something useful. Then we will come forth as gold (Job 23:10). The refiner’s fire is not fun and neither is being molded, but gold is precious and valuable. So we determined to keep our eyes upon the ‘gold goal.’
“Before our marriage, we talked with the preacher, but it was not premarital counseling. Even though we both thought we were Christians, our marriage preparation did not include a spiritual checkup. We didn’t take time to deal with the bitter roots, unforgiveness, denial, dysfunctional parent relationships, and purity issues.
“The years of our marriage brought struggle and sharpening of one another, often in some very uncomfortable ways. Yes, there were times we wanted to bail and had to just honor our commitment. Our five children survived reasonably well, considering the dysfunction of our family.
“Without a doubt it has been worth the struggle. Proper marriage preparation would have made it much less painful for us and our family. We are living proof that the sooner the marriage partners realize that God must be the head of marriage and the husband is responsible to God, the sooner the marriage improves.
“We are both so different. We see life from such a different perspective, but we know that when we both agree, it is God’s working in each of us. Marriage is a perfect opportunity to discover God’s plan and see His handiwork. You can choose—will your marriage be a special blessing or a load to carry? Cultivation is necessary if you expect to harvest the blessings of this special relationship. Sacrificial love will carry you through good times and bad.
“God has plans for you. Our prayer for each of you is that you will enjoy the blessing of a full and wonderful marriage.”
Preparing for Marriage – Make it personalLearn More!
There are many resources that have made preparing for marriage easier. Consider these resources:
Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts by Dr. Les and Leslie Parrott
For Men Only and For Women Only by Saunti and Jeff Feldhahn
Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Preparing for Marriage by Dennis Rainey, David Boehi, and Brent Nelson
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