Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Preparing for your marriage... not just your wedding.

This past weekend we were invited to share a little bit of our story as a married couple at "Save the Date" (LCBC's class for engaged/dating couples).

We talked about how we met and got engaged. Our first year of marriage. Trusting God through the difficulties we experienced that year. And our move to PA. It was a really neat opportunity. And it was something that I wish we had when we were engaged.

The night posed some interesting questions in my mind. The biggest one...

If I had prepared as much for our marriage as I did for our wedding, how would that had changed things? 

Now, before I go on... I love my husband and I love our marriage. I would not change a thing about our life and experiences together (including our wedding). However, we have also learned a lot of things the hard way. We had some tough conversations after we got married that would have been a lot better to have before we got married. I think we both realize now that, had we taken more time to focus on the being married rather than the getting married, our marriage would have been even better from the start than it was.

So, to you dating & engaged ones... how about you? Are you taking the time to prepare for your marriage? or just your wedding?

It's so easy to get caught up in all the planning and the pretty that we can forget to do the work necessary to have a solid foundation in our relationship with our husband/wife. Or maybe we don't know how to prepare for our marriages.

We're no experts now (just one year-ish later), but here's some ways that have helped us invest in our relationship and that we wish we'd applied more purposefully back in the day...

Find mentors. Find a couple whose marriage you admire and respect, and spend time with them. Lots. Let them rub off on you. Let them show you what a healthy, thriving relationship looks like. Find newlyweds and couples celebrating their ten, twenty, thirty-year anniversaries. Talk to them and get advice on how to handle life together any stage.

Talk to each other. Talk about the tough stuff and the silly stuff. About how you'll manage your finances and who will do the dishes and take out the trash. About what kind of pets you want and how many kids you want and where you want to live and work. Know those things going into it.

And most importantly... pray. Pray for your marriage. Pray for each other. Pray together and individually. When you're both on the same path, seeking Jesus, communication becomes way easier and way more meaningful. You're able to be more patient, more loving, and more understanding with one another. It makes an incredible difference.

If you're engaged or married... what did you do before getting married or what do you do now to prepare for/invest in your marriage?




Laura Hernandez said...

What a great thing to really think about. Everyone gets caught up in the party of a wedding, and not what happens for the rest of your life after that. I would love you and Rene to guest post with your story of marriage: before the wedding and after. Pretty please. :)

Mrs. T said...

that is wonderful! and agreed, could have spent the amount of energy in the wedding investing a little more on improving communication skills and clearly discussing expectations!

Colleen {Soundtrack To I Do} said...

Remind me to do that, k? Ok thanks love you! Great post friend. :)

Alesha said...

Amen! Preparing for marriage is SO important!
We made sure to communicate A LOT! And we read the bible together. About a week before our wedding we started reading a really good book called Sheet Music (we were recommended to wait til a week before). Pre-marriage counseling was also a GREAT thing. It got us talking even more in depth about issues we may have only scratched the surface of before.
Alesha <3

Anonymous said...

This is such great advice. Truly. I did the exact same thing. The wedding is one day. The marriage is forever. I wish I'd prepared myself for it better. I would have been a better wife and wouldn't have had to learn so many things the hard way. It would have spared a lot of fights and tears. Today I'm happier to be married than I've ever been. But I'm eager to share what I've learned with dating and engaged couples. {Dana}

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