June is commonly known as the month for weddings. And when we think of weddings, most of us think of white, flowers, family, hot churches, an aunt or uncle that maybe had a little too much champagne, kids that look cute in their dressy clothes, and wedding cake on the groom's nose. What most of us don’t think of is the absolute profundity of the moment, the two becoming one flesh under God, forever.
Marriage is meant to show us the intimacy, connection, and oneness God intended us to have with Him. In a healthy marriage, two people know each other fully, accept each other no matter what, and love one another completely. No matter where you’re at in your relationship, keep taking steps to cultivate a healthy, prized marriage.
Most couples tend to jump over this first step. We get so excited about love that we can’t believe our destiny is anything but him or her! Before being swept away, take time to ask yourself some serious questions.
Do you share a common vision and values? If not, it is wise to hold back and reconsider marriage until you are on the same page. Do both of your parents agree to courtship and marriage? Many couples go astray when they are not willing to listen to the insight and wisdom of parents and others who are close to them. Are you both physically, emotionally, and spiritually ready for marriage? Premarital counseling allows you to look at these things objectively and work on areas that need help.
Couples must be completely honest in premarital counseling, sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly. This includes financial affairs (incurred debt), social obligations (sexual affairs, divorces), and physical problems (STD’s, cancer, etc.). How is this going to affect your lives? Do you both want to have children? It is important to create dialogue where issues are raised, not hidden.
Once there has been confirmation to get married, it is vital that each person continues to work to eliminate unhealthy areas in their lives. The more serious problems should have already been brought to the surface. Others might yet come out. Being honest can go a long way toward eliminating any unhealthy areas.
The Church is a powerful community, offering support and helping us become the men and women we were created to be and have a blessed marriage.
Many couples spend so much time, effort, and money on a wedding and honeymoon that they end up in debt. Practically speaking, simple is better. Have a wonderful time planning for your marriage, but stick to the budget you can afford.
The wedding only establishes your marriage. It will not make you one of heart. Talk early on about your expectations of the wedding and then spend an equal or greater amount of time working on preparing for your marriage.
The matrimonial expression of “becoming one flesh” conceives of a union in which two become one. In order to have one mind and heart, communication is vital. It allows a couple to come to a common understanding. The husband needs to cultivate such a talking relationship so that his wife will understand what he is wrestling with, and that he understands her and can listen to her insights. Focus on serving the other’s needs, even when the other person had a bad day or is being less than loving.
Putting your partner’s needs before your own and maintaining an open line of communication will help unite your hearts and minds.
When considering marriage, think about where you want to go. You will find that you may have different answers. And if not different answers, maybe different areas of emphasis. You need to work together toward common goals for the future. As time passes, you will probably discover that many things that are important now, will not be so important later on. Refining and updating your goals will be necessary.
Spend time talking about your dreams, desires, and aspirations together. Take seriously pre-marital counseling in preparation for the “big day”, as it will benefit the two of you long after the ceremony is over.
»» For information on pre-marital counseling at Rock Church, click here.