When we get engaged, we put so much effort into preparing for our wedding day – we organise everything from the ceremony to the food to the decorations. But what can we do to prepare for marriage?
A wedding is just one day, yet we spend months preparing and often huge amounts of money paying for it. A marriage is a lifetime of commitment and sharing your life with another human being – how much more should we prepare for marriage?
Today, Jenny is sharing her thoughts on how we can prepare for marriage.
How do we prepare for marriage?
For us, this involved completing a marriage preparation course! We were fortunate enough to have a wonderful couple at our church who was willing to run the Alpha Marriage Preparation Course with us – so each week for five weeks we shared a delicious meal with them, watched the video, had discussions as a couple but also had the opportunity to discuss these topics with another, more mature couple as well.
Each of the five sessions covered a different topic to help us prepare for marriage. We watched a video, led by Nicky and Sila Lee, authors of The Marriage Book (find out more about this here), and had the opportunity to discuss a number of questions as a couple.
The five topics were: communication, commitment, resolving conflict, keeping love alive and shared goals and values.
Each of these topics gave us some really interesting discussion points, some of which we had spoken about previously, but this was a good opportunity to talk over our thoughts and feelings again. We also covered some interesting discussions regarding why we acted in certain ways – whether this was due to our personalities, upbringing or other experiences.
This course allowed us to find out more about each other and the ways in which we act in certain situations and spend time together discussing important question. Intentionally setting this time aside highlights the importance we place on marriage, right from the beginning.
Why should we prepare for marriage?
Marriage is an exciting and challenging adventure, unlike any other relationship we have previously encountered. We can’t expect a strong marriage to simply appear overnight on our wedding day, we must invest in the relationship, both before and after the wedding day. In the UK, the percentage of marriages ending in divorce is staggering – we need to work hard to build strong marriages that will last.
Preparing for marriage helps us to be intentional about the way in which we build our relationship. It allows us to become more aware of our differences and similarities and learn skills that will help us throughout our marriage in terms of how we communicate, resolve conflict, determine our roles in the marriage and meet each other’s emotional needs.
I would highly recommend a marriage preparation course for anyone looking to get married. Preparing for marriage is such an important part of being engaged, yet I don’t believe it is ever too late to prepare for marriage. We should be investing in our marriage continually, and Alpha also run a Marriage Course for those already married.
Dear God, thank you for the gift of marriage. We pray that you will be with everyone who is preparing for their own wedding day at this time. Give them comfort, your peace and patience. We ask that you will help them to put you at the centre of their marriage, focusing upon you and your will. We ask that all will find the time to intentionally take opportunities to prepare for marriage. Amen.