“Within this Christian vision of marriage, here’s what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of what God is creating, and to say, “I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, ‘I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!”
– Tim Keller
As much as I love weddings and wedding planning, MARRIAGE is so, so much more important than a wedding. Thoughtfully and intentionally preparing for marriage is what should be the focus of an engagement. I adore wedding days (ours was truly the best day of my life!), but it is, afterall, just one day. The days, the weeks, the years to come are what matter even more so. Preparing for your marriage should be at the forefront of your conversations, prayers, and life as you’re engaged. I want a marriage even more beautiful than my wedding day!
Our engagement was filled with preparing for both our wedding and our marriage, and we were so unbelievably excited for our wedding day to unfold – and for our marriage to begin! I couldn’t wait to call Rob my husband, to live together, to spend our days as husband and wife, and to be joined together as one, forever. And I was so incredibly excited for our wedding, but it’s the days and months and years that follow that make me even more excited and the anticipation fills me with so much joy and peace.
I cannot recommend pre-marital counseling enough, and I wholeheartedly believe every engaged couple (and even those discussing getting engaged) should actively participate in pre-marital counseling and seek wisdom regarding marriage. Rob and I did pre-marital counseling through our church (Vintage Church) both in a group setting with other engaged couples and also with just our head pastor (who officiated our wedding!). This may seem like a lot (and it did keep us busy), but there’s honestly nothing more important. Having these tools in our pocket for when issues, life, or disagreements arise is crucial, and being able to talk and communicate lovingly, openly, and humbly is so important. Marriage is a constant act of forgiveness, humility, honest communication, and unconditional love. After our first meeting with our pastor, Rob and I looked at each other and said “that was so awesome!” After talking with our pastors, married couples in our church, other engaged couples, and our incredible community of family and friends, we feel so much more equipped and prepared for our marriage (even now that we’re a few months in).
We’ve openly discussed so much (so much!), read some amazing books (The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller is absolutely phenomenal), prayed through things, gotten so much Biblical insight and wisdom, and had so many people pour into us and into our marriage. This is the good stuff, y’all! It may be nerve-wracking, you may feel like you and your future spouse have already talked about everything, you may not have any issues now, or you may think you don’t have enough time in your schedule… but nothing should hold you back from seeking wisdom from others, especially in regards to your marriage. There is nothing more important than investing your time and your heart into pre-marital counseling.
“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” – Tim Keller
If you’re married, what would is your best advice on preparing for marriage and marriage in general? If you’re engaged, I’d love to know if you have any questions about marriage! Are you participating in pre-marital counseling?