Preparing for Marriage + Pre-Marital Counseling

“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?

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The Depot at Gibson Mill Antique Mall

When I last went home to visit my parents, we took a little day trip to The Depot at Gibson Mill in nearby Concord, North Carolina. My mom had heard about this impressive antique mill from some of her friends, and we set off one morning for a little antiquing. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but The Depot antique mall was seriously massive and stuffed to the brim with antique treasures of all types. It even claims to be the largest antique mall in the South! It was really organized and easy to navigate, and each booth/stall seemed to have its own general theme or look. There were hundreds upon hundreds of stalls, all jam-packed with treasures and trinkets and vintage-inspired goods.. and only a little junk! I was really impressed by the displays, and it wasn’t too overwhelming for me.

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I had a rough idea that I wanted some pretty glassware (preferably with some sort of gold detail, or mint green or rose pink glass) for my bar cart, but that was the only thing I really had in mind. Before we even got inside the antique mall, there was a huge display of old windows on the porch.. for $10! We quickly grabbed one, as I’d been wanting to do something with an old window for years now – and that price can’t be beat! Then Dad went off at his own pace (no surprise there – he’s a know wanderer!), and Mom and I got a shopping cart and merrily made our way up and down.. and up and down.. each aisle. It was so exciting spotting things that I loved (and seeing much, of course, that wasn’t my style or didn’t fit my decor), and inspiration was simply everywhere! I ended up buying mint green Depression-era lemon zester (and have used it several times already!), an iron “S” coat or towel hanger, the old window, five clear glass candlesticks, and my favorite treasure – six gorgeous rose gold glasses, perfect for my bar cart. It was so fun, and I’m sure there was much that we missed – so we will definitely be back!

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Some of the goodies I picked up:

this old window for $10 – the possibilities are endless here!

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these pristine thin glass candlesticks – five varying heights for $25

I can’t wait to use some gorgeous candlesticks in these for dinner parties, weddings, and whatnot!

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six rose colored drinking glasses for $36

I adore these! What a fun addition to my bar cart, a dinner party, a styled shoot, or just every day drinking glasses.
antique3 antique4What are some of your favorite antique finds? I’d love to hear! And leave a comment if you have any recommendations for great antique malls/treasure hunting stores, particularly in the DC area or North Carolina!