Getting Ready For Marriage
Pastor Terry M. Turner
With Kurt Bruner, The Center for Strong Families
Congratulations on this wonderful milestone. Few seasons in life are filled with as much joy and anticipation as the time spent preparing to get married.
You’ve probably heard it said that as you plan your wedding, you shouldn’t forget to plan your marriage. But it sounds so abstract to “plan a marriage” in the midst of the more tangible (and demanding) project of planning a wedding. How do you do it?
STEP ONE: Learn from others
Research demonstrates the long-term value of making time now for marriage education classes or premarital counseling. Those efforts go even further when you supplement them by spending time with an older married couple whose relationship you admire.
STEP TWO: Plan with patience
Couples often overlook the importance of using the wedding planning season as practical marriage preparation. You can intentionally set the tone for your marriage by the values you live out in planning your big day. The transformational process of “becoming one” can occur in everything from how you assemble your guest list to how you determine a honeymoon destination.
STEP THREE: Discover the purpose of marriage
A wedding is bigger than you as an individual and even bigger than you both as a couple. Ephesians 5 describes a couple laying down their lives for one another and becoming one as an icon of God’s sacrificial love for His church. That’s the counter-cultural call of Christian marriage. Read The Marriage Masterpiece by Al Janssen in order to discover the beautiful picture God intends every marriage to reflect.
STEP FOUR: Create a meaningful event
To focus on the sacred nature of marriage in the early church couples often stood during the course of a weekly service to exchange their vows. Those weddings were a part of the community of faith’s worship routine and a public vow within a church body.
Typical of modern weddings, focusing instead on the meaning and purpose of marriage. That’s not to say big celebrations are out of order, but many risk making them so complex that they fail to honor God or the community they are uniting – both of which are the basis for a strong Christian marriage.