What would you say if I told you there was an app to get you ready for marriage? One that would remove all the guesswork and games. One that could assess your spiritual compatibility with your boy/girlfriend and show you what to do next. And one that could predict whether you would live happily ever after.
Maybe someone is working on that – probably in his parents’ basement – but until then, getting ready for marriage is likely to bring (more than) its share of challenges. Stanley Hauerwas, Professor of Ethics at Duke, highlights just how hard it is even after marriage begins:
We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change.
Wow. Pretty sure Eeyore gave a gloomy ‘aaaamen‘. But at a time where our culture encourages singles to find their perfect ‘soul mate’, this quote is deeply sobering and necessary. And after 18 (great) years of marriage, I can testify that it’s true. We barely understand the person we’re about to marry.
At the same time, the journey to finding a godly spouse, and preparing for marriage, isn’t a game of chance. While some people do an about turn after the wedding day (truly sorry if that’s happened to you), that’s more the exception than the norm.
With God’s help, we can make a good choice, and be prepared, before saying ‘I do’.
A New Series On Getting Ready For Marriage
Over the past year, you guys have viewed my post on 8 Things You Absolutely Need To Cover In Your Premarital Counseling more than nearly anything else. That post is a good survey of what to consider when you’re in a relationship possibly moving towards marriage, but it doesn’t go deep on any one topic.
So, over the next several months, I want to do a more in-depth post on each of those 8 things, plus one on developing spiritual intimacy. The ‘8 things’ include:
- your spiritual foundation – are you both Christians and more or less equally mature?
- families of origin – what blessings and baggage are you bringing?
- the meaning of marriage – what’s marriage all about biblically?
- communication – it seems so simple, but it’s not.
- conflict – how do you bring up, and resolve, your differences?
- finances – how do you practically view the money God has entrusted to you?
- vision for your future – you’re both followers of Christ, but are your lives heading in the same direction?
- physical intimacy – what past relationships have you had? Also covers pornography and how you’ll approach sex after the wedding day.
My next post will begin with our spiritual foundation, and I’ll plan on moving through the list about once a month while I continue to write about my other usual topics of growing in Christ, marriage and parenting.
Your turn: What else would you like me to consider including in this series? (Some of you have already mentioned long-distance relationships, the difference between sex and intimacy, and, relating to your in-laws.) Let me know in the comments just below.