Getting Ready for Marriage
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 1: Learn from others.
Research demonstrates the long-term value of making time now for marriage education classes or premarital counseling. These efforts go even further when you supplement them by spending time with an older married couple whose relationship you admire.
STEP 2: 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 transformation of “becoming one” can occur in everything from how you assemble your guest list to how you determine a honeymoon destination.
STEP 3: 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 4: Create a meaningful event.
To focus on the sacred nature of marriage, 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. They did not have anything resembling the grand ceremonies typical of modern weddings, focusing instead on the meaning and purpose of marriage. Although big celebrations are not out of order, 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.
- The Most Important Year in a Woman’s/Man’s Life by Robert Wolgemuth
- The Marriage Masterpiece by Al Janssen
- Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
- Before You Say, “I Do” by H. Norman Wright and Wes Roberts
Pastor Jack Graham and the staff of Prestonwood wish to extend assistance to you so your wedding ceremony will be a beautiful and memorable event. Care is taken to ensure that individuals are prepared spiritually and practically for marriage. Visit prestonwood.org/weddings for more details.
Before You Say, “I Do,” a premarital counseling course offered at Prestonwood, imparts biblical perspective and practical principles for a successful marriage. Find out more at prestonwood.org/BYSID.
Prestonwood has a variety of Bible Fellowships for the spiritual development of every person. No matter your age and stage of life, there’s a Bible Fellowship for you. Visit prestonwood.org/connect for more information.
© 2008 Inkling Innovations