If you or someone you know is planning a wedding, here are some simple steps to help you prepare for a lasting relationship.
- Read books about preparations in marriage. As an engaged couple, you may find it hard to believe that you will fight during the marriage. But there are usually a lot of unanswered questions that can cause conflict, such as, who is going to take care of the finances? Who is going to wash the clothes and the dishes? Who is going to cook dinner? These might seem like small details, but if you will work these things out before marriage, it will save you a lot of quarrels and hurt. Preparing for Marriage will take you through a study of your relationship, helping you ask the right questions and guiding you with biblical insights.
- Meet regularly with a pastor or mentor couple. Experienced married couples have a lot of wisdom to learn from, especially during the pre-married and newly married stages. Throughout your times of meeting together, a mentor couple can identify trouble spots that you will likely deal with in the future, and help you work through those issues. In addition to biblical counseling, a mentor couple and/or pastor can keep you accountable during your engagement period to stay sexually pure all the way up to your wedding day.
- Attend a marriage conference or seminar. There are basic principles in the Bible that make the marriage work, yet most engaged couples don’t know what those principles are. In most cases, the model for marriage is based on the person’s parents or even on his or her own feelings. The Weekend to Remember will teach you the biblical guidelines on how to resolve conflict, understand the different roles of men and women, and keep unity as a couple. It will also explain God’s design for marriage and the central role that Christ plays in your relationship.
- Agree to never use the word “divorce.” Many couples have the idea that if a marriage does not work out, they can divorce and marry someone else. But a great marriage depends on your commitment to making your relationship work. By pledging to never use the word “divorce,” you are promising to remove divorce as an option—which means always looking for a way to work things out. This promise not only solidifies the relationship in your own heart, but it also builds trust in your spouse, further proving that the words you vowed on your wedding day were not just part of a tradition. But you really meant, “Till death do us part.”
- Purchase a Covenant Marriage License. This marriage license does not cost any more than a traditional license, but it does give feet to your promises. Although the license does not prevent divorce, it sets into place certain precautions to help you stay together should hardships tear you apart. Those who choose to purchase this license must legally agree to get premarital counseling, pre-divorce counseling, and accept a two-year period before obtaining a no-fault divorce.
These five things won’t guarantee a conflict-free marriage, but they will give you the tools you need to face life together when problems arise. We live in a pressure-filled culture that takes its toll on marriages. As you prepare for your wedding, don’t neglect the most important part—the rest of your lives.