The wedding planning process includes finding the perfect dress, getting the perfect reception hall, making sure you have got the right flowers, caterer, cake, music, and, DJ, photographer, centerpieces, invitation cards, rings, shoes and many more. While there is no doubt that there is value in celebrating such a sacred day, however, there is a possibility for the main focus to be left out in the heat of the celebration.
A lot of persons tend to focus more and sometimes only on the planning of the wedding, while neglecting to plan for the marriage. Far beyond planning the particulars of a wedding day, the time of engagement is a really sacred time. It is a chance to get to the bottom of who you are and reflect on the person you want to become. It is an opportunity to connect with and continue getting to know the heart of the precious partner God has placed in your life. It is a time to begin working; preparing and planning for the marriage you hope to build because it is a lifetime
There are some must-have conversations that must take place before walking down the aisle.
Since expectations are deep-seated part of who we are, we do not often think about them. But talking about these things gives us a chance to bring them to the surface in a constructive way. What are your views on work, family, and marriage roles? How will you accomplish the cooking, the cleaning and the chores? This is just skimming the surface of the things we may expect going into marriage, and it is an important conversation to have.
When it comes to planning for a marriage, it is crucial to talk about your past, because the past has a role in shaping the present. Whether your past is tainted with pain, or filled with hope, you need to get real with where you are coming from. Past relationships, family history, and significant experiences (both positive and negative) that have shaped you are just some of the things that are needed to be discussed, so that you can both join together in moving forward.
What role will your family play in your life once you are married? How will visits, holidays, and special occasions impact your relationship with each other? Will you start your own traditions, or continue those of your family of origin? What role will your family have when it comes to your life and decision making as a couple? Combining two people from two separate families and backgrounds into one is something that many people take lightly. But it is a topic that can cause much strain and stress if not tackled in part before you say I do.
Our views of sex and sexuality are shaped long before we commit to marriage. It is crucial to you get comfortable with conversations on sex with each other while planning for marriage, because it is one that you will carry on for the rest of your married life. What are your views of sex, and how have they been shaped? What is your past sexual history and how might that impact your relationship? What expectations do you have and are you both on the same page? Understanding your sexual views and knowing your partner’s is a valuable part of preparing for intimacy.
It is necessary you share secrets; that is the parts of your life that you rarely share with others. There is no better time to share these intimate things than now, as you look ahead at marriage. From family secrets, to personal choices, from health problems to mental health concerns, this is the time to share things big and small, paving the way for honesty and openness as the foundation of your relationship.
Money can be a trigger of troubles in a marriage. Too many couples get caught in the trap of financial stress and struggles because they did not take the time to discuss the finances. How do you feel about combining money; that is joint account? What are your spending habits? Do you have any debt and how do you intend to pay it off? What are your views on saving, tithing, and giving? Getting on the same page when it comes to money will save you so much strain as you soon become one.
When it comes to genuine faith, it is a part of you that should be oozing out of your life long before marriage. But just as important as it is to retain our individual relationship with God, it is equally important to connect in our faith experiences as we look toward marriage. Discussions about prayer life, reading God’s word, spiritual roles, theological beliefs, and denominational preferences are all things that need to be considered and discussed as you move forward.
Above and beyond dreaming about baby names, there is so much more to the topic of family planning before marriage. How many children do you hope to have? What happens if you are not able to get pregnant? How were you parented, and what are your personal views on parenting? Who will take care of the children, and what are your views on day-care, schooling, and the like. There are many important aspects to this topic that would be beneficial to take the time to discuss and work through.
Discuss your boundaries. Essentially, boundaries are your views on what is okay and what is not okay when it comes to your relationship and marriage. What do boundaries look like with friends of the opposite sex, past boyfriends/girlfriends, and even family members. How do you two intend to protect your time, guard your emotions, and prevent your bodies from negative interactions with others?
One thing I know about marriage, is that it magnifies everything; your strengths and your weaknesses. Before you enter the pressure-cooker of marriage, you need to get real with your bad-habits and hang-ups here and now. Do you have a tendency to express anger through rage? Do you struggle with any addictive behaviours? Are there any areas in your life that you need to expose and address before you move forward toward marriage? Take the time to talk frankly and honestly about your struggles as well as your weakness, and make the time to work toward hope and healing.
The season before walking down the aisle is a rich and joyous time in a couple’s life. Do not allow the pressure of creating the “perfect wedding” keep you from focusing on what really matters. PLAN YOUR WEDDING, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, PLAN YOUR MARRIAGE, BECAUSE A HEALTHY MARRIAGE IS SOMETHING WORTH TRULY CELEBRATING.