Engaged – Getting Ready for Marriage

From Chris Woodrow, Youth & Family Minister

With Kurt Bruner, HomePointe Ministries

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 middle 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 your 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 image 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.

The early church did not have anything resembling the grand ceremonies typical of modern weddings, focusing instead on the meaning and purpose of marriage. Whether you’re planning a large or small wedding, make sure that your ceremony honors God and your community of faith – both of which are the basis for a strong Christian marriage. 

Going Further

Your Marriage Masterpiece by Al Janssen – The Bible opens and closes with a wedding, and in-between God uses the metaphor of marriage more than any other to describe His relationship with His people. So what does that mean for your pending marriage? Al Janssen tells the bigger story of marriage as God created it and as couples can experience it.

Before You Say “I Do” by H. Norman Wright and Wes Roberts – This book explores how to clarify role expectations, establish a healthy sexual relationship, handle finances, and acquire a solid understanding of how to develop a Biblical relationship.

Premarital Counseling and Mentoring – Western Heights offers premarital counseling for any members interested in marriage. Along with Biblical wisdom and experience, we use the Prepare/Enrich inventory to identify your strengths and weaknesses as a couple. We also offer meetings with Married Mentors, couples who have weathered the challenges of marriages for years.

If you would like more information about premarital counseling or Married Mentors, please contact our church office at 903-892-9635.

Financial Peace University – Money is one of the greatest stressors on marriages, and couples who don’t manage money well often harm their marriage as a result. Western Heights offers a money-management class—featuring videos from Dave Ramsey and advice from fellow Christians—to give you the steps to budget, save, and take control of your money. For more information, contact Bob Crocker or Mike Keown.