Like a good cup of coffee, this past weekend helped me focus and quickly ramped up my motivation for wedding planning. After weeks of being preoccupied and lacking motivation to plan, plan, plan, I feel set back on track and ready to complete my tasks. And all it took was an afternoon spent with an amazing couple talking about marriage.
Eric and I are thrilled to have a personal friend marry us and are excited that they are taking the time to focus on our journey to and through marriage. This past weekend was our first of several marriage discussions with pastor Joe and his wife. I didn’t know what to expect, but I went into it knowing that they have always welcomed me into their home and lives as if they’ve known me as long as they have known Eric (which has been well over 10 years). Eric met Joe and his wife back in high school, when he was a rowdy youth involved in his church in North Jersey. Joe was a recently appointed youth pastor and knew how to communicate well with Eric, gaining his trust and respect immediately. Over the years, Joe has moved to different churches, and is now the head pastor of a church in the Allentown area. On random weekends, we take a quick drive north for a service and visit, catching up with them and their boys.
Our discussions involved analyzing our examples of marriage; the marriage between our parents, what aspects we appreciate, and wish to incorporate into our own marriage and family. We also discussed the importance for us to have both a Christ-centered wedding and marriage; that faith be a focus starting with the very first day when not only our families and friends, but God, witness our union.
Some of the discussions surprised me, as I initially thought Eric and I would have the same thoughts on marriage. But specifically listing the different characteristics that we each thought were important to our future marriage really elevated our union. I’m glad that we discussed these topics because they are definitely discussions to have before marriage so as to help navigate you through your journey. Plus, having these discussions in a setting like this made it easier and less intimidating. You would think after eight years of dating we wouldn’t be reluctant to talk about certain important things, but the anticipation can make it difficult sometimes.
One of the most important things was said while we were leaving: that Joe and his wife would be there for us today, in all the days ahead, and that our discussions don’t have to stop at one year of marriage, after we have kids, or well into our married life. It reminded me that marriage is a continuing, growing, and developing thing and that we should always continue to discuss it.
Are you going through any pre-marital counseling before your wedding? Did you? Do you think it prepared you better for marriage?