Before You Get Married

You’re just (about) married. 

The relationship has continued to progress where you are considering the possibilities of what could be next. Whether you are dating for keeps, contemplating a proposal, or planning a wedding as an engaged couple, you are at least closer today to a unified reality than you were yesterday. The fact that you are even reading this page implies that you are seriously considering one of the most life-changing decisions a person can ever make.

So, you are just (about) married but not yet. Have you ever considered what must happen before that day? Of course, you know that you must make ceremony choices, design decisions, and honeymoon holds, but have you ever considered the most critical component? It’s the actual marriage. After the wedding event, you will be seated next to your spouse in a departure vehicle, embarking on a new life together. What will life look like in the following years once the event is over? 

You must prepare for a marriage rather than just plan for a wedding.

You have a lifelong relationship with one another to address once you move past your wedding day on the calendar. As couples leave their wedding reception, the bridal party adorns the getaway vehicle, typically with glaring evidence of the newly-formed union. Driving off to their honeymoon, other carloads within proximity are fully aware through decorations or even a message plastered upon the rear window that this couple is “just married.” Even though others may not personally know the couple in the car, they know that life changed irreversibly for those in the vehicle moments ago. Depending upon the onlooker’s perspective, some will feel nostalgia regarding their wedding day. In contrast, others will pity the couple for embarking upon something that deeply caused personal pain in their own lives.

Many people were “just married” at some point, but they aren’t together now. Some marriages make it, but others don’t. When you mention your potential marriage to others, you may hear very different reactions based on their personal experiences. Those varied reactions prove why it is crucial to learn before beginning a marriage of your own. You are probably aware that an alarmingly high percentage of marriages end in divorce. While there are many reasons why that happens, the unifying issue is that one or both parties failed to apply God-given wisdom in their relationship. Despite what many say, the One who created marriage unquestionably knows best how it should be carried out. 

When people fail to listen to God’s instructions regarding marriage (or any other area in life), trouble is unavoidable. Maybe couples who didn’t have a lasting marriage never knew biblical teaching, or they knew it, but they allowed emotional reactions to determine their practical decisions. Over time, unnecessary words and avoidable actions created an irreparable divide for the couple.

Why do some couples make it and others don’t? Undeniably, some marriages end because they never experienced a healthy beginning. Couples who engage in premarital counseling have a statistically better chance of staying together than those who do not do any collaborative work. That fact alone should encourage the process, but some couples never get to preliminary evaluation because they are busy with other festive preparations. 

So many enraptured couples get engaged and then spend all of their time, conversations, and resources focusing on nothing more than the wedding day. They spend countless hours planning a 20-minute service and a 2-hour reception but spend minimal time preparing for an actual life together.

Most couples spend more time deciding the wedding day’s details than preparing perspectives for a lifetime. 

Engaged couples must prioritize the essentials. Suppose they fail to prepare for life together. In that case, the lavish ceremony details and the exquisite decorations for a reception will be overshadowed by the festering dysfunction of an ill-prepared couple. All that will remain are archived moments and nostalgic memories of a posh party that could not withstand the crippling conflict over time. You can and must do better. There is too much at stake. Not only is the health of your emotional well-being and marital relationship at stake, but your union will impact future generations in ways that are difficult for you now to fathom. 

That’s why I am glad you have this resource in your hand. Reading through these pages indicates that you consider preparing for a marriage to be a critical investment in the coming months. You will not regret preparing for a lifetime of marriage that far outweighs a simple wedding date on the calendar. I am not sure you can over-prepare for marriage, but I am confident you can under-prepare. I pray you will do everything you can in the present engagement to enjoy a future union to the fullest.


Premarital Caution

If you are considering marriage, I want to caution you in the right type of way. You can have a healthy marriage, but you both have to hold to one central focus to succeed.