Marriage is a beautiful thing. Don't just take our word for it! So many couples can attest that this life-changing journey is a special one. Not only does it allow us to learn more about ourselves and our spouse, but we ultimately learn more about God, too. This sacred union, while wonderful, is not to be taken lightly. We see verses throughout Scripture pointing out how holy this commitment is. That's why preparation is key! Like any big life event, we need to ready ourselves and make sure our hearts are in a good place to begin this new life together.
We're sharing a few thoughts on how to best prepare for marriage and build a strong relational foundation that will withstand any storm.
1. Praying Together
"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." ~ Romans 12:12
This one seems like a no-brainer, but this is the base requirement for moving forward in a relationship. Couples who pray together are opening up and sharing their spiritual lives. By inviting your significant other into your conversation with God, you are strengthening your earthly and heavenly relationships.
Think about it. Your spouse is your best friend. You share everything together (or at least, you should!). When you have someone that close in your life, you don't hold back. You share with them every piece of good news, or not-so-good news. That's what a partnership is all about—sharing each other's burdens and celebrating through victories.
Our spiritual lives are an important part of who we are—our souls. In Hebrew, the word "soul" comes across as Nephesh in the Bible. Nephesh isn't just our inner workings contained in our body, but rather, it describes our entire being. Just like we are called to love God with our entire Nephesh. In Song of Solomon 3:1, the woman says "This is the one my Nephesh loves."
Here we see that marital love isn't just an intellectual experience or a physical one, but rather, it's everything! It's loving someone with your entire being, and prayer is an excellent first step in that direction.
2. Seeking Council
"Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed." ~ Proverbs 15:22
Again, this one's pretty common, but it makes all the difference. If you're still in the stage of preparing for marriage, be sure to find a good premarital counselor you and your fiancee respect. You meet once a month or so up until your big day, and your pastor walks you through both big and small theological as well as day-to-day topics to see how compatible you are.
This is a helpful way to gauge where you both on are on things. It can be eye-opening to see where you do or do not agree! Remember, just because you're getting married doesn't mean you need to be the same person and agree on everything. That's just not realistic.
You will go over everything from finances, thoughts on gender roles within the marriage, family planning, and of course, spiritual things, too. These are helpful conversation starters to have on the ride home.
While premarital counseling is definitely the most talked about, counseling at any stage of marriage is a good idea. We all have our things we need to work through and there is no shame in that. In fact, seeking out some guidance (in tough times or not-so-tough times) can be extremely beneficial for your relationship. Having that extra person involved, and a professional at that, can provide new insight and healing you never thought possible.
Remember, God has gifted us with so many resources to nurture our marriages. Don't take them for granted!
3. Serving Together
"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" ~ Acts 20:35
There's no right way to serve. This can look like many different things. The goal here is to get involved in something you're passionate about, something that takes you both beyond yourselves and gets you serving with other people in the community.
Something really special happens when the two of you serve together. When you serve other people, it impacts your heart for the better, and this is the perfect experience to share. This is a great jumping-off point for your relationship. Think of all the incredible things the Holy Spirit can do through the two of you! Plus, you'll have meaningful stories that you'll look back on for years to come.
This all goes back to God's vision for human flourishing. In the beginning, it was Adam and Eve in a garden, alone with God. When we read further in Scripture, we see God's vision for mankind is for us to end in a city. What started in a garden will end in a city. What started as an intimate partnership between man and God will extend to living in community with other man.
This is important to keep in mind as you enter into marriage. You are not an island, and neither is your marriage. Yes, take time to prioritize your spouse, but also stay active in your community and keep doing amazing work for the kingdom of God.
To learn more on this, take a peek at our blog post, Marriage on a Mission. There we discuss how God crafted this unique union around one specific purpose—for you two to do amazing things in the world together, for Him. It's mission-based.
Share the Love
We hope this blog post leaves you encouraged for this exciting new chapter in life! God is sure to use the both of you in amazing ways. Looking to share the love? Check out our selection of Christian t-shirts that provide that extra boost of positivity and love to your neighbors.