While preparing for your wedding day may be the most exciting time of your life, preparing for your marriage may be the most crucial. I think there may the temptation to get caught in the details of the big day and there is nothing wrong with that, but we need to remember to keep our focus on the reason behind all the niceties and prettiness: starting your life with the person of your dreams.
When Bear and I started dreaming about beginning our forever adventure we knew that we would have to do a bit of preparation for our marriage before we started making plans towards our wedding. In fact, months before we got engaged we were part of a group of young couples who participated in a marriage preparation presented at our church. They set it up in a way that while you are in a large group, all discussions took place only between you and your partner.
The course formed part of curriculum set up by Alpha International and covered some crucial areas:
• How our background and upbringing influences our styles of communication
• Barriers we may experience in our pursuit of effective communication
• The importance of listening
• Why marriage will never be out-dated despite some recent trends
• Loyalty to your spouse
• Striking a healthy balance between time together and time apart
• Accepting and handling differences
• Learning to forgive
Keeping Love Alive:
• Developing a friendship as well as a marriage relationship
• Not to neglect quality time, physical affection and surprises.
Shared Goals and Values:
• Sharing our expectations from the onset
• Working out our values
• Developing a healthy partnership based on our strengths
• Sharing our core truths with each other
We found the course exceptionally useful. While we had already covered many of the modules in conversations before it was a great space to dig deep and for the first time forecast to what things may be like after our “I do’s”.
Now that we’re engaged and have our wedding plans in full swing we have to constantly check in with ourselves to be sure we’re doing as much to prepare for our marriage. We realize more and more that while our wedding cake may go stale and confetti blows away the work we put into our marriage echoes into forever.
Do you think it’s necessary to do something like this? Have you considered ways you and your fiancé can prepare for your future together? I would love to hear your take and have you share your thoughts on this.
Read more from Elle as she plans her wedding in our Bride to Be section.
Photograph courtesy of Elle Hughes-Blignaudt © Photo taken by Edge Church at the last session of the Marriage Preparation Course 2013.
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