You love each other so much and you want to spend the rest of your lives together. That should be enough to prepare you for marriage, right? Wrong. Often times, engaged couples focus on the wedding day, thinking that all will fall into place once they are legally bound and church wed. But for marriage to be happy and successful, the two people who will be part of it must invest time and effort to prepare for the real marriage that starts after the ceremony.
From the beginning (Genesis 2), marriage meant the union of two different people. A male and a female with differing perspective, character, interests, and personalities. A marriage relationship can be very complex when you consider the possible diversity of family and cultural backgrounds, values, personal and career experiences, life direction and ministry calling. Thus, couples who plan to get married must understand what the reality of marriage really means. It is of utmost importance that they get down to the details and discuss marriage issues that can later on cause frictions or misunderstandings. These would include topics like budgeting and financial planning, style of raising the kids, frequency of interaction with the extended families, and many more.
Talk to a marriage counselor who can guide you in your discussion and bring up topics that you, as a couple, may not have considered previously. Seek godly married couples who can mentor you and give you tips on how to journey through the early years of adjustment. Constantly seek God in prayer and Bible reading. As mentioned in Psalm 127:1, unless the Lord builds a house, then those who are building it labor in vain.
Getting married is one of the major decisions a person would make in his/ her life. Preparing and seeking God’s and other people’s guidance would help you better manage the conflict and increase happiness.
- Set a date when you can sit down to answer and discuss a set of questions that would help you get to know each other’s stand on subjects related to marriage.
- Books and online materials are available to provide you with topics for discussion.
- Talk about difficult topics (money, conflict resolution, etc. ) before you get married.
- Have realistic expectations about marriage. Always communicate in order to lessen or avoid misunderstandings.
- Resolve disagreements and problems with gentleness and humility. Avoid name-calling or demeaning the opinion of the other person.
- Seek a Christian marriage counselor that will guide in your pre-marriage counseling.
- God’s design for marriage : http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/gods_design_for_marriage.aspx
- Love and Respect : The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
- For Women Only : What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn
- For Men Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn
- The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
- Questions to ask when preparing for marriage: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/questions-to-ask-when-preparing-for-marriage
- The 2007 crude marriage rate (rate of marriage per thousand population) was 5.5 at the national level. (NSO 2010)
- Women prefer to marry at ages 20-24 while men at ages 25-29 (NSO, 2010).
- According to the 2003 figures, two out of five marriages (41.3%) were solemnized under civil rights. (NSO)
- The number of divorced or separated Filipinos has doubled between 1980 and 2000 while 4 out of 100 Pinoys are in common law/ live in arrangement. (NSO, 2010)