Talking Helps Prepare You for Marriage
- Friday, September 14, 2001
Here are some ways you can talk with each other to prepare yourselves well for marriage:
- Pray together, asking the Holy Spirit to help you begin a lifelong process of growing into unity mentally, physically, and spiritually.
- Accept the differences in the ways God has wired each of you, and seek to complement each other. Realize that no two people will think exactly alike, but that they can work to understand each other and build agreements that are mutually acceptable. Respect each other, and be willing to set aside your personal agendas in favor of God's will for you both as a team.
- Talk about money issues. Do you each have full access to information about the other's income and expenditures? Have you devised a joint budget?
- Talk about each other's family. Have you met your future in-laws and other members of your future spouse's family? Have you each shared your family histories, including both positive and negative information, and considered how that might affect your marriage?
- Talk about each other's friends. Have you met each other's closest friends? How do you expect to forge new friendships as a team with other married couples? How much time do you want to devote to friends, both separately and together?
- Talk about the talents God has given each of you. How would you like to use them to serve others, and how can your future spouse encourage you to do so? Remember that your marriage isn't just about your personal happiness; it's a vehicle through which God can work in awesome ways to bless others.
- Talk about fidelity and commitment. Strive to approach your marriage out of purity, and pray for God's grace to help you do so. Don't live together before marriage; that decision erodes the love and respect God wants you to have for each other before your marriage even begins. Have you discussed how committed you are to following God and relying on His strength in your marriage?
- Talk about sexuality. Can you both distinguish between love and lust? Do you know how your future spouse feels about his or her body, and what desires he or she has? What are some ways you can celebrate the love God has given you for each other through the wonderful gift of sex in marriage?
- Talk about children. Do you both sense a calling to have children, and if so, how many? If you have children, how will you adjust your priorities to fully invest in them? Do you want to use birth control, and if so, what type? Will you both get a complete physical exam before marriage?
- Talk about faith. Have you fully shared with your future spouse why your faith is important to you, and how you've experienced God working in your life? Where will you attend church? Will you pray together regularly? How will you support each other's spiritual growth and ministry efforts?
Adapted from Let's Talk Marriage: A Guide for Couples Preparing to Marry by F. Dean Lueking, copyright 2001 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., www.eerdmans.com, 1-800-253-7521.
F. Dean Lueking is retired from the pastorate at Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, Ill. He spends half of each year teaching Lutheran seminarians in Bratislava, Slovakia, and working as a pastoral counselor with the nonprofit organization Opportunity International in Russia and the Balkans.
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