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Preparing For After I Do

By Dana Randolph

When couples get engaged, usually the main thing focused on the most is planning the wedding. We put all of our money, time and resources into putting this beautiful wedding together. We spend time searching for the perfect venue. We go all out for the wedding dress and ensure that the wedding party is decked out. We even have bridal party meetings to go over the details of the wardrobe and the wedding attire. The wedding cake has to be the best of the best too, but what about after I do?

I have seen couples get engaged, take some really awesome engagement photos, have a beautiful lavished wedding, post it all on social media and the marriage did not last even two years. Are we missing something so huge that could help us along the way? No one talks about pre-marital counseling and the benefits that come along with it. We just rush to the alter with no regard to resolve any issues that may arise. When my husband and I got engaged, we attended three marriage counseling sessions. I was very nervous because I knew there were things about myself and him that needed to be addressed. During our sessions, we talked about things that were absolutely necessary. We focused on after I do! I brought up certain things about my husband that put me in my feelings, and then in turned he did the same. With the help of our pastors, we were able to hash out a lot of things in the beginning.  

Although during the first year of marriage we encountered storms one after the other. Thankfully we were able to get through them because we started out on the right foundation. Many couples avoid counseling because they may not want to deal with things about themselves that have been in the dark. Some just don't want to alter things about themselves that could potentially make the marriage better. When you get married, there are huge adjustment periods that a lot of couples are not able to make it through. Others just make it through, not only because they may have invested in pre-marital counseling, but because they made a choice to get through it.

If marriage is the goal, don't just plan the wedding, plan on making the marriage work. Care enough about your future and your spouse to invest in your marriage. Read as much as you can regarding marriage. There are tons of books and resources available on this topic. You can also search scripture to get a more spiritual insight on marriage. I read Proverbs 31 as it refers to the woman's role. Ephesians 5 is also a good start for both husbands and wives. Whatever you do, make a plan to sow into your marriage by taking the time to invest. We all come with some type of baggage, but it is not wise to carry unhealthy baggage into a marriage. Let's do better and be proactive, not reactive in after I do.

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5 Benefits of Pre-Marital Counseling

1. It helps with communication issues.

2. You are able to address things that you are normally uncomfortable talking about.

3. It is great preparation for the demands that may be put on your marriage.

4. It helps to better develop the relationship between you and your future spouse.

5. It's the first step to wanting a healthy marriage.