Before we got engaged, Scott proposed a different kind of question to me…
“Do you want to do the P.R.E.P. for Marriage classes with me at church?”
Well what exactly does that mean? To break it down…
Preparing Relationships, Engagements and People for Marriage
My first thought was, “Man, he must be asking me to marry him soon!” and my second thought was, “Well…WHY NOT?!” So, we went online and signed up right away for the 10-week class First Baptist Church of Orlando offers for seriously dating or engaged couples.
There are so many things to plan and do when you get engaged, so if you are in a serious relationship, why not start building your relationship before the proposal? And if you already are engaged, it is SO important to develop a spiritual basis in your lives with real, practical applications you can use in your preparation for your marriage together. To get your marriage license, you have to do “some” kind of pre-marital counseling, but after taking this course, I now realize that an hour session with a pastor right before you get married really won’t do too much for you.
Enrolling in a class like this really makes you communicate with one another, understand each other, and talk about things you probably haven’t even thought to ask each other about. From this class, we have not only just grown stronger as a couple, but also individually. I have had many “a-ha” moments in this class, thinking to myself…”wow, that really explains a lot,” or “yup, we have definitely been there before.” I can’t even express how much I recommend a program like this if you are in a relationship or an engagement preparing for marriage!
Before you tie the knot, with or without pre-marital classes, you and your “buddy” (this term describes a boyfriend, fiance, or husband) need to discuss the following areas. Don’t be afraid to ask questions that make you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. The more you ask, the more you talk about it, and the more you know and understand what the other’s wants and needs are.
I could literally write a blog about each class we’ve attended so far, but here are the topics that will help you along the way:
- Love Languages: What is your Love Language? What is your buddy’s? Take the Love Language Test. There are tons of different versions of this test, but here is an example of what it’s like: http://www.afo.net/hftw-lovetest.asp, or http://www.5lovelanguages.com/assessments/love/. After you know this, what would be the most effective ways to show your buddy how you love them?
- Building a Biblical Foundation for Marriage: Building a relationship triangle between the Wife, Husband, and God. Ask yourself the following questions: What is your idea of a good marriage? What are some of the words that describe what a good marriage should be? Why get married?
- The Role of the Husband: Man is the spiritual leader of the family. Talk about raising children – are we having children? How many? Talk about your Faith, how you will spend your Holidays and how you will handle Finances.
- The Role of the Wife: Submission and bringing peace and unity to the family. Look and discuss how God created women to be. Women are gifts. What characteristics describe a Godly woman? Trustworthy, creative, generous, works outside of the home, keeps the home running, physically strong, takes care of others, blesses her husband, honorable, wise, kind, to name a few.
- Communication: Listening and Understanding. If you want to communicate with your spouse, just listen. Focusing on what is being said rather than the way it’s being said, the meaning rather than the words, and understanding rather than judgment.
- The Art of Apology and Forgiveness: Conflict Happens. Anger is the common response to conflict. Don’t dwell on anger, and don’t go to bed angry. Anger must be controlled. Bitterness can lead to resentment. Resolving conflict requires loving confrontation and forgiveness.
- Trust, Love and Respect: Love & Respect Cycles. Discuss what not to joke about. Pray together and also pray about how to talk to each other the right way. Have a Dream – Respect His.
- Finances: One of the most discussed and conflicts in a marriage! Counsel, Budget, Debt, Giving, Investing. TALK about it.
- Preparing for Intimacy: Using your marriage to glorify God. Creating oneness, without being ashamed.
Like I mentioned above, each and every one of these topics is important to talk about BEFORE you get married. The purpose of a class geared towards this goal is not to see if the person you are with is THE ONE. The purpose is to take your relationship the a level that is continuously growing. I feel many blog posts coming on about things we’ve discussed in class…so get your pens and notepads ready! 😉