June is a busy month for weddings. As we enter the season known for wedding ceremonies, share your knowledge and experience with couples who want to tie the knot. We all want them to have a strong and beneficial marriage that will last.
Some couples fall into the trap of spending more time planning the ceremony than discussing their married life together. A wedding ceremony can last 20-45 minutes, but the marriage is intended to last for the rest of their lives. In an age when 47% of marriages end in divorce, couples need to build a solid foundation for their marriage to succeed.
Here are some observations from my foxhole.
Get pre-marital counseling. This is extremely valuable to couples before the wedding bells chime. Counseling get help you to identify problems before they turn into issues down the road. Counseling will also help in finding strong solutions that will not jeopardize your union.
Strengthen your communication skills. You can learn how to listen to your spouse and speak effectively with each other. This does not happen by accident. It will take time, effort, and practice. While better communication skills may seem like a catch phrase, couples who learn the skills can resolve issues more quickly and avoid serious fights.
Discuss roles and expectations. What will married life look like after the ceremony? Don’t expect this to take care of itself down the road. Now is the best time to discuss expectations. Topics should cover a wide range of issues to give transparency and depth. Who will make the morning coffee? Will you have a joint checking account? Will you be a one or two income household? Does your spouse plan to go back to school? Where will you worship? Marriage counseling is a great place to start or continue the conversation.
Learn how to fight fair. Couples get into arguments. That is a given fact of life. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people. Verbal fights, arguments, and conflict will happen. I can’t prevent you from fighting, but you can learn to fight fair with each other. Take the time to educate yourself on these skills. Learn what to avoid, how to cool down, and move toward solving the problem as a team.
Strengthen your faith. Ecclesiastes 4:12 shares, “a rope of three strands is not quickly broken.” There is incredible wisdom in having God as the third strand in your marriage. Allow His love to surround you, teach you, and draw you closer to your mate. Learn to follow God’s plan for yourself and your marriage. Live within the covenant of marriage. Make faith a priority in your marriage. Worship together and reach new highs through Christ.
Marriage is a lifelong commitment. So it is important to discuss where you are going and where you want to be as husband and wife. Make time to discuss your goals and plans. This is an exciting time to chart out a direction for your future together. Keep God at the center of your plans, and your marriage will continue to grow.