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What Would You Say?

wedMy guy and I lead the Couples Ministry at our church, and our focus so far has been on three distinct groups of people: engaged couples marrying in the next six months, married couples who want to deepen their relationships and couples who are struggling to live under the same roof. We are in the process of rolling out a plan to assist all three types of couples, each with very different needs.

Along with another couple, we started a seven week pre-marital small group, meeting with six couples who are mere months away from walking down the aisle. One third of them will become married over the course of the group meetings. It is so exciting to have the opportunity to sit down and talk with these young people who have stars in their eyes and big plans for the future. It’s also pretty challenging because….stars and plans and all.

Our initial idea was to use pre-packaged curriculum that walks them through what scripture (King James version!) says about marriage, shames them for having pre-marital sex and teaches the importance of covenant relationships. Then we started thinking of these couples as people, and how would we want our children to be led when they grow up and make these big plans? Some of these couples are not believers, coming to church with their intended for the first time in their lives. We landed on putting together some talks that utilize scripture and our experience, sprinkled with You Tube videos and open ended questions.Honestly, if we bring them a step closer to Christ, I think we can call it a success.

We are hitting on topics like, Why Get Married?, Love & Understanding, Communication, Conflict & Forgiveness, Money and Intimacy. I’m wondering what you wish you had been told right before you met your fiancée at the end of the aisle and said, I do. I don’t know if I would have listened at all, but I keep coming back to the same message that could have really helped me: marriage is hard, and it’s worth it.

So, you are sitting in our living room with these bright-eyed young couples and you’ve got the floor – what would you say? And if you have some great You Tube videos to share, I would love to hear about those, too!

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17 responses »

  1. I really wish a good godly woman would have taught me about unconditional respect. What it looks like, how is responds, how it submits, how it trusts, how it supports, how it offers suggests/ideas/ insights and is honest about feelings but doesn’t control or manipulate a husband. And most of all how it doesn’t treat ones husband like a child, especially in public. And what you say about your husband when he isn’t around is what you believe about him in your heart, even when you’re together.

    Whew. I wish we had marriage counseling. LOVE what you’re doing here!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE

    Reply
    • This is so good, we have definitely talked about love and respect, but not to this degree. I’m wondering if women can hear this before living it? Maybe if they have seen it in another couple.

      Reply
      • It is easier to recognize when you see yourself in the scenario…. find some videos of this behavior, and then point it out. It won’t take much for them to see how “hurtful” and “intimacy destroying” it is. (It will NOT be hard to find videos. Every sitcom displays this, and most people find it hilarious to dog on men so they make videos intentionally like this for laughs.)

      • PS – (ack, I’m highly interested in this ministry… can you tell with all these comments!) I also with someone really impressed on me that make it to make me holy, not happy. Sometimes in marriage, you just don’t feel “happy” but that doesn’t mean it’s time to give in, that you aren’t loved, or that your marriage has somehow failed you. Chances to understand and extend grace, mercy and forgiveness are how we become holy.

        ((I know you well enough to know you know all this… and probably have this all tucked away into your teachings, I just can’t stop typing about how I LOVE what you’re doing. God Bless this ministry!!!!!!!))

      • **Marriage is ((not “make it”) ack… I can’t figure out how to edit that!

  2. Yeah, what Kayla said.

    I would also add to be sure to listen to each other. Something may seem minor to one spouse, but is a big deal to the other. Don’t blow off your spouses feelings just because an issure seems minor to you. Never say, “Oh just get over it.”
    I like Dr. Phil’s advice to ask, “How important is this to you on a scale of 1-10?”

    Reply
  3. “Thinking of these couples as people” ….love it! I would say that no matter how you feel, ground yourself in the truth that God uses our marriages to refine us and make us more like him. It’s so true that marriage isn’t for our happiness, but our holiness.

    That being said, if you are highly unhappy, lay it at the feet of Christ over and over. Not begging for him to fix it for the sake of fixing it, but begging him to finish the work he began in both you and your spouse. Our marriages allow us to walk out the truth of “your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” We have to believe that satan has declared our marriages battle zones and walk forward in faith. And when it’s all over but the shoutin? Stand!!

    Reply
    • This is definitely the message we are sharing with those seeking help within the marriage, how do we communicate this to them when they can’t yet imagine there being a hard day?

      Reply
      • I just don’t know as we all don’t think that hard times will come at that stage. What if you had an actual box of some sort that you had them work on together. Have one of the first assignments be to personalize it together between mtgs. Do a small assignment each time of letters for situations that could arise (though they can’t conceptualizer them) or choosing a verse that represents their prayer for their marriage. A framed photo. I could come up with more but basically tools of remembrance and scripture to use to dig out of the trenches for the days that those of us on the other side know all too well. I think that the faith represented through physical reminders is powerful……

  4. Have you read Timothy Keller’s book “Meaning of Marriage”? It has so much good advice for newlyweds.

    Reply
  5. I would say, marriage takes work and marriage takes three. Invite God not only to the wedding, but allow Him to be the center of the marriage as well 🙂

    Reply
  6. My list is here: https://domestichurch.wordpress.com/marriage-tips/.

    One thing I can’t recommend enough is developing *habits* of affection (holding hands, blessing each other when we part, blowing kisses, etc.) and refusing to break them when we don’t “feel like it” anymore (or feel like doing the opposite). That’s been HUGE in getting us through some really rough spells when feelings were trying to drive us apart. *Choosing* to love is powerful. I love my prince. That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it–whether I feel like it or not :)!

    I also wanted to thank you for your blog. Very real, practical stuff. Keep it coming :).

    Blessings!

    Reply
    • Yes and yes. My guy is great about touching me as he passes by, just a gentle acknowledgement that he sees me and he even does it when things get tough. Thank you for your comment and your encouragement!

      Reply

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