Preparing for Marriage, Not Just Your Wedding

5:13:00 AM

Tonight we began our premarital counseling sessions.  Woooo!  I was excited for these.  I went to Christian counseling almost weekly for 5+ years and while it took a while to grow on me it's given me so many tools for healing, restoration, forgiveness, solving conflict, and building self-awareness.    And it was great to be back in the hot seat with my fiancé. 

It also got me thinking about preparing for the wedding versus preparing for marriage.  What if we spent as much time preparing for marriage as we did for the wedding?  The average bride spends 432 hours planning the wedding.  How much time does the couple spend on planning the marriage?  I'm afraid to even guess. 

The crazy thing is that right now we are 100 days away from the wedding, which might sound stressful, but it's actually been quite peaceful.  It really helped that in our first week of engagement we scheduled 3 full days of appointments with stores and vendors and we knocked out 90% of the big to-do's.  Thanks for the help, mom!  Who needs a wedding planner when you have Kathy McCann?  Now instead of stressing over the DJ and flowers we can keep our minds and hearts focused on what counts.

Aside from counseling, we enjoy preparing for marriage by reading and discussing different books together.  We also did this while dating, but now as an engaged couple these books hold a new meaning.  Here are some of our favorites that you might enjoy. Also, you don't need to be in a relationship to benefit from these books.  In my experience they help prepare your heart for the right person when the time comes.  

1. "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman

2. "Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married" by Gary Chapman

3. "Boundaries" by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

4. "The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work" by Dr. John Gotten

5. "The Five Love Needs of Men and Women" by Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg

6.  "The Love Dare" (Yeah, like the movie!)

7. "Safe People" by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

8. "The Language of Love" by Gary Smalley and Dr. John Trent

9. "The Story of Marriage" by John and Lisa Bevere

10. "1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married" by Monica Mendez Leahy (#1 

book for road trips!)

11. "Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts" by Dr. Les Parrott III and Dr. Leslie Parrott

12. "His Needs, Her Needs" by Willard F. Harley, Jr.

Hope you enjoy!  And we're always looking for more recommendations if you have any.


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