Two things to consider...

Posted by  | Thursday, February 2, 2012  at 9:25 PM  
When I began thinking about the topic of preparing for marriage, I immediately thought back to two different major conversations that Mark and I had when we were engaged.

The first conversation dealt with expectations, which any marriage counselor will tell you can be a big problem in marriage. I had read every marriage book I could get my hands on but was still not quite prepared for the one that would be the first big struggle for us. Mark was a youth pastor at a church and I began attending and helping out with his ministry once I graduated from college and moved to his town. I really enjoyed the kids and being a part of his ministry, but one night he asked me to talk with some girls about an issue that I wasn't really comfortable doing. It was definitely an issue that needed to be addressed by a girl (not by him!) and not an unreasonable request, but I was just beginning to have a relationship with these girls and didn't feel right in confronting so soon. He was pretty frustrated with me and it lead to some concern about whether I would be able/willing help to him in ministry the way he had hoped. (Note: he was not being mean at all but was just floored at my refusal and it made him think hard about what our ministry together might be like.) After some discussion, I finally looked at him and said, "I'm not going to try to convince you that I am going to be the perfect pastor's wife. I do want to help you in whatever way I can, but I'm sure I will disappoint you sometimes. What I need to know is whether you love me enough to want to marry me even if I cannot do everything you would like me to do." It was a tough conversation and he actually had to take a few days and really think about his expectations for his wife in ministry and how important they were to him. But it was a good revelation and I was glad that he thought it through before we got married rather than dealing with a major conflict after our wedding day. Obviously, he chose me over his expectations and it honestly hasn't been an issue since, but I thought that the discussion could apply to any area of life. Before you get married, you have to decide if the person is more important to you than your dreams and expectations. After you are married, you have to remind yourself that your spouse is more important than your expectations and choose to love even when disappointed.


The second conversation occurred when we were discussing some things that we had talked about during pre-marital counseling. He randomly looked at me and said, "I just want you to know that I will never divorce you. Even if you were to have an affair, I would choose to love you and try to reconcile our relationship." I was pretty shocked by his statement and initially almost appalled that he would bring up something so horrible that I had no intention of ever doing. But the more I thought about it, the more it meant to me. In my mind, having an affair was the most horrific thing I could do. If he would still choose to love me after such a terrible sin, then there was probably nothing I could do to ruin this upcoming marriage! It totally took any pressure off me to be the "perfect wife" and was ever so freeing! And it made me love him even more. That is indeed the depth of covenant that a marriage vow holds and it is wise to consider it before getting married.

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