Sadly, more engaged couples spend more time on Pinterest planning their wedding ceremony than they do in premarital counseling or even thinking about their actual marriage. And why not? There’s far more information on the web for the ceremony than there is about navigating the engagement season itself.
Since SingleRoots began in 2011, we’ve had the fun experience of watching several of our writers get married—some in real life, some from afar. And then earlier this year, we launched our sister site, MarriageRoots, and some of our former SingleRoots contributors started writing alongside our awesome MarriageRoots Team. So we figured who better for us to reach out to for their two cents on how to steward this season wisely than the very people who have been major contributors to the Roots communities?
We love their candor, and we think they have some really great thoughts on the matter:
“If you find yourself in wedding planning mode every time you see each other the months and weeks leading up to the big day—take some time off regularly. Block off entire evenings where neither of you are allowed to talk about the wedding.” Ryan Stubblefield, SingleRoots & MarriageRoots Founder
“Sexual integrity and intimacy can be cultivated before you ever ‘do the deed.’ Divulge your sexual history to your fiancée fully, if you haven’t already, and discuss fears and expectations with each other before your honeymoon. Read Sheet Music for a discussion blueprint and set you and your spouse up for sexual vulnerability and purity, rather than test driving them.” Brooke Corcoran, SingleRoots Contributor
“Planning a wedding is fun and exciting, but do not lose sight of the ultimate goal: a Christ-centered, God-honoring marriage. It’s not just about the party; use this season to learn from wise married couples and prepare yourself for the greatest earthly relationship you’ll ever have!” Susan Edminson, MarriageRoots Team
“Engagement is a great time! Enjoy it, but continue to live your life. Don’t wholly focus on getting married—still work hard at your job, still be present with your friends, still date your future spouse. Have fun! And consider eloping.” Kyle Edminson, MarriageRoots Team
“When we do premarital counseling, one of the main pieces of advice I give to the couple is to prepare more for the marriage than you do for the wedding. It’s amazing the time, energy, and cost that goes into a wedding when it will only last a few hours for one specific day. Our marriages will last a lifetime, but we don’t even think about preparing to be a wife or husband. Read books, take cooking classes, think through what qualities you want to one day have and work towards them. Weddings come and go, marriage lasts a lifetime.” Amy Schaffner, SingleRoots Contributor & MarriageRoots Team
“1. Fight for your purity! Being engaged will often invite the temptation to cross physical boundaries that are only meant for marriage. It is difficult, but stay the course because there is great reward and satisfaction for saving yourselves for your wedding night. If you’ve crossed those boundaries, don’t let the enemy lie to you—there is grace and redemption! Today is the first day of your opportunity to draw a line in the sand and deny your flesh in obedience. You will thank yourselves on your honeymoon and beyond.
2. Put yourselves in position to succeed—don’t draw out the engagement! Fighting for your purity becomes much more difficult when the engagement is 12-18-24 months long. Give yourselves time to plan the wedding, to bond closer together, and to make preparations to become one, but don’t draw it out so long that you add to what is already a very tempting time.
3. Sit down with a Christian counselor on multiple occasions. Leave no stone uncovered. Your sexual history, sexual expectations for marriage, how you desire to budget and divide up money, when you want to have kids, where you see yourself living, the level of involvement you desire in church, how often you want to have alone/friend time, etc. You think you’ve talked about everything, but chances are, you haven’t.” W. Brandon Howard, SingleRoots Team & MarriageRoots Contributor
If you know someone who is headed to the altar soon, will you email them this post to encourage them?