Preparing for marriage
Even if you have already been living together for some time, you are still two separate individuals with different backgrounds, personalities, experiences, hopes and fears.
You’ll never make such big promises to each other as the day you make your wedding vows. Your church knows that you will want to think these through and provides the time and space to do so. Ask your Vicar about marriage discussion and what they offer to help you consider the vows together.
To get you started, these are some of the key issues:
- 'All that I have I share with you'...How will we share our possessions and finances?
- 'Will you love, comfort, honour and protect (him/her)'...How will we cope with disagreements so that we will protect our love and respect for each other for a lifetime?
- 'Forsaking all others, be faithful as long as you both shall live’...How will we ensure we avoid and/or cope with temptations in order to remain faithful throughout our marriage?
- 'With my body I honour you' and 'all that I am I give to you'...How will we invest in our sexual relationship throughout our whole marriage?
I would hope the vicar would go through a checklist that you were doing the right thing. You'd expect them to ask, to let people think about it, to fully understand what they are doing.
- And for the family: 'Will you, the family and friends of (your names), support and uphold them in their marriage now and in the years to come?'...What are our attitudes towards our future in-laws and other family members which the marriage will bring together?
- And in discussing these issues before the wedding and then over the years of the marriage, how will we make sure we communicate better with each other?
- Marriage may or may not be the precursor of children, but in any case, what are our thoughts about parenting?
A useful book for couples contemplating marriage is Growing Together: a guide for couples getting married by Andrew Body. If you'd like further relationship advice and support on-line as well as from your Vicar, try http://thecoupleconnection.net or http://www.relate.org.uk/home
Links from this web site, offering marriage preparation resources and courses, may also be helpful:
http://www.marriagecare.org.uk/getting_married.php or http://www.prepareformarriage.org.uk/.
As you grow in your marriage, your church can support you in reviewing the important issues of your marriage again. We can also offer a service to give you the opportunity to renew your marriage vows some time in the future.
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Did You Know ?
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