Wednesday, July 9, 2014

An Ounce of Prevention: 'The Wedding Predicts the Marriage'

As if the title doesn't say enough...

I'll say this: I know *far too many women* who forget (or is it ignore?) that they are only a bride for a day. After that, they are to be a wife. They are to help and to serve.

Next point: There's a couple I'm in counseling with now who spent thousands (and thousands) on their first wedding---and got a divorce a few years later. After going through a year-and-a-half of counseling, they remarried (just as the Bible says divorced people should do if they are not going to remain single-I Corinthians 7:10-11) a park...for less than $100. And you know what? They are *much healthier* now.

Now if you want a big wedding, hey, do you.

But please take what this S-C-A-P article says into account. There's *a lot* of wisdom in it:

My wife’s wedding dress was sewn the morning of our wedding.

It seemed odd then, but if we were were to have a wedding ceremony today I would expect it.

The wedding predicted the marriage. (See: How I Predict Divorce Based on the Wedding Cake)

Our small, outdoor, inexpensive wedding at her parent’s house illustrates much about my wife:

Small: no need to make a big fuss over something

Outdoor: she loves nature, plus a church wedding would look too similar to other weddings

Inexpensive: you can’t buy happiness and there is no need trying to impress others with expensive things

Parent’s house: she loves family and home

These details reveal much about her and they reveal much about us.

How we navigated the wedding could serve as a blueprint for how we handle most situations in life. The strengths and weaknesses of the planning process continue to be our strengths and weaknesses more than a decade later.

After years of performing weddings and pastoring couples through difficult times, I have seen this pattern with many couples. The wedding ceremony often predicts the marriage.
Some believe this truth in an old wives' tale fashion: if it rains or something goes wrong at the ceremony, they believe the marriage is cursed. That concept is crazy. Rain at a wedding doesn’t curse a marriage. However, how a bride and groom respond to their plans being thwarted can greatly predict the future of their relationship.

A groom once called off the wedding weeks before the ceremony. His reasoning—he was afraid he couldn’t afford the bride. While he didn’t have to pay for the wedding, he watched how his bride interacted with her family and the expectations she had. He wanted to get married; she wanted to put on the most expensive show in town. While he didn’t have to pay for the wedding, he knew he would have to pay for her lifestyle after the wedding. While he had a good job, his job did not compare to the income the bride’s parents earned. If the wedding planning was a foreshadowing of the marriage, the groom realized he couldn’t afford his wife so he called off the wedding.

His decision was brilliant.

When it's time to say, "I do," it's okay to say "I don't" if there is any doubt.

The preparations for the wedding ceremony can give a couple great insight into each other (and one another’s families). On rare occasion it might motivate someone to call off a wedding, but more often it should cause a couple to realize where their problem spots might be and to work on them.

If a bride freaks out over a small issue like the flowers not being right, how will she handle a miscarriage or job loss or a mistake by her husband?

If a groom is unaware and uncaring toward his bride during the planning process, will he suddenly become a thoughtful and compassionate partner when children are born?

If the mother-of-the-bride is overly involved in the wedding planning process and forces her way, do you believe she will suddenly mind her own business when you are married?

If your families don’t get along for the wedding, what will holidays be like?

The wedding often predicts the marriage.

Because of this, a couple should do two things when getting married:

1. Pay attention. While the engagement process should not be approached as a test, a couple should continually be evaluating themselves and their relationship. Since we expect to have disagreements and problems, a healthy couple can use the wedding planning process as an incubator to reveal problems.

2. Deal with it. The problem I see with many couples is they push aside issues and ignore them. When a problem arises in the dating or engagement process, a couple should nip it in the bud. They should recognize the issue, discuss it, and either handle it on their own or seek help from a professional. The earlier a couple can deal with an issue, the better off the couple will be.

If you are in a relationship, dealing with problems should not be saved for a later date. Growing in intimacy and friendship requires every couple to face difficult issues and learn from them. If you do not start the process now, you likely never will.

If you are engaged, consider what issues you are facing now. Are these issues unique to this current stage of life or is it possible these issues will be problems throughout your relationship?

If you are married, consider the most common problems you have had in your marriage. Were there small signs during the engagement process that those would be the problems? 

Yeah. I dig this pastor's perspectives on things. His blog is in the Blog Wisdom section or you can click here to read more.


Don't marry your wedding. That lasts a day.

Marry your wedding. So that it can last a lifetime.



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