What are the most essential elements of a wedding?
If you answer gowns, music, flowers, cake or invitation, you're not entirely wrong. Those things all go into creating a lovely wedding day. But really, what makes a wedding--not to mention a marriage--go much smoother is a prepared couple.
I'm not talking about a bride whose makeup is perfect or a groom with a straight cumberbund. No, I mean a man and a woman who are going into marriage with as much study and care as possible.
Of course, I'm not totally unrealistic. It's really impossible to anticipate all aspects of marriage before you're actually IN it. If you're a married person reading this, what did you expect from your post-honeymoon life: sunshine and roses every day, breakfast in bed, a constantly smiling spouse? Or did you look forward to disagreements over important things like where to place the milk in the fridge, the necessity of hand towels in the powder room or the correct way to fold socks?
We all should go into marriage with rose-tinted glasses; if we don't expect joy, why are we bothering? But it's also a good idea to have some tools ready for when that joy falters--just a bit.
Devyn and Greg have been working on that. Last year they did a study together for couples before engagement, and now they're doing a preparation for marriage Bible study. They're also working on a financial course for couples that our uncle sent them, and they'll have pre-marital counseling with Father Christopher before the big day.
Is all this work going to prepare them for every bump in the post-wedding road. Hardly. Will it perhaps give them the ability and the tools to address those bumps. I hope so.
Marriage is a challenge. Why go into it unprepared when there's an alternative?