Have you ever thought about your reception as NOT being a big deal? You were excited about the engagement, you were excited about the planning and you were excited ultimately about getting MARRIED! This blog post is a reminder about the celebration of marriage and some additional things to put on your preparation list. It might just give some ease in planning your reception, after all, it’s not that big of a deal compared to marriage. This week we have a guest blogger Stu Gray. Stu married his wife Lisa in a castle just outside New Orleans, Louisiana 11 years ago (You’ll never guess who their wedding officiant was!). Now they encourage married couples with a podcast and blog at Stupendous Marriage
Stu Gray writes:
Wedding season is here. You’ve spent the time and energy looking for gowns, rings and churches (and lots more). You’ve rounded up your crazy friends and family to be your wedding party. You’ve set up the amazing dj for the reception. Sure. I get all that. But have you thought about your marriage?
Don’t get me wrong.
Your wedding day should be an amazing day. Yet, it should be an amazing day that leads to an amazing marriage.
No, you won’t be having awesome parties every day of your marriage, trust me on this. So, since that’s the case, you should prepare for your marriage – just as much, if not more, than you prepare for your big day.
Here are some things to think about to help you have an amazing marriage, after your awesome wedding ceremony.
Work on Your communication skills. Marriages live and die by their communication. On all levels. So you need to be intentional about learning how to communicate better. It’s likely that you and your spouse didn’t grow up in the same family (that would be weird and a little icky if you did.) So, you probably have different ways of handling issues.
Like Money: How are we paying for debt that is coming into our marriage? What do we do when we want to buy a big “item”? Are we combining our bank accounts?
Or Sex: How often? What would you enjoy? What are you uncomfortable with?
Or Work: Are we both going to be working? Are we a one income family? Are we going to live close to work, or far away? What about working from the house?
Or Kids: Are we going to have kids? Do we even like kids? Do we just want to babysit others kids?
You’ve should be having these conversations, and more than likely, you have to keep having them. People grow and change, so plan on checking in on topics like these, to make sure that you are keeping in tune with your spouse’s feelings and thoughts.
Good communication isn’t easy. We’re taught all sorts of things in school, and relationship communication isn’t one of them. So you have to be intentional about learning (or relearning) what works and doesn’t work in the communication department. Example – let’s say your family avoids conflict and everyone goes to their rooms and closes the door. But in your spouses family everybody heads into the living room for a full on verbal brawl. You have to talk and think about this together so you as a couple can figure out how you want to communicate in YOUR marriage.
GO TEAM! This leads to teamwork. Simply: You have to approach life as a team. Your spouse is never the enemy. They are on your team. So when you have an issue come up (about how you communicate, or something else), you must realize they aren’t the problem. The ISSUE is the problem. So what you need to do, is stand together and face the issue. Sure, there will still be difficult conversations, but work with each other to resolve the issue, not fight against one another. A former pastor of ours used to say “Win Win or No Deal”. You both are working for a solution that you, as a team, feel like is a win. If one of you ‘loses’, then you as a couple lose.
Teams just do better. We like to glorify the person who seems to have been a great success by themselves. But most times its just not true. We need a team to help us be the best we can be, and the best teammate that you have is your spouse.
Think Marathon, not Sprint. It’s easy right now, as you are in this season of marital bliss to think about your schnookums at almost every possible moment. This won’t always be the case. Feelings come and go. But you want your marriage to last, so you have to remember that this is more like a marathon than a sprint.
Basing your love and relationship simply on feelings is a ‘sprint’ mentality. You go hard for 10 seconds or 100 yards and then you’re spent. Marriage is more like a marathon. Feelings come and go, but the decision to love – many times with your actions, when feelings aren’t there – must be on going. Love is an action first and a feeling second. (feel free to tweet that)
Invest in your Marriage. Find an older couple who can mentor you. They don’t have to have it all figured out (none of us do). They do need to have been married for a significant time, still enjoy one another, and have had some experience in doing this thing called marriage. You can learn so much from a couple like this. Listen to marriage podcasts that can encourage, challenge and inspire you to have conversations with your spouse. They will help you connect and keep your marriage a priority. Read or listen to books in areas where you want to grow. Need to work on your money habits? Read a Dave Ramsey book together and talk about it. How to parent better? Check out Kevin Leman’s work, and talk about it. Want to grow in your faith or your Sex life is not where you want it to be? There are lots of great books to help.
You get the idea. If the wedding party is worth the time and investment, The marriage is really worth the time and investment.
Stu Gray (guest blogger for Snyder Entertainment)