We were engaged to be married on April 24th, 2011 during a whirlwind vacation of our dreams in NYC. We decided on the plane back to NC that the second weekend in September suited us just fine to get married. That meant for quick turn-around in terms of planning a wedding, figuring out living logistics and oh, you know, preparing emotionally for a huge life change: marriage.
During our engagement my nightstand was piled high with books to read that people recommended or had given me in regards to anything from the wedding night to how to deal with unrealistic expectations. Reality? I read the sex book, and unrelated, someone gave me a copy of Redeeming Love (this book was probably the best thing for my heart during this time. My parents were getting divorced during our short engagement and I needed an epic love story. Best book ever). The others have since moved from my nightstand (which is now stacked high with baby/parenting books) to the downstairs bookshelves and remain unread.
The best pre-marital resource that was given to us was a video series called Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage. This was awesome. It was like what I imagine is in all of those marriage books condensed into a few short videos. Perfect for a short engagement like ours. What hung with me most about this series was the way Mark Gungor addressed the fundamental differences in men and women’s brains. Waffles vs. spaghetti. It is a great illustration for how differently we think and observe and process situations, a must-see for any engaged, married or even dating couples. Check that out here: http://www.laughyourway.com/
Overall, I tend to feel like our culture doesn’t really take marriage super seriously. Especially preparing for marriage. We spend so much time preparing for our wedding that we tend to wake up the next day married and not really sure what exactly we’ve gotten ourselves into. As Steven Furtick says in his Meant to Be series, something mysterious happens when two become one. It’s a bit of an adjustment, because all of a sudden you aren’t a me anymore. You are a we.
This series done by Elevation Church was one of the best things I have heard ever in regards to marriage. Ever ever. Ever. I tried to tweet about it, but in my excitement and working from my phone tweeted the wrong link to the wrong podcast (so if you saw that and listened, hope you got something out of it because I totally didn’t listen to that one). It was a five week series and we caught week 2 live at the new Raleigh campus of Elevation and listened to weeks 3 and 4 on the road to Charlotte earlier this week. Steven and his wife, Holly, tagteamed and talked about 6 practical ideas about approaching marriage as a calling. According to the Furticks, we are called as spouses to do the following things:
Y’all. I can’t even verbalize really just how SPOT ON these are. Our first year of marriage especially, many of the arguments we had were because I did not assume the best from Marshall. That one in itself is just so applicable to ladies. We don’t often realize the way that our husband sees things may be different than how we see it. We are offended by something that is said (or better yet, the way it is said) or that our husband (again) forgets to put laundry in the dryer and the clothes stink when we find them three days later. There was a time in my life where if asked, I probably would have admitted to believing that Marshall intentionally left those there just so I would have to rewash them and put them in the dryer myself. Like, I really believed that. Thank goodness, that time has passed (and let’s be real, I’m the one leaving laundry in the wash for three days, finding it myself and rewashing it myself). I need to listen to weeks 1 and 5, but I recommend if you listen to any at all, definitely get week 4. Holly and Steven are awesome.
If you are interested in this series you can find it here: https://elevationchurch.org/sermons/meant-to-be or on the Elevation Church podcast, here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/elevation-church-charlotte/id216015753?mt=2