April asked me to guest post today, and I was more than glad to help out since I haven't blogged in quite a few months. We're worn out tonight from spending most of the last two days at BCM for our annual Engaged Couples Weekend. This year, we had 7 couples of current or former BCM students who will be getting married within the next year. We went through some different pre-marital counseling topics, including family, conflict, finances, sexuality, and Biblical foundations for marriage with these couples. We also took time to get to know them and let them ask any questions on their mind about marriage.
I love getting the opportunity to share my experiences and the little wisdom I have about marriage with others, especially students. It's encouraging to see these people wrestling with questions about what a God-honoring marriage and life after college looks like. I also love being reminded of the rich Biblical roots of marriage. It also gives April and I a chance to take a fresh look at our marriage and how we are living up to our commitment to each other and to God to die to ourselves every day and serve one another in love. I'm reminded of a verse that was read at our wedding ceremony: "We love because [God] first loved us." - 1 John 4:19
This year, we asked some friends to share some advice and things they wish they'd known when they got married so we could share it with our engaged couples. This was one of the most challenging and encouraging responses to me that we shared:
"I'm not sure anyone is really ready for marriage when it happens. So much about marriage requires dying to self and our culture has glamorized weddings and being married so much, that when the honeymoon is over, people end up disappointed in their spouse. When you think marriage, think dying to self, because that's what it will take to make it work. Before you judge your spouse, take a hard look at how that person has had to die to self to be with you."