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The importance of engagement

August 18, 2011
Love carries you away via Emmaline Bride

I sit here on a beautiful Thursday morning, having just written a check to our florist and burned the CDs for our DJ, reminiscing about the beginning of our engagement. Visiting venues, listening to song after song by the Vitamin String Quartet, dreaming of all the things we wanted our wedding day to be. I’m so thankful that as I look back over the last six months I remember only good things. I remember a feeling of contentment, and excitement, and anticipation. Our engagement has been the best six months of our relationship so far.

I don’t say all that to brag. I know engagements are stressful. Good friends of ours confided in us that their engagement had them arguing more than they ever had before. Heck, it’s been stressful for us too. Remember how the universe has a sense of humor? I don’t think the point is the absence of conflict {in fact, that’s never the point}. The point, dear friends, is how you handle the conflict. How you work through it. How you REPAIR from it. And the point of your engagement is not to plan the wedding. Oh no. It’s to prepare for your MARRIAGE.

The fiance and I were lucky enough that our church offered a marriage class within weeks of our engagement. We met weekly with about 12 other couples, heard honest and real accounts from one of our pastors and his wife, and completed homework assignments. We had discussions about our conflict styles and sensitivities, love languages, and expectations. We talked about money, sex, and family dynamics. It was such a great experience–and so very beneficial. In addition to that, we’ve met with our pastors at various points through our relationship–when we’ve found ourselves stuck and needing outside counsel.

Still now, in the days leading up to our wedding, we’ve made time for honest conversation. Even about the uncomfortable topics. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of open communication in your relationship. As well as the importance of working through conflict and hardship with patience, gentleness, and compassion–for your partner as well as yourself. Let your engagement be a time of preparation, friends. Don’t be afraid to look at those tough spots in your relationship. Discuss, seek wisdom from those around you {or from a counselor}, and relish it all. It’s a fleeting moment and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Soak it up.


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