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You’ve been dreaming about it since you were a child. You want a huge wedding, one with a beautiful dress and hundreds of flowers. You plan to put so much time and energy into your big day, and can’t wait to walk down the aisle.
However are you planning to put this much energy into your marriage after the celebration is over? If you’re like most couples now-a-days, the answer is probably not. Getting married is a big deal for everyone, but more often than not we confuse marriage with the wedding. While marriage means the coming together of two individuals through a bond that will last a lifetime, the wedding signifies the ceremony which merely makes the bond official. While the excitement of a wedding is undeniable, marriage can be a different ball game altogether.
Here are a few reasons why you must focus your time on marriage rather than the wedding.
1. You will have other great milestones with your spouse.
Claiming that your wedding day will be the best day of your life is similar to saying that your college years will be the best four years of your life. While these can be great times you will experience, they aren’t really the only times you will experience happiness. Instead, you should consider your wedding day to be the first day of a great new journey in your life. It’s a new chapter in your relationship together where more milestones will be hit, such as buying a house or having your first child. Appreciate your wedding ceremony for what it is, but don’t limit yourself to only hyping up this one moment in your relationship. If you do, you’ll lose opportunities to have other incredible adventures with your spouse in the future.
2. A wedding doesn’t define commitment.
People get married every day, but people also get divorced every day. It should be a reality that even if you have a brilliant, stellar, over-the-top wedding that doesn’t mean you will stay married forever. A marriage certificate, simply put, doesn’t define commitment. Commitment to your spouse and your marriage is a choice you have to make every single day. You have to put work into your marriage to keep it growing and blossoming. If you think that marriage will be easy, you will quickly realized how mistaken you are. It’s more than shiny rings and a big cake. It’s a dedication to your spouse day in and day out.
3 Vows are for the future, not just the wedding.
When you get married and say your vows, you a promising to your spouse that you will stay with them for better or worse, through sickness and health, and so on. It means that you are preparing to have a future with them and that you are in it for the long-haul. Your vows aren’t just words; rather, they are guidelines to help shape your relationship over the years. Ten years after you are married, you can still refer to your vows as a way to help you strengthen your relationship. During the wedding you should be taking your vows seriously, and remember that they go beyond just the wedding day. The wedding itself, while fun and exciting, is really only focusing on one day and one moment with your spouse.
4. God is the center of your marriage.
All Christians have heard the phrase “God should be the center and foundation of your marriage.” Not just a wedding. Marriage is a huge commitment that extends way past a ceremony, and God sees marriage as a covenant between two people. You should have a plan with your spouse about how you want to incorporate faith in your lives, such as which church you might go to or when you will pray together. Many times, newlyweds get so wrapped up in the affair of a wedding that they quickly forget who brought them together in the first place. Make sure your priority is on having a Christ-focused marriage long-term, rather than only having a few moments of fun at your reception.
5 Weddings are external affairs.
What do we love most about weddings? The celebration, food, and bringing together of all our loved ones for starters. Weddings are all about including everyone else in the joy of making a marriage official. While bringing your family and friends together to rejoice is exciting, the truth is that a marriage is about only you and your spouse. After the hype and hoopla of a wedding, you will realize that you don’t need anyone else involved. It is an internal commitment, and one you are investing in for the rest of your life. Marriage is all about two people willingly accepting that mentally, physically and emotionally they will share their most intimate spaces together for a long time to come.
6. Ways to prepare for your marriage.
Instead of just preparing for your wedding day, make a plan with your future spouse to prepare for your marriage. Aim for your marriage to be as beautiful as your ceremony and reception, and plan on devoting the same amount of time, energy, and intent to holding hands on your anniversary as you do to walking down the aisle. There are many ways you can begin to do this. Meeting regularly with a pre-marriage counselor or pastor, attending a marriage conference, or using self-help books are a few ways you can start your journey off on the right foot. Talk with your partner about what they are ready to expect after the wedding, so you can begin to adjust accordingly.
While your wedding day is likely to be a beautiful moment in your relationship, it doesn’t need to become a huge, stressful event. The marriage journey you are about to go on with your new spouse is wildly more important. You are about start a brand new phase of life that you should focus on. So enjoy your wedding, but don’t forget the real priority.