by Sally Matheny
|Young Couple Made a Wise Decision |
Before Announcing Engagement
Since my husband is a pastor, we have several copies of a Bible study workbook titled, Before You Say I Do, by Norman Wright. He uses this book when counseling young, engaged couples.
Much to our delight, several months before our daughter became engaged; she and her boyfriend, Samuel, asked if they could have a copy of the workbook. Even though they both regularly talk to their pastors, they wanted to work through the book together while they were away at college. It took some finagling, but they squeezed the study in between their classes and work schedules.
Since the post, Get Engaged? Before You Set the Date, There’s One Thing You Need to Do ranks in the top ten of most viewed posts; I thought you might like to hear from Emily and Samuel about their experience of working through the Before You Say I Do book together. Here is our conversation.
Before You Say I Do covers a variety of topics--role expectations, financial priorities, in-law relationships, and more. Did you enjoy working through this Bible study workbook?
Emily: “It was a very positive experience and we enjoyed spending time working through the Bible study together. We never would have thought of some of those discussion questions on our own. Some assignments we were to do separately and then share our answers. The study confirmed our mutual beliefs and expectations.”
Samuel: “I liked it, too. I recommend it to couples who are talking about marriage. Do as much as you can to consider scenarios that may happen. You’ll never be totally prepared, but the Bible study will be helpful."
Samuel: “Yes, it covered everything very well. It was very thorough and Biblically sound.”
Emily: “I agree. It was well written. We liked reading the scriptures that corresponded with the discussion topics. However, some of the Biblical reading was extensive."
Samuel: "Yes, the ones with four or five scripture passages to back up a point were sufficient for us. The ones with something like eighteen passages to read were a bit much. And, I love the Bible!"
Perhaps they listed all those Biblical truths in case there was someone
Emily: "Probably so. We agreed with all the points made and we definitely want to follow God’s Word."
Was there anything you had to talk more in depth about or something new you discovered about one another?
Emily: "We laughed at some of our answers! There was a question concerning time spent with friends after we’re married—if we wanted to spend time individually with our friends, or spend time as a couple with friends. I answered to spend time as a couple with friends, and Samuel answered it was important to spend time individually as friends. We thought it was funny because we were sure the other would agree and write the same answer! We laughed but we also had a great conversation. We decided it was important to do both—meet with friends individually and as a couple."
Do you think working through the book has better prepared you for marriage?
Samuel: “Yes, absolutely. It brought up issues we probably would not have known how to deal with until they happened. Addressing them now will reduce stress later. I think working through the workbook has made us stronger as a team going into the marriage.”
Samuel and Emily, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! I look forward to your spring wedding and to what God has in store for you both.
This is one mama, and future mama-in-law, who is blessed beyond measure to know these two hearts belong to Jesus. Their love for Christ is in how they talk, how they live, and how they treat one another. There is a wonderful peace and indescribable joy in that knowledge because no one is perfect, and mistakes are inevitable.
Life is wonderful, but it can be difficult at times. The same goes for marriage. I cannot imagine a fulfilling marriage without Jesus Christ in the center of it. If you know of someone considering marriage, suggest one of these Bible study workbooks. I recently learned Norman Wright has also published the following titles. I’d love to add these to my pastor-husband’s library as well.