Get Engaged? Before You Set the Date There’s One Thing You Need to Do

by Sally Matheny

Get Engaged? Before You Set the Date...
Are you thinking about getting engaged?

Apparently, many guys think Christmas and New Year’s Eve are great times to bend a knee and propose to their sweeties. Studies show December is the most popular month for engagements. 

Did you recently get engaged? 

Congratulations! But before you set the date, there’s one thing you need to do.

Seek Premarital Counseling

Seek Christian counseling. This bit of advice may challenge your way of thinking, but it’s worth considering, especially if it can help save your marriage down the road.

Most Christian pastors require four to six premarital counseling sessions with the couple. It is common to see these sessions take place one or two months before the wedding.

This is where I think a change needs to occur. By that time, most of the wedding details are set, sealed, and delivered. Invitations are mailed, venues secured, food and flowers are ordered, and non-refundable deposits made.
How many brides do you think would suggest a longer engagement, to work out some relational issues, if all those wedding arrangements are already in motion? Perhaps premarital counseling should begin before a wedding date is set.
Discuss difficult issues. Communicate personal convictions and goals. A caring pastor will guide you to think about things you may have never considered before. 

Be Brave and Wise 

If the counseling sessions cause you to question your readiness "for better or for worse, until death do you part"—then be brave and wait. 

Perhaps you think you’ve waited long enough. You believe there’s nothing love can’t solve. You say, “You can’t be prepared for everything. Sometimes you have to take life as it comes.”

There’s some truth to that. But consider this. The average couple is engaged for thirteen to eighteen months before they say “I do.” There are a zillion things to do when preparing for a wedding. So much time is invested in coordinating colors, locating the perfect venue, and securing the best wedding cake baker in town.

Shouldn’t godly counsel have as much, if not more, consideration than color swatches, when preparing for a life-changing event?

Prepare for Satan's Fastballs
Shortly after the wedding, Satan will throw his first fastball at your marriage. 

Will what you learned from watching all those Say Yes to the Dress shows be helpful then?

Will the wedding photographer, the florist, or the 
musicians be there for you during the challenging times in your marriage?

Most secular, wedding planning books. such as The Knot-Ultimate Wedding Planner, rarely mention premarital counseling, other than suggesting you ask if your officiant requires it.

If you do not have a pastor, you can call Focus on the Family (1-800-A-FAMILY) for a complimentary consultation with a counselor. They will also help you locate a Christian counselor in your area.
Some great books to consider reading are:
The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted – Gary Chapman

Preparing for Marriage- Dennis Rainey

Before You Say I Do- H. Norman Wright

Countdown for Couples: Preparing for the Adventure of Marriage- Dale Mathis & Susan Mathis

The Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married- Gary Chapman

Keep It In Perspective

Preparing for a wedding is a joyful time--well, most of it. Cherish the moments as you plan with your future spouse, your parents, and your friends. 

Keep it all in perspective.
Your wedding should be wonderful! After all, your wedding 

lasts for one special day.
Make time to gain godly wisdom. Learn how to grow together in a strong, loving, Christ-centered relationship because you want to make your marriage
last a lifetime 

Make Your Marriage Last a Lifetime


  1. Always love reading your posts! I'm sharing this with Brittany. She's nowhere near ready for marriage, but maybe she will take this to heart when the time does come. I sincerely hope the wisdom you have shared will help many couples to be committed in their relationship and seek Christ first.

    1. Hi, Tara. The earlier we teach these things to our children the better. They begin daydreaming of their wedding long before they consider all the aspects of making a marriage work. You are a good mama. :)


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