Happy New Year and welcome to the newly "christened with a new name" blog, HEAVY LACE! 2018 brings lots of new things and tosses out tons of old, at least that has been my theme the last few weeks. One of the things the new year brings is the new wave of engaged couples. Opening the new year with wedding planning and couples counseling...
In my 6 years of experience as a Chaplain I have worked within the military and clinical environments, I have noticed that there is a huge misconception that counseling is for those who are experiencing something wrong. As I began my journey with ministering to couples I have learned that this same misconception carries over. Traditionally, pre-marital counseling takes place between the engagement and the wedding day. Some couples receive premarital counseling in their courting phase which is prior to engagement. Other couples may continue their counseling after their wedding day if they find it helpful to their development and as a support through their first year of marriage.
All of these things are good. They are good gestures and great investments. The awesome thing about my work within MARRIED by REV ROXY is that my service provides this; however, my belief is that while this is helpful it is not required. Love is a decision as much as it is a feeling. There are some really good reasons for marriage counseling: blended families, history of unfaithfulness, guidance with communication or sexual issues. But most importantly, it helps the couple to articulate realistic expectations for the days ahead as a married couple and develop the way they will resolve issues throughout the new life together as one.
Some couples feel better prepared for these things than others, but don't worry about the feelings of unpreparedness if it's there. The mere feeling doesn't directly correlate with whether the marriage will last or not- Thank God!
For those of you who know my personal story, I decided to get married to my husband after knowing of him for 3 weeks. Side note- I will not recommend this to anyone as a prescription for going from "hello" to marriage, however it is possible. Prior to meeting my husband I spent 3 years of my life single. I was 27 years old when I met him and was 28 (married by June 20th, 2012) by the time we married. Prior to meeting him on May 21, 2012, life was going well. I was doing all the things God placed on my heart, and quite immediately. I felt called to seminary school, I went. I had visited Israel, Africa and Asia within the three years- loved them all! I was on a hit reality show all the while serving in the United States Army Reserve. As I like to remind my husband from time to time, life was good. Swiftly, when meeting him, my heart was filled with all the things I had petitioned in prayer to God about as none negotiable traits for the one I wanted as a life-mate. For me, those things were: 1. Love for God... it was imperative that I married someone whose spirituality was already straightened out. I was not tolerable of "missionary dating". 2. He had to be someone with strong convictions and who held personal integrity in high regard. 3. He had to have passion. I believe strongly that passion takes people a long way further than inherited money or nepotism.
So that's me... whether you will decide to do premarital counseling, marriage counseling or if you are still single- here is a great exercise you can do in that fresh new journal purchased for 2018. When it comes to relationships or what you are looking for in a spouse write down YOUR truth. What are the non-negotiable and the negotiable things you need within a relationship? Be honest with yourself best you can. You can also do this with various different kinds of relationships... making new friends, the search for the right boss/supervisor as you search for a new job. I believe that this exercise helps you realize that we are more in control of what we accept into our world, what we can deliver to others and what we can develop in relationship. We can be more engaging with our emotions... with LOVE than the Disney fairytales leads us to believe.
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