He popped the question…and you said yes! The excitement of this season is worth the wait of your single years! As you begin wedding plans, the tendency is to get caught up in dresses, decor and seating charts. These things are fun (and necessary!), but in the hustle of wedding planning, don’t forget the One who brought you this far.
A Christ-centered marriage begins before the vows even take place. It begins in the hearts of a man and woman who want Christ to be first in their individual lives. To have a Christ-centered engagement and enter marriage with a strong footing of faith, implement the following into your relationship.
Prioritize your time with God.
Satan doesn’t usually work blatantly. He is much more likely to use distraction against us. Even the best things in life become distractions when they pull us away from the heart of God.
Engagement is a vital time to stay near the Lord. Not only do you need the strength and wisdom of God to prepare for your upcoming wedding, but your relationship with your fiancé needs His influence. That’s why I recommend pursuing God through His Word each day on your own time, in addition to praying with your fiancé at every opportunity. This allows you to stay in step with God and keep your relationship in tune to His will.
Be vigilant about your purity.
It’s easy to say, “We’re getting married anyway!” when you’re engaged. Too many couples say these words. Unfortunately for them, God’s standards are very clear: Intimacy requires covenant. God has set this example and requires our obedience to His design for sexuality. Until vows are said before God and witnesses, your physical standards should not change. For some couples, they’ll have to work even harder to guard their purity, adjusting their standards to reflect this dedication.
My husband and I chose to have a short engagement because of this difficulty. We also chose not to kiss until our wedding day. We did this because we knew that kissing was a “gateway drug” for us, and we needed to be radical about our purity.
Be honest about what is causing you to stumble. Get serious about your purity. Repent of lust, draw near to God and allow Him to help you walk into marriage with holy hearts.
I recommend premarital counseling to every engaged couple. Not only does it equip you for the challenges of marriage, but it also introduces a new accountability that is very necessary in this season! You’ll get to know one another on a deeper level and ask questions you may not think of on your own. Your pastor might even give you books to read as a couple, which is a great practice that will deepen your prayer times together.
My husband and I took a financial class before getting engaged, and many engaged couples enroll in them as well. We found this was another great way to learn one another’s priorities and spending habits, both of which reflect personality.
Remember what marriage is about.
Ultimately, your wedding is not about you. That may be hard to hear at first, but think about it: A wedding points to the grace and glory of God, who brings two people together to become “one flesh.” God was the officiant of the very first wedding (Genesis 1-2), and He will be present at yours! Your wedding can preach the gospel, but it is more important that your lives—yours and your fiancé‘s—speak loudly for Christ before vows are exchanged. If you arrange your lives to be Christ-centered, God Himself will guard your devotion from engagement and beyond.