in preparation

i wrestled a little bit about whether to do this post, because it deals with a topic that is really personal. however, i felt that the lessons i’ve learned from this experience thus far have been invaluable, and i want to share them in hopes that you will be encouraged and challenged to think about how it applies to your life.

for the past two years and a few months, i have had the joy of learning and growing with kelvin. our relationship started off rather unconventionally, and it seems this trend will continue as we live life here in kingston. coming into this relationship, we both had our eyes set on the long-term. i think this is sometimes taboo for people our age, maybe because you don’t want to feel tied down, or maybe because you don’t even know where you’ll be in a few years and a relationship that requires planning and compromise just complicates things.

to delve even further into topics that may leave some people squeamish, we’ve been wrestling with how to determine whether we’re ready for marriage, and all that married life entails. as someone who watches a lot of slice and TLC, i have seen my share of wedding and newlywed shows. often, these can leave you gripping your wallet or bracing yourself for the 180 degree shift your significant other will seemingly take as you approach this milestone. however, most of these shows are focused on one day – your wedding day – shoving the rest of your married life together under the rug.

in all honesty, kelvin and i had no idea what to expect when it came to the life portion of married life, so we decided to seek out some answers. i am someone who loves workbooks, and i would say kelvin likes reading, so when i stumbled upon the book preparing for marriage, i bbm-ed him and we decided it would be a good investment. this was back in the summer. when i moved here to kingston, we committed to working through this book together.

on sundays, kelvin and i have our date night, and every other week, we set aside time to go through our answers from this book. we’ve only gone through the first chapter of this book (which has taken us over two months!) but already we have learned immensely and have struggled through the hard questions that nobody’s asked us before. these aren’t questions like “what is your SO’s favourite colour?” or how many siblings does your SO have?”. rather, it examines things like your parents’ relationship and how it’s affected you. it combs through your expectations for marriage, even down to things like household responsibilities, finances, sex, and how you will interact differently with your parents and in-laws. though it is a Christian book, it doesn’t just deal with your spiritual walks – it asks you to be candid about other aspects of your life as well – because in all actuality, you will be faced with those tangible things, and compatibility involves so many more facets than just how you both are before God.

something that really convicted me when we shared our answers yesterday was that one of the hardest things about marriage is figuring out how your two families become intertwined. for me, moving here to kingston was a big step, and already my relationship with my parents have changed. i miss them a lot and i wish i could see them more, but i know that God has called me to be here in kingston. however, all of these relationships will continue to be transformed as kelvin and i move into marriage and into the phase of life where we have kids. what interactions do we want for our children to have with their grandparents? how will we spend our holidays? it didn’t really hit me until yesterday that these things are going to change. i’m not always going to have the same relationship i have with my parents as i have now. further to that, my relationship with kelvin’s parents will be different. because of proximity, i will see them more. how will that affect my relationship with my own parents. and even now, i have had many more opportunities to develop my relationship with kelvin’s family than he has had to develop his relationship with mine. though he’s nervous about it, we need to work on this before we’re ready to move into considering starting our own family. many people may think that when you get married, none of this matters because you’ll be on your own, just the two of you, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. i’m thankful that we are realizing now just how pervasive the effects of those relationships are on our own relationship.

needless to say, i am really enjoying diving into this topic with kelvin, and as we focus more on looking at marriage throughout scripture over the next few months, i will continue to post my thoughts and lessons learned. so to end off, here’s to opening our eyes to life after the wedding day.

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