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April 09, 2015

Engaged? Essential Info on Getting Ready for Marriage

So you’re engaged, or heading toward engagement. Congratulations!

Before you say “yes” to the dress, sample wedding cakes and scope out honeymoon destinations, it’s essential to invest in your marriage by preparing in other ways.

Why? Because you’re not just planning for a wedding—one wonderful day—you’re also planning for your marriage, the rest of your life together.

Most likely, you’ve dreamed about the future that you and your new spouse will share. Will it be blissfully happy? Will you face unexpected challenges? Will your marriage be one that lasts—or will you be another unhappy statistic and dissolve?

Here’s some hope.

Relationship experts Jim Burns and Doug Fields can help you start preparing now for a life together and a union that lasts. In fact, they wrote a book on planning for a successful marriage and a beautiful wedding.

In Getting Ready for Marriage: A Practical Road Map for Your Journey Together, authors Burns and Fields say that the chance of divorce is lowered by thirty-one percent when couples get pre-marital counseling or read a book like theirs that’s packed with foundational information for premarital preparation.

Getting Ready for Marriage is a relationship road map or GPS that can help you get where you really want to go—into the future with a solid marriage that lasts a lifetime.

First, a bit about the authors: These men are the real deal. Burns and Fields have decades of experience being married, doing marriage research and providing counseling.

Jim Burns, Ph.D., is a renowned youth and family expert, an acclaimed author, speaker, and the founder of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family. He and his wife have three daughters and live in Southern California.

Doug Fields, M.Div., is a leading youth pastor and speaker, founder of Simply Youth Ministry, and author of more than 50 books. He also works at HomeWord Center for Youth and Family. He and his wife have been married for 25 years and have three children. 

If you’re engaged—or heading toward engagement—you’ll appreciate the practical ways these experts help couples to prepare for a marriage that’s loving and lasting.

In Getting Ready for Marriage, Burns and Fields provide practical and biblical insight into a variety of essential topics that can help you and your fiancé (or boyfriend or girlfriend) start talking about the real issues you’ll face in marriage. Some of the topics covered in the book include:

  • Goals and expectations

  • In-laws

  • Communication

  • Conflict

  • Finances

  • Sexuality

  • Spiritual intimacy

  • Remarriage issues

There are also handy checklists at the back of the book for planning your wedding and for creating a monthly budget worksheet.

Here’s a brief excerpt from Getting Ready for Marriage:

“When it comes to your future marriage, there really is only one person who can make a change to ensure success, and that is you. Both of us have failed miserably at trying to change our wives. It simply doesn’t work. Trust us, you won’t change your fiancé, but you can change yourself.

“The best gift you can give your spouse is a commitment to work on your own spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional health.

“Despite what you’ve grown up seeing in movies, the success of your marriage does not come by finding the ‘right person.’ Your marital success and happiness depend on you being the right person.” (Pages 36-37)

Fact: 2.4 million couples get married each year in the United States. How can you make your marriage last—and enjoy each other even more?

It seems to me that the practical and biblical advice from Burns and Fields in Getting Ready for Marriage is an excellent resource for building a strong relational foundation.

Blessings on your upcoming wedding—and a marriage that lasts a lifetime.

***

Resources

Broadcast

Listen to Jim Burns and Doug Fields talk with Dr. James Dobson about Getting Ready for Marriage on the two-part Family Talk broadcast:

Getting Ready for Marriage (Part I)

Getting Ready for Marriage (Part II)

 

Book + Workbook

Getting Ready for Marriage by Jim Burns and Doug Fields

Getting Ready for Marriage Workbook by Jim Burns and Doug Fields

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