Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Letter to Newly Engaged Women...



In just 11 days my daughter Abby and her fiance' will be getting married. Lots of exciting things going on in my world. Today I am sharing a letter Abby wrote to any woman who is seriously thinking about marriage.




Engagement is an interesting thing, especially for the Christian woman. In my own experience I have found that everyone is eager to ask you a million and one questions about wedding plans, flowers, dresses, décor, and honeymoon location, but rarely does anyone ask how about anything deeper. People typically don’t ask about how you are doing with sticking to physical boundaries, if you are maintaining a healthy spiritual life in the midst of all the stress, or how to be praying for you as a couple. As I have ventured through my own engagement I figured it was time for someone to actually be honest about it all. Being engaged is a unique time of life and it truly is wonderful, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that it is also an extremely challenging time of life. Engagement is a season that you never fully understand until you are in the midst of it. I feel like there are some things dating and newly engaged couples would benefit from knowing as they are things that I wish I would have known that I would like to share with you.

1)    The spiritual battle intensifies. Satan’s goal is to steal kill and destroy. He will do what he can to attack Christian couples at their weakest points. This is not to scare anyone or make things over-spiritualized but we are in a battle and marriage is a high calling in life. When God brings together two people that desire to have a Christ-centered marriage and family, Satan is not going to sit idly by and let that just happen. Throughout my engagement my fiancé reminded me that the spiritual opposition that we faced was somewhat of a confirmation that we were doing things right. Although that might sound strange it is true.

2)      Prayer! The only way to deal with the spiritual opposition and the stress that you face in engagement is by bringing everything to the Lord in prayer.  My fiancé and I prayed about a lot of things because it was a very stressful time for us especially for me. We would pray on the phone together when we were apart, times when we were stressed and overwhelmed by wedding planning, and even before we went to create our wedding registry. Prayer got us through. Dedicate your fiancé, your relationship, and all the wedding planning details to the Lord and trust Him with everything, big and small.
  
3)      Wedding planning isn’t as important as marriage preparation. There will be so many wedding details and it is exciting and fun to plan, but don’t get so caught up in the wedding planning that you forget to prepare for your marriage. It is important to have balance. Wedding planning is important but be sure to set aside time to just be together and have fun and not talk only about wedding plans. Depending on your personality it can be very stressful to plan such a big event. However, watching wedding shows, while they are fun and entertaining, aren’t actually helpful or practical for the average bride. I found that if you’re not careful wedding shows and such actually can create discontentment. Make the day ultimately about praising God for what He has done in bringing two lives together. The centerpieces and bouquets will be forgotten quickly but the vows made that day will last for the rest of your life! Enjoy the planning and decorating but don’t get so caught up in decorating that you forget the purpose of the whole wedding day. Let it be a day of worship and praise to God. Marriage is made to glorify God! Keep Him as the focus of all the planning.

4)      Physical temptations increase. Accountability is essential. But God’s grace is sufficient.
 For Christian couples the engagement is difficult because the physical desires grow stronger as the wedding day draws closer. People told me that but I didn’t fully understand that until my wedding day got closer. It can be easier to compromise in little ways and push the boundaries. Establishing clear physical boundaries is very important and then sticking to them is even more important. This is not easy by any means, but God’s grace is sufficient. You may mess up but don’t beat yourself up. This is another big area where Satan desires to make you fall but don’t let him have that satisfaction. If you push the boundaries a bit too far communicate and talk about things with your significant other, pray about this part of your relationship and find people to keep you accountable. I wanted to be able to walk down the aisle in a white dress, proud of what I had done and knowing I had made my Heavenly Father proud. Keep eternal focus in this and remember that love truly is patient and waiting until your wedding night will definitely be worth it! 

5)      ENJOY!! The thing to remember is that you will only be engaged once (hopefully!). Make the most of this time. Enjoy being engaged. Enjoy the last few months before you are married and use it as time to prepare your heart for marriage. Continue investing in people. Continue daily spending time in God’s presence. Remember that it is only by His grace that you two were brought together to this point. The same God who brought you together in His perfect timing will sustain you through your engagement. Trust Him. Believe it to be true. As a woman, so many new emotions come up in the engagement time. There will be tears of frustration, joy, and stress but that’s ok. God is more than enough for these times. Don’t let all the stress that comes with engagement rob you of the joy that God desires for you. Yes, there will be stressful days but keep the end goal in mind. You are getting married. God has called you and your fiancé to be part of the closest picture that there is on earth to the relationship between Christ and the Church. That is a high calling and let the engagement be a time that you enjoy to the fullest as God intended.
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“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that they may have life and have it to the full!” John 10:10

2 comments:

  1. You rock,Abby! Way to go with this letter! Praying for you!

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  2. I jumped up and gave you a virtual high five for #3. So many brides focus solely on the wedding and neglect the marriage. Enjoying your engagement is important as well. I"ve seen too many engagements get really testy as the optics and planning for the wedding take precedence over everything else. Wise words!

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Thanks for Pondering with me! Let me know your thoughts!