David and I knew before we were engaged that we wanted our officiant to be a pastor who knew us and knew our relationship. One of my good friend's dad is a pastor at our church in Wichita, and he's known us both since we started high school (shortly before we started dating). He's gotten to watch us grow up, both as individuals and as a couple. He is SO incredibly sweet and caring - I LOVE that we chose him to do our ceremony.
We've met with him - we'll call him Pastor M - twice now. The first time we mainly talked about what we're thinking in terms of the ceremony and the second time we started our premarital counseling. Since I go to school out of town, we're spreading the 6 sessions out over the next 9 months. We'll probably do 1 or 2 over Christmas break, 1 over spring break, and 2 or 3 in the 4 weeks between when I move back and when we get married!
I loved the discussion we had in our first counseling session. We started with Pastor M asking us why people get married and specifically why we're choosing to. My answer was basically that marriage is biblical and that God tells us it's not good for man to be alone. David's was similar - He said he agreed with my answer and that he's always thought of it as you should marry the person with whom you can accomplish more for God's glory than you ever could alone. Pastor M said after hearing our answers he would guarantee our marriage will last. His reasoning was that if we always continue to make decisions and base our lives and reasoning on scripture, we'll be happily married forever. After that we looked at Genesis 2:18-24 which reads:
18The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 19Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23The man said,“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” 24For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
I just love that passage. I've always liked that it explicitly says that the bone was taken from Adam's rib. It wasn't taken from his foot so that he would rule over her or from his head so that Eve would be his overseer. It was taken from his side, which weakened him, and thus gave her the duty of being his helper. I also think it's neat that the bone was one closest to his heart.
We didn't specifically talk about that part of the passage, but focused more on the last verse about leaving our parents and uniting with each other. This was definitely a conversation that needed to happen. While neither of us still live at home, we're both very close to our moms. I view my mom as one of my best friends, but she still has always provided the instruction and discipline that's necessary from a parent. When I'm at school (and things aren't ridiculously crazy), I talk to my mom at least every other day. David's also very close to his mom. She relies on him for a lot of different things. He's incredibly compassionate and it kills him to not be there for the people he loves. We've both been through issues with our families in the 5 and a half years we've been dating, and we both have kind of become the go between for our moms. Pastor M made us realize that once we're married, we're our own team. While we definitely won't end our relationships with our moms by any means, they'll have to change. That's going to take a lot of getting used to, but I'm so glad we've talked about it and know that it's necessary for the success of our marriage.
After talking about this subject, David and I hung out with a married couple, K and R, that we're good friends with a few days later. She actually used to be one of our teachers (although she's only about 4 years older than us) and he and David love talking about sports and business. Anyway, I was telling K about what we'd talked about and she told us one of the things that has been incredibly helpful with their marriage is that before they got married, K's mom talked to R and told him that she promised to never speak poorly of him and wanted him to promise her the same thing. K says that they've both held up their end of the deal, and that it's been so good for them. So if K goes to her mom to complain about R or something he did, her mom refuses to feed into it by agreeing or talking poorly about R. And if K goes to R about her mom, he does the same thing. I think that's so important - The people who love you defend you and hurt for you when you're hurt, so if I go to my mom complaining about something David did, she'll remember it, likely even after we've solved the issue on our own.
If you're still reading, I applaud you! I'm hoping that last paragraph wasn't too confusing. Do you and your FI plan to do something like that? Was it/will it be an issue to "leave" your parents?