I've found that incredibly sad ever since I was planning a wedding, oh, nearly 19 years ago. I remember conversations about things like flowers, and the shocked looks I would get when I would say something like "No big deal, the wedding is just a day. I'm planning a marriage." That particular statement was in response to being told Dale's wedding ring was not likely to arrive until a week after our wedding date. I was shocked that they were shocked. It's just a piece of metal. Seriously? We finally found the perfect ring, why would it matter if it is there on our wedding day, or a week later?
In relating the story, though, I discovered that everyone else was going into hysterics -- if the ring wasn't there on our wedding day, it would destroy everything, and it was the worst thing that could possibly occur. Or so I was told. I was stunned. And yes, the ring did arrive with something like four days to spare... so all that panic by everyone else was totally unfounded.
I worry about marriages even more now than I did then. I look around and see people with lousy role models growing up, planning a "perfect" (and outlandishly expensive) wedding, but certainly not planning a healthy marriage. And definitely not thinking through anything as far as what a good Christian marriage ought to look like.
I'm not an expert. Believe me, I am not an expert. So it isn't like I know what to say. Other than suggesting that maybe the couple look around and find someone who seems to actually have a long, happy marriage and get advice from them. And definitely to stop taking marriage advice from people who are miserable, unmarried, or no longer married. Get advice from those who are successful. Seems obvious to me.
Well, apparently, I'm not the only person who thinks that we need to be encouraging couples to "set the course for a life-long, loving, Christ-honoring relationship."
StartMarriageRight.com launched last week, with a lot of great partners -- The Association of Marriage and Family Ministires, Wedding Pastors USA, Moody Publishers, Dr. Gary Chapman, Tony Evans, and many more.
What a fabulous idea. I truly hope it catches on, and every engaged couple will find this site, and read articles such as:
- 5 Essential Traits for a Strong and Lasting Marriage
- Complementing, Not Conflicting, in Marriage by Dr. Tony Evans
- Why Sharing Hopes and Hurts Strengthen the Home
- The Real Deal about Romance and Finance
You can also visit their blog, or check out their Facebook page. What a great mission...
Disclosure: I was asked if I was willing to blog about this website by Propeller, and promised a marriage book in exchange for helping to spread the word, if I did choose to do so. I am blogging about this because I believe in their mission.