In earlier columns, I have described the communication necessary before and during a marriage, and some of the important issues that should be on the table for discussion. But there is one associated factor that ought to be mentioned - one we pastors assume is taking place - when these discussions do occur.
In previous columns, I discussed what it means to find Mr. or Ms. "Right" and the importance of communication prior to and during a marriage. Below are 10 issues I see as vital in such communication for a soon-to-be-married couple. However, if you are married, keep in mind that these issues do not cease to be important for marital happiness (and success) once your marriage license is signed.
When people decide to marry, sometimes the excitement of it all causes the couple to put off asking obvious questions about their future life together. In cases where the couple knows there are differences or issues to discuss, they often simply assume they will "figure it out when the time comes." No sense in delving into differences while planning such a joyous occasion, right? Unfortunately, typically "the figuring out" part turns out to be more elusive than it originally appeared, and "the time" ends up coming when the couple is ill-prepared to deal with it.
As I think of the experiences I've had running a DivorceCare program and speaking with engaged couples in pre-marital counseling, the term "soul mate" comes to mind. I do not recall that phrase because it is something I ask about up, such as, "Do you think your spouse or fiancé is your soul mate?" Rather, I remember the many times those in counseling used this term to describe their feelings toward another person.
Years ago, when my daughter was in gymnastics at DEENOS (back when it was in Springfield), I would often chat with other parents as we waited for the girls to finish practice. I recall a conversation I had one evening with the mother of a new girl in the class.
Some of the kindest, most authentic, well-adjusted, sincere and psychologically healthy people I have ever met are very involved in their church. Unfortunately, some of the meanest, hypocritical, dishonest and psychologically-impaired people I have ever met are also very involved in their church.
After the morning worship services at the First Baptist Church of Springfield, the congregation moved outside to the family life building for the formal dedication of the building in memory of late pastor Jeff Rollins.
Clemson University football coach Dabo Swinney has a story not unlike others who have found their way to a deep faith. Swinney grew up in a family that was, by all accounts, dysfunctional. Living with an alcoholic father created a childhood filled with uncertainty, insecurity, anger and grief. Sports became an outlet for him.
Most people know the game "Secret Santa," where friends, family or co-workers exchange Christmas gifts in a context of secrecy. But in Kansas City, the real Secret Santa operated covertly from 1979 to 2006. And he had a lesson for us all.