Are you Ready To Wed?
We can’t guarantee that Ready To Wed™ will take all the challenges out of your wedding or your marriage. It won’t keep you from forgetting your anniversary, thaw all the icy silences, or make your spouse alphabetize the shoes in your closet. But it will help you understand why you’re getting married, how to stay that way, and how to enjoy it to the fullest. That’s because you’ll learn what’s vital to a healthy relationship, keys to working out your differences, and what God considers most important in “holy matrimony.” So get started now, take the 4 keys steps that will impact the course of your marriage.
Read the Book
In this book, we will cover a comprehensive look at everything you will need to start building a marriage you will love. Loaded with examples, suggestions, and instructions based on the 12 traits of a thriving marriage, this valuable resource will launch engaged couples and newlyweds on a lifetime adventure!
Find a Mentor Couple
We can’t emphasize enough (both from research and personal experience!) how important it is to have the support and encouragement of a “veteran” couple to walk alongside you! We encourage you to seek out a couple a few steps ahead of you and that can invest in your marriage as you begin your life together.
Q: What benefits does meeting with a premarital mentor offer to us?
A: Many! It is a place to be real, and to be encouraged. It’s an opportunity to discover things about your fiancé—and yourself. It’s a safe place to ask questions, wrestle with challenges and seek feedback. Your premarital mentor couple can serve as a model to aspire to, and a reminder that you and your fiancé can also lay a marital foundation that will weather the storms leading you to someday enjoy a thriving, successful, lifelong marriage. You’ll also receive objective, honest insights about your relationship from people who are committed to both you and your fiancé and want what’s best for you. We won’t try to tell you it will always be easy, but we will promise it will be worth it!
Q: How do we find premarital marriage mentors?
A: As you begin looking for a premarital mentor couple to walk through your engagement with you and into your first year of marriage, we’d encourage you to look around at the people already in your lives. Is there an experienced couple in your church, neighborhood or other social circles that both you and your fiancé admire and would be comfortable meeting with? Talk to your pastor to see if he might be able to recommend a couple.
Q: What should we look for in a premarital mentor couple?
A: For starters, don’t go searching for the perfect couple … because you’ll never find them! Instead, look for a husband and wife that both you and your fiancé respect and whose marriage can serve as something of a model for you. Shared interests (sports, music, outdoor activities, hobbies, etc.) are not necessarily essential, but they can be helpful in establishing a level of connection and comfort—especially for men.
Q: How should we approach a potential premarital mentor couple?
A: Once you’ve identified a potential couple, ask them out to lunch, dessert, or invite them to attend a fun activity. This is a nonthreatening way to begin to build a friendship and to gauge whether a premarital mentoring relationship might be a good idea. Tell them why you both have chosen to ask them and explain your needs, expectations, and hopes. Propose a small number of meetings to start—this will help you “test the waters” without a steep commitment.
After making your request, offer to allow them time to process and pray, then follow up a few days later. Don’t be discouraged, though, if the first couple you ask isn’t able to respond as you’d hoped.
Q: How do we make the most of our time with our premarital mentors?
A: First, talk in advance of each meeting with fiancé: What do you hope to accomplish, grow in, and what are fears or concerns about marriage? Do either of you perceive areas that might be challenging? Or you may ask them if they would like to proceed through the Ready to Wed curriculum with you and your fiancé?
Be real with your mentor couple. Let them get to know both of you so they can understand how best to come alongside and encourage you and your fiancé.
Q: How honest should we be with our premarital mentor couple?
A: To get the most out of your mentoring relationship, you’ll want to be transparent. At the same time, always be honoring and supportive of your fiancé– even when addressing points of differing opinions or disagreements. If you are planning to talk about sensitive issues, make sure you have your fiancé’s permission first. The important thing to remember is that your premarital mentor couple desires to help you build a foundation of a healthy marriage–even if that means that they help you walk through some difficult conversations.
Q: How do I bring up delicate issues about our relationship with our premarital mentoring couple without hurting my fiancé?
A: It’s important that both you and your fiancé check your hearts and motives before exploring potentially difficult areas. It’s important to see you and your fiancé as a team. Keep your own heart open in the process. Freely admit your own faults, and be open to areas where you need to grow and change. That kind of mindset allows you to tackle tough topics in a way that works for the good of your future marriage relationship. Otherwise placing blame and driving a wedge between you and your fiancé may result. Finally, keep in mind the Apostle Paul’s formula—“speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15)—and you’ll seldom go wrong.
Q: Are there topics that should be “off limits”?
A: If it is a particularly delicate subject, you may want to first ask your premarital mentors whether they are comfortable discussing it. In general, your premarital mentor couple is there to help walk you through whatever subject you’re dealing with in order to best prepare for marriage, but remember that they are not experts on every topic.
Q: Is looking for a premarital marriage mentor a good idea if we are struggling with a serious issue (pornography, addiction, etc.)?
A: Yes, but first we’d urge you to seek the help of a licensed Christian counselor. Addictions, mental illness, and other serious personal or marital issues usually require the involvement of a trained professional. For an initial counseling consultation or to locate a counselor in your area, contact Focus on the Family at 1-800-A-FAMILY.
In addition to a counselor, you’ll also want to make sure you have a strong support system around you—and a premarital mentor couple can be a significant part of that. A mature, “safe” couple can serve as a wonderful outlet for support, encouragement, feedback and honest dialogue as you make progress in your counseling experience. Trusted confidantes like these can also help you overcome the shame, isolation and loneliness that often accompany such struggles, as you seek to understand what you are each bringing into your new marriage relationship.
Q: What are some of the common mistakes mentoree couples make?
A: Confusing premarital marriage mentors with professional counselors is one mistake couples can make. Expecting a premarital mentor couple to be perfect or to have all the answers is another. Respect time—be sure to end meetings at the agreed-upon time. Mentorees occasionally can blur the lines, beginning to view the premarital mentor couple as another set of parents or as being “on call” for every little crisis or question. Come into the premarital mentoring relationship with healthy boundaries and realistic expectations firmly in place.
Q: What if our premarital mentor couple is not a good “fit” or isn't meeting our needs?
A: Your premarital mentor couple is there to be a resource. Therefore, it’s important that you both keep up an open, ongoing dialogue about your relationship with them. Be polite, but honest about your needs and expectations, what’s working and what isn’t, and how they can best help you.
If it is truly not a good fit, that’s okay. Thank the couple for their time and investment, conclude your meetings, and then seek out another premarital mentor couple. You may even want to continue pursuing the friendship you’ve formed with the couple, just not in an official premarital mentoring capacity.
Q: Are we better off meeting alone with a premarital mentor couple or with other premarital couples in a small group setting?
A: There are advantages to both, so it depends on what you’re looking for. Some engaged couples enjoy forming peer relationships and exploring premarital topics together. They appreciate the synergy and learning from other engaged couples at a similar life stage. The key is to determine what setup would best serve you and your fiancé—then take the plunge!
Take the Couple Checkup
The Couple’s Checkup is designed by our partner organization, Prepare and Enrich, to give you a clear snapshot of your relationship highlighting both your strengths and growth areas. This valuable information will provide a basis for helpful discussions and opportunities for growth as you prepare for your upcoming marriage journey.
Ready to Wed & the Couple Checkup (Voucher)
The Voucher code (see below) allows you or your fiancé(e) to complete an Individual Profile, which describes how one person perceives the relationship.
Then upgrade, and have your fiancé(e) take their half of the Couple Checkup and receive the full Couple Checkup Report, a 20-25 page report that will be extremely valuable. As a Ready to Wed couple, you can complete the Checkup at a 30% discount!
To Start the Free Individual Profile:
- Click the “Get Started” button above
- On the Couple Checkup site, click “Get Started”
- Type in the Voucher Code: CCBOOK—READY—TOWED
Once you have completed the Individual Profile, upgrade to the Couple Checkup by having your partner take the assessment and receive your Checkup Report.