the preparation grounds
WE ARE BACK!!!!
It’s been a full six months since we published a proper post (we’re not counting our wedding announcement). What a wonderfully fulfilling six months these have been!!! We want to share with you a glimpse of some lessons we learnt and how God showed himself faithful in this season.
As usual, Rabby’s contributions will be in Italics and Barry’s contributions will be in blue.
We started counselling in January and I enjoyed every bit of it. As we were learning a lot about the institution of marriage, I was getting more excited about spending the rest of my life with Rabby. To be honest, a lot of what was shared with us were things we had discussed briefly. The topics that were new to us were things only married people need to think about, such as home management, etc.
Counselling was a very eye-opening time for me. It made me reassess myself and find out if I was prepared to be someone’s wife. We had two sets of counsellors over the six-month period and it helped me prepare mentally and spiritually for the union. During that period, I learnt things I didn’t know about Barry and I got a clearer perspective on things. I was grateful that it was a positive turn of events and I got more excited as the days sped by. When we were done with the pre-marital counselling, one of our counsellors informed us that people usually start the counselling process, but do not end up getting married.
When we started counselling, there were many hidden things about myself that I didn’t know existed. The sessions unravelled a lot about my desires and expectations and it helped us strengthen our bond. Our pastor shared some wisdom with us. He said, “Counselling shouldn’t start when marriage comes into view. It should start the moment two people decide to walk together.” The issue with human relationships (especially courting) is that it is about two imperfect people trying to dance to a tune that neither of them is used to. Our counselling sessions made our relationship even better and we built an understanding and a plan of what we would like our marriage to look like.
Considering there is nothing new under the sun, there is wisdom in learning the ropes from those who have actually gone through it and learnt a thing or two (Ecclesiastes 1:9 – History repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new). Though no two relationships are the same, there are some basic principles that are accessible through God’s word and Godly counsel and will help you through the rough parts of your seasons and relationships. With this in mind, it is a wonder to me why neither courtship counselling nor single season counselling is not a mainstream thing.
Counselling could be in many varying forms. There’s the option of physical one-on-one interaction with your parents, teachers, pastors, etc. One could seek out knowledge on their own by looking for relevant videos or sermons, attending conferences… there are a whole lot of options to get good sound advice irrespective of where you are in your relationship journey.
When our impending marriage became public knowledge, we had so many people who were willing and ready to give counsel. Most of the counsel we received were offered freely without being sought. That time period taught us a little that we would like to share with you. We learnt about who to get advice from, how to respond to advice and the necessity of it all.
Who to get advice from: For us, we made it a point to get advice from people who were older than us, who had witnessed/and experience different kinds of marriages – especially the kind that we believed we wanted. We made it a point to listen to everything that was shared with us (from everyone), but we were cautious about what we accepted. There are a lot of bitter experiences about relationships in the world – I remember getting scared when I was listening to someone share a stream of very horrible experiences in marriage. I had to remind myself not to accept some general statements about men or how they behave after marriage as that opened the way for the spirit of fear. I had to guard my heart against those who (even with good intentions) would plant fear of bitterness or seeds of worry in my mind about our union.
How to respond to advice: When we went into a counselling session, we had to do a reboot of our minds. We needed to have an ‘I know nothing’ mindset. This way, we didn’t go in, trying to seek approval for what we wanted, but we went in for advice on issues – even advice we may not like or advice that may contradict our current mindsets. We could either dispel everything that was said or accept it wholeheartedly. Here’s how we were able to sieve what to take in and what to reject; by measuring it against the Word of God. Is it biblical? Does God approve it? Can we see Jesus in it?
The Necessity of it all: Proverbs 11:14 says, “Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.” Again Proverbs 15:22 teaches, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” You can’t go wrong with advice – it shows you are wise when you seek counsel. Considering there is nothing new under the sun, you learn of principles that worked for some and things that are myths. What you learn also hugely depends on who you glean from.
Even the wisest of people can say foolish things in the eyes of God. We learnt so much from our period of counselling and have decided not to stop learning to ensure that we nurture this marriage well.
That will be all for this post! We have another lined up to be published on the 1stof next month!! We really appreciate your contributions, questions and feedback! Drop a comment here or in our DM on Instagram (@BarryandRabby), and let’s continue to work towards more fruitful lives! Have a great week!