I've gotten many questions in regards to the premarital classes that Wes and I took. Focused on how counseling affected our relationship and our marriage. I hope this post can inspire you to look into premarital counseling. Whether it's through your church or a therapist. And I hope that my testimony will help others in the journey.
In fact! Attending Jubliee's Premarital class is what solidified the relationship with my husband.
I would recommend that everyone seek premarital counseling before walking down the aisle.
There has always been a stigma with counseling, especially in the African-American community. When people here counseling they automatically assume that there is something wrong.
Wes and I had plenty of conversations before we got married. We knew what we wanted our lives to look like and how we wanted to get things done. For the most part, we were on the same page. While I'm still in my newlywed phase and head over heels, I'm also a realist. I look at counseling as a tool for growth and development. There doesn't always have to be an issue.
I grew up in a traditional household. What that looked like to me was, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a by carriage. I didn't believe living together before marriage or having kids outside of wedlock.
I'm not knocking anyone who has done this - I'm just saying this is what I believed at first. For the record, Wes and I purchased a house together six months before we got engaged.
My parents got divorced when I was 19-years old. During that time I recall my mom saying something that stuck with me. She said, do not marry someone who is unequally yoked to you. What she was referring to was the bible verse:
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? - 2:Corithians 6:14 NIV
So what does that mean? What does that look like?
For the longest time I thought that meant:
don't love someone who doesn't love you back.
don't marry someone who doesn't want to marry.
don't date someone who has children outside of wedlock.
don't marry someone who has a different faith than you.
I guess from a literal standpoint it makes sense but, is that all it meant? As a child, this was perception.
Wes and I have been together since 2012, it will be 8 years in 2020. As the years went on and the more our love developed, we became engaged and it was now time to start wedding planning. It was until we started planning and I remember that when I kept going back to 2:Corithians 6:14.
For us to get married by the pastors of our church, it was a rule to partake in the 8-week pre-marital course program.
Wes was apprehensive and I was the one that wanted to do it (this is the first sign of us being unequally yoked). Taking the pre-marital class taught us how unequally yoked we were. It was an eye-opener and I am so thankful for taking those classes. We are now approaching one year of marriage. And we have a completely new relationship.
In simpler terms unequally yoked means, you are opposites from one another. And not opposite as in, he likes horror movies and you like chick-flicks. Examples of this would be:
He believes in divorce and You don't.
He believes in spanking the kids and You don't.
You believe in traditional roles and He believes in 50/50.
Understand we aren't talking about surface-level things. We all understand that relationships take hard work and compromise. We are speaking of things much deeper than this.
You can find the perfect Ying to your Yang but the foundation and the principles ought to be the same.
We had much in common but there were plenty of things that we didn't have in common. We realized that we didn't have the same upbringing and morals. We knew this already but either of us realized how it was affecting our relationship. And even after being together for 6 years at that point, there was still so much we needed guidance on.
We wanted to make things work and be together. It's that simple. It's also super easy to get caught up in worldly views of what relationship should look like. Based on what society tells us and what our friends are doing.
I know plenty of women who is in loveless marriages and relationships. We should never settle or choose not to seek guidance when needed. And not just any guidance but professional guidance.
At our wedding one of the last things our pastor said was, to never take advice from sinking people.
Leave a comment and let me know if you would like a follow-up post to this. I can go more in-depth about how we dealt with the adversity of this nature. And what were the signs of being unequally yoked.