Marriage: Preparing for a Gift

By Mark Regis, Associate Priest

Posted on February 4, 2015

My wife, Ruthia, and I recently hosted an old friend and his partner for a dinner that unexpectedly went well into the night. The natural topic of “how did you come together as a couple?” came up and I let Ruthia take the reins in describing it, as our stories don’t exactly line up. What is consistent between our accounts is that nine years ago, on Valentine’s Day, I first brought up the idea of marriage to my future wife. Without doubt, it was the best thing I’ve ever done.

Sounds romantic doesn’t it? Well, I’m somewhat ashamed to say I am not… yet! However, I do very much believe and rejoice in the gift God gave to the world in bringing people together in marriage – for those who choose to get married.

From the beginning of time, God gave this incredibly intimate symbol of what His character is like; the One who brings life out of nothing and unites that life together in covenant community. Do you know the One God is also a Community of Love all at once? Christians believe what Jesus taught: that God is three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who loves and rejoices within Himself eternally. Jesus also gave the relationship between a bride and groom as the most apt description of the love God has for the Church.

So back to our human relationships. It is no surprise God would create a world that functions at its best when we relate to one another in that same way – by loving one another towards a mutually self-giving, honouring, respecting, adoring relationship. Marriage is a supreme way in which we can begin to live this out in everyday life. But as we all know, marriage isn’t always easy.

Part of my role at St. Paul’s is the privilege of walking with couples on their journey towards marriage. A couple preparing for marriage is the same as preparation for any important task or responsibility. If we hope to play a musical instrument well, there’s no way around rehearsing and being taught by good teachers. If you want to practice law, it takes schooling and relating with knowledgeable people in the legal profession. So it is with marriage. It takes conscious preparation and discussion with those who can help guide and nurture those relationships with tools and attitudes for a successful marriage.

Deciding to get married is one of the most important decisions of your life. We offer a thorough process of helping couples prepare in a highly relational way. Part of this process is our five-week Marriage Preparation course. The course gives couples the chance to come together over a romantic dinner for fellowship and shared experiences, and then engage in teaching and discussion that includes video segments and discussion.

Not to worry, you don’t have to air out any laundry in public! Discussion is solely held between each couple, and I am present to help at the end of each session with any questions or concerns that might arise.

Are you engaged? Register online for our upcoming course beginning on February 19.

Peace and our prayers for all our relationships.