Matt.1: 18-25, 1Cor. 7:8, 26-33
WHAT IT MEANS. Eph. 5:17-20
It is a definite mutual agreement and understanding by a couple that they will plan and look forward to marriage. They should have the assurance of real love for each other and believe they have enough in common to live happily together as husband and wife. The purpose of the engagement is to declare to friends and families that both of them feel they have found the right person to marry.
It is also a period of time in which they prepare for their marriage by testing of their love, learning to make adjustments, correcting faults, making plans for their new home, the wedding, the honeymoon and giving considerable thought about the beginning of married life and the future.
The spiritual aspect includes entering into it prayerfully, carefully and in the will of the Lord. Later when times get hard you can both look back on God’s guidance with confidence? This will always help you through difficult and stressful times. Be careful, don’t make the mistake of saying ‘Our love is unique and invulnerable to any threats that destroy relationships.
At this stage it is time to ask ‘ Why do I want to get engaged, what do I expect from marriage’? Good marriages start before the wedding. Sadly, in our society people tend to spend more time thinking about and planning for the wedding than preparing for the marriage. As a result, may beautiful weddings are followed by a lifetime of misery or at best minimal happiness.
How do I go about getting engaged? A/ Proposal, the boy asks the girl and perhaps the parents permission. B/ A process, the couple gradually get a mutual understanding that they plan to marry each other, then they announce their engagement.
Is it common to doubt after the decision and just before you marry? Yes doubts tend to show up after making major decisions in life.
Certain fears can enter your mind at this stage, ’Is it the right person’? Fear of the wedding ceremony itself, of marriage, of a different life style, because of your body etc.
Remember the Lord guides, Gen.24: 28,Ps.32: 8, Prov. 3:5-6, 16:3, 9.
The Lord guides you to a believer. 2Cor. 6:14-15, 1Cor. 5:9, and 7:17,39.
EXPERIENCES DURING ENGAGEMENT
1/ All other suitors must be left behind. Now you are ready to settle down and devote your selves to each other.
2/ It is time to prove that you are both thinking the same way, going in the same direction. ‘The two shall become one flesh’. A house divided against itself cannot stand.
3/ You should find in each other increasing companionship, a growing respect and adoration for each other, learning from each other.
4/ Love and appreciation for each other should deepen.
HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW EACH OTHER?
Are you sure oh his/her personality traits? Here is s check – list.
Are they nervous, tense, highly-strung or composed, calm and relaxed?
Are they depressive, dejected, discouraged or happy, contented and cheerful?
Are you active, social, involved energetic or quiet, withdraw and inactive?
Are you expressive, demonstrative responsive or inhibited, repressed, restrained?
Are you subjective, emotional illogical, indifferent, unfeeling unsympathetic?
Are you dominant, confident, argumentative or submissive, passive dependent?
Are you hostile, critical, angry or tolerant, patient, humane?
Are you self controlled, self-disciplined, persevering or impulsive, uncontrolled, changeable disorganised?
Are you responsive, punctual, ambitious, prideful, rebellious, slanderer, respectful, merciful, moody, irritable, stubborn, repulsive, forgiving?
Are you selfish, jealous, impractical a gossip?
Do you have a sense of humour or duty, accept criticism, rebound from failures, have a negative attitude, get depressed easy, get excited or give up easily, put others first?
Mark each individual characteristic concerning your fiancée, pray about it and discuss it. Ask questions.
If you must break an engagement or are unsure do not just write a letter or phone the person, go talk to them. Tell them you would like to rethink because you are not sure or if you; are sure tell them the truth. Talk it over with parents first. Be considerate and caring and remember, hurt takes time to heal. Don’ t hedge, fantasise or be unreal. If you have been on the receiving end do not overly; criticise the person, better a broken engagement than a broken marriage. Do no t sit around and mope and listen to ‘our song’, watch ‘our movie’, go to ‘our place’s. Do not constantly speak of your ‘ex’. Do; not see them more than necessary but do take positive steps to fill your time. Give him back the ring. Graciously return expensive gifts, do not keep them for spite. Remember God still has a plan for you. Do not refuse other dates.