i think we did a lot of grumbling, and a lot of rolling our eyes, and then we actually went to the first class. and truth be told? it is wonderful. on the first week they framed it as "you wouldn't go into buying a house without first talking to someone who had already been through it, would you?" it's less about the church, and more about us. it's two hours, every week, where we get to talk about ourselves, and listen to other couples speak about their marriage, the successes and the failures. the impact in-laws have had on them; the desire to have children, the desire NOT to have children, the decision to keep your marriage the number one priority in your family, or keep your family the number one priority in your marriage.
now do i think you can have a successful marriage without these classes? absolutely. because quite frankly, i still don't know anything about being married. but for us, in the midst of the planning, they are a gentle reminder that this is a sacrament, and while marriage might not be that for everyone, that's what it is to us. have i heard horror stories from close friends about these very same classes? yes, and i've heard more bad than good. but i think we got really lucky and we're learning a lot about ourselves, our relationship, and feel more prepared to take this next step.
here are three nuggets that we have found extremely helpful:
"love is what starts your marriage, but a healthy marriage is what will sustain your love."
"what if you aren't supposed to be in a marriage to be just happy, what if its so you will be holy?"
"in the old testament they mention three different kinds of love humans experience. the first is friendship, the second is lust and the third is the willful and deliberate decision to join your life with another."
.....how terribly romantic?