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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

08 August 2005

Resources for Becoming Engaged

Q: Are there any resources out there for Christians thinking about becoming engaged who want to know when is the right time? I can find are books on dating from a Christian perspective and those on being engaged — isn’t there anything in-between? We care about each other too much to rush into such a big decision prematurely.

A: People should consider getting engaged when they realize that they may well soon desire to marry. While most churches no longer consider breaking an engagement the same as divorce, the couple needs to realize the seriousness of the promises and commitments an engagement requires. In other words, are you ready to keep the promises you will make?

As for references, my best recommendation is not a book but a person. I suggest that you talk with a caring pastor who knows how to do good premarital counseling. My wife and I did this after dating for some time and before I asked her to marry me. Our pastor helped us avoid pitfalls, deal with our weaknesses, and build on existing strengths as we worked toward (and continue working through) our marriage.

Some pastors use various surveys that can help you see yourselves and each other more clearly. While they all have some drawbacks, these can help you learn about possible trouble areas that you might need to address. They can also point out strengths on which you can build. They also cost money, but if evaluated correctly, they can be worth the cost many times over. Please note, though, that these surveys are no replacement for talking with each other, nor for the Christian counsel you should receive from your pastor.

I wish more people would consider taking your path and would examine marriage possibilities much earlier and in much greater depth. God bless you.

Send email to Ask the Pastor.

Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.


Blogger Pseudo-intellectual lunatic said...

dear mr pastor
iv been reading a bible
Jesus seems pretty bent against rich folks....what's the deal with that

08 August, 2005 23:08  
Blogger Pseudo-intellectual lunatic said...

another thing too
what makes a person lutheran vs baptist etc

08 August, 2005 23:09  
Anonymous Kurt Wall said...

My wife I attended a pre-Cana seminar between engagement and marriage. I'm glad we did. The one-day course covers communication, sexuality, finances, and the theology and spirituality of marriage. If the two of you attend a pre-Cana seminar, it should be clear by the end of the day if you are ready to be engaged.

Blessed be,


09 August, 2005 19:39  

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