Editor’s Note: There is no week 3 update because we missed that session and will have to make it up on the back end.
We completed week 4 of our pre-marital counseling last week and it was actually a very interesting and worthwhile topic. This chapter is called Marriage God’s Way and it talks about the concept of preparing for marriage in the context of leaving your family of origin. I talked about it some in a very early post I did called Leaving and Cleaving.
Of course there were some self inventories that we both needed to do such as a 16 question Families of Origin Study which included such queries such as your families occupation (blue collar or white collar), marriage state of the parents, family rules/values, views about sex, religion, work, even politics. There were even questions about family secrets, how conflict was handled and family boundaries.
We were then asked to compare and contrast our families of origin and examine what impact our family of origin has had on us both positively and negative. I think as human beings we don’t realize how much we are shaped by our parents, at least not until we become adults. There are things about our parents relationship that we want to carry forward into our marriage and certain things we want to leave behind.
The other part of the chapter dealt with in-laws. We were asked to evaluate our relationships with our prospective in-laws. I’ve said before that I lucked out with the in-laws. Myron has great parents who are loving and accepting of me and most importantly to any new marriage, they are not intrusive. My parents love Myron to pieces and are so excited that someone is taking me off their hands. LOL!!! Trust me when I say, I know I am blessed in this area because I have heard horror stories!!!!!! As a reference to examples of a good father-in-law and mother-in-law the scriptural texts were Exodus 18 and the Book of Ruth.
This was a good session to me. There was a lot of discussion amongst the session leaders and us and the other couple. It was interesting to hear the other couples perspective as well because they are both children of single parents and the other bride is a divorced mother as well. Clearly, since Myron and I both come from intact two parent homes, we are becoming more of the exception and not the rule.
But what I took from this particular lesson more than anything is that though you are designed by your own family, it’s very important to design your OWN marriage. What worked for your folks may not work for you, but it doesn’t hurt to listen to their wisdom.
You are however, under no obligation to follow their path.
Drop your dealing with the in-laws wisdom in the comments for us.