Preparing Emotionally for Marriage (Pastor Priji & Pastor Rashmi)

This podcast is a repost, originally published on March 3, 2017

Pastors Priji and Rashmi Varghese discuss the importance of being emotionally healed before marriage so as to reflect the love of God in the same in the Preparing for Marriage series.


Pastor Priji Varghese: One of the major things to sort out before marriage is emotional health. Your emotional health now determines your emotional health in your marriage. If you enter marriage hurt or frustrated, you bring those things into the family relationship.

Pastor Rashmi Varghese: When you get married, you have a lot of responsibilities. Regardless of whether you are prepared or not, you are expected to be responsible. If you fail to recognise them or fulfill it, there is no point in getting married at all.

Pastor Priji Varghese: One of the greatest responsibilities in a marriage is for the husband and wife to love each other.

Pastor Rashmi Varghese: And be one and united in thought, action and words.

Pastor Priji Varghese: The reason why they struggle so much in expressing love to one another is because they have been hurt emotionally. Emotions have been crushed in the past making them cold and hard to be able to express love to one another. We have experienced that too.

Pastor Rashmi Varghese: It is very rare to find one with no past- past relationships, failures, low self image. Certain, even most, times we enter marriage with a lot of baggage.

If you have been already in a relationship in the past, there would have been a soul tie, that is to say, you become one due to emotional, physical or mental intimacy. You are connected on some level and then when you break away you carry a part of them with you.

Undealt emotions of hurt, bitterness, anger, unfulfilled expectations will be easily carried into the marriage.

There is regret over lost time over the relationship. There is fear of failure due to failed experiences and wrong examples of marriages whether parents or friends. Because of the past, you deal with such complex issues.

Pastor Priji Varghese: These emotions are complex and intertwined and can affect not only your marriage but also your regular relationships. How to deal with them?

Pastor Rashmi Varghese: It is so difficult because emotions are a tricky place. You will want to stay there even though it hurts you. As much as you have a way out, you have to take a step to come out.

Though the emotions hurt us, we like to be there. Even though we can see the truth about the situation, we still would want to hold on to our beliefs.

Pastor Priji Varghese: We choose emotions over logic.

Pastor Rashmi Varghese: Don’t reside in your past. You do not have a control over that now, though you might have had before. There is no point in carrying the hurt, guilt, stress. the feeling of wanting to revert time, feeling vulnerable, guilt of abandonment if you were the one to leave. As much as those feelings are justified, is it helping?

You have no control over the past except to forgive yourself and the other person because Jesus has taken away everything. He has wiped it all away.

Pastor Priji Varghese: All you need to do is go to Jesus.

Pastor Rashmi Varghese: Go to Jesus and take what He has given you. He gives you love and forgiveness. You break the pain away by forgiveness.

Pastor Priji Varghese: Instead of residing in it just take them to Jesus. Identifying it and bringing it to Jesus gives victory.

Another factor that is really problematic is your unhealthy attachment to other people- parents, friends, siblings, work, career, etc. For me I was attached a lot to the ministry and hurt you (Rashmi), because you thought I preferred it over you.

Pastor Rashmi Varghese: We bring these issues only as a warning, for it is not the case for relationships in family or ministry for many. But there are certain relationships that turn manipulative or abusive and that is what we want you to be cautious of.

Pastor Priji Varghese: Whenever you give much value and time, which is to be given only to your spouse, to someone else, it is absolutely unhealthy whether it be parents, or friends. If I had sorted this out and allotted time to my ministry and spent more time with Rashmi we would’ve not had such a difficult time in the past years of our marriage.

Pastor Rashmi Varghese: To look at marriage from an unmarried person’s point of view, is marriage the end of it all? It sounds like one can’t talk with their parents, or hang out, have no exclusive time. Is it like that?

Pastor Priji Varghese: I did not want to make it seem so negative, but I say this because many marriages fail because of these reasons.

How you could deal with it is to involve your spouse in all your decisions. If there are relationships that require your extra time, involve your spouse in those areas to help you out.

If before marriage, you see some relationships to be unhealthy in the long run when you are married, cut off from them now itself. If I have a best friend I hang around with all the time and do not do so after marriage, the blame will be laid on my wife that she doesn’t let me. I should take a precautionary step before marriage managing a proper schedule.

Your friends will change, dreams will re-align and everything will change in marriage. Both of you will fuse and become one and have new relationships, new dreams, etc.

Pastor Rashmi Varghese: A friend, parent or sibling who truly means well for you, they will wholeheartedly support you even if it means less time with you. They will make way for this new person to become your priority.

Pastor Priji Varghese: One of the greatest challenge in attachment is parents. A man should leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.

Pastor Rashmi Varghese: What was God trying to say in that?

Pastor Priji Varghese: I think God was saying that you are your own family after this. Till now you’ve been part of your parents’ family, but now you have your own leadership system and own structure. You cannot start a fresh tree while still being attached to the old tree.

Pastor Rashmi Varghese: You are still a branch.

Pastor Priji Varghese: You have to break yourself off, plant yourself in the soil and have a fresh start.

Pastor Rashmi Varghese: If you are still under your parents, you’re still a child. You’re not a fresh authority unless you move out physically and emotionally.

Pastor Priji Varghese: In the negative side, some have to deal with abusive parents.

Pastor Rashmi Varghese: There are many who have been with parents who have been abusive and manipulative, not setting a good example.

Pastor Priji Varghese: Especially parents who have been violent.

Pastor Rashmi Varghese: Violence is not only physical, but also verbal. They might not swear or cuss but using the tongue for the wrong reason.

Pastor Priji Varghese: I come from a family where negative words are used to make sure the child does the right thing.

Pastor Rashmi Varghese: This can get to the point where the person starts to believe that there is no thriving without negativity. Can you imagine God doing that to us?

You must realise that they are your parents. Therefore the more access you give them in your marriage, the more they are going to act like parents to you because it doesn’t change their perspective about you just because you are married.

You must be emotionally mature and emotionally healed of these situations. If you were highly controlled by your parents and enter marriage without healing, you either become controlling or end up being controlled.

First of all identify your problem. Grow up and get out. Recognise that there is a solution to the problem. If you have seen wrong examples, go and find good, godly ones. They will sow pearls in your life.

Pastor Priji Varghese: The point of the podcast is to sort this out before marriage. Be sure you’re emotionally healed before you get married.

Pastor Rashmi Varghese: Give it all to God, come to Him regardless of what you feel, even if you don’t feel anything at all.

Make sure that you haven’t missed any of the marriage podcast by far!

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