This week Pastors Priji and Rashmi continue with the “Preparing for Marriage” series concentrating on the importance of laying a foundation of trust firstly in God and then on each other in honesty and love for a thriving marriage.
Pastor Rashmi: One of the things relationships hang upon is trust.
Pastor Priji: It is easier to trust someone in a marriage than before because till then the relationship is uncertain.
How did your trust in me develop?
Pastor Rashmi: I was in a place of hopelessness and needed God’s ray of hope in my life which God had chosen you to be the vessel.
The fact that you were a man of God was enough reason to trust you.
However, the trust deepened with honest communication. Trust develops with communicating hidden things that one would not be comfortable expressing to any one else.
Pastor Priji: What made me trust you better was your frankness in not holding back criticism. You were as raw as can be. I knew you were someone who can be relied on to show what you truly felt and wouldn’t be diplomatic in approaching me.
Pastor Rashmi: When in a relationship, one in an attempt to draw the other person closer would mellow down their drawbacks/weaknesses and step up their strengths. It may not be intentional, but it is deception.
Pastor Priji: If one is not their true self, it is deceptive and marriage reveals a lot of things quite different from what was earlier believed about that person.
Pastor Rashmi: It is then that the statement “You’ve changed after marriage” hits hard.
Pastor Priji: Be honest with communicating feelings whether good or bad. In the modern world, there is a variety of modes of communication that replaces face to face conversation. One of the most important things to do when in a relationship is to communicate the feelings of your heart and thoughts of the mind.
Communication is important before and in a marriage, but how one does it formerly lays the foundation for how it’s done in the latter.
Pastor Rashmi: This is something we are learning of even now after being married for four years. There are two kinds of communication in a marriage. Firstly there is passing on of facts and secondly the expressing of emotions. Most of our time is spent on passing on of information and less of expressing emotions which is more substantial.
We are emotional beings and as much as we connect on a mind level, we connect on a heart level. To sustain a relationship, it is necessary to have a heart to heart conversation, whether with God, spouse, or children. The bond develops in moments of vulnerability.
Even in expressing feelings in communication, there is the factual and emotional aspect. When communicating to the other person, instead of expressing the emotion itself it is advisable to express the fact of the emotion. For example, when I want to communicate my anger to you, I must tell you I am angry instead of expressing said anger.
Pastor Priji: Sometimes, we can get carried away by the emotions to the point of being abusive. What I find helpful is to filter what I’m about to say in my mind by questioning whether it is God honouring, acceptable to spiritual/physical parents and the church. It helps in removing out any personal annoyance I may be trying to express through my words.
Undue use of words can kill trust.
Marriage needs full transparency, but in a relationship before marriage, to what extent can one open up to a person?
Pastor Rashmi: Go to the Creator of all relationships. Trust God with the person who is to be the future spouse. Trust in God’s will for your life. Be honest, but do not try to manipulate or hold on to the person, because that endangers the relationship more than letting go. Let God take control.
Pastor Priji: Transparency in a relationship is to rely on God. If God truly desires a person to be in your life, regardless of what you share about your past and present struggles, they will stay.
However, it must be handled wisely. One must be careful to share details like sexual struggles till when the relationship is strong enough to bear it. Take one step at a time instead of getting a hundred percent transparent overnight.
Pastor Rashmi: When it comes to sharing about struggles, it must be done with the intention of throwing light upon your weaknesses instead of using them as a crutch and a cover for your mistakes. Do not share with the intention of giving the person a heads up as to what they are getting themselves into.
Pastor Priji: Deal with your struggles and overcome them. Do not let your children be affected by them.
Though one must be vulnerable, keep your eyes open for any attempt to being taken advantage of.
On the other hand, the person on the receiving end of the conversation must learn to not be judgmental but instead help and stand with them. Do not use the information to use or manipulate them.
Keep a confidence between yourselves. Honour their honesty and respect their struggles.
Pastor Rashmi: Each person has strengths as well as weaknesses. It is a choice to make as to which side is going to be emphasized on.
Pastor Priji: If one is intentional about building trust right from the start of the relationship by being honest in love, trusting in God’s will, one is setting up a foundation for a sweet marriage.
If you have missed any of our Preparing for Marriage podcasts, do check them out. Here is the previous one:
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