This blog is written by friends of the ministry, Daniel and Rachel Llerena.
When Rachel and I (Daniel) started dating, the talks of marriage were very serious. Marriage was always the goal of dating for both of us so early on we could have foundational conversations regarding marriage. For both Rachel and I, we had incredible examples of marriage growing up.
Of course, these marriages were not perfect but they showed us how to put God first in our relationship and how to fight the good fight alongside each other and not against. This created a good foundation for us to be able to talk about what we wanted to take from both examples we saw growing up and how to make a beautiful combination of the two.
Things We Did to Prepare for Marriage:
Early on, when we both realized we were heading in the direction of marriage, we knew the hard conversations needed to be had before going any further. Some of those conversations included finances, political views, biblical views, and children and parenting. These conversations were not easy, especially early on in a relationship when you’re in the honeymoon phase of dating. However, since marriage was the goal, we knew these conversations needed to happen. The reason these conversations are important is to figure out if you’re on the same page because these can potentially be major stress points in a marriage if you didn’t know them prior to saying “I Do”. Do not hear us wrong though. If you are already married do not stress. Sit down with your spouse and talk about these things now and be open to what the other has to say.
We also dreamed about what life would look like together; as a couple, as parents, and as married people in ministry. The purpose of this is to align us with each other and the Lord. We wanted to make sure our goals as individuals came together, not to compete with one another but to complement one another in every aspect of our lives. For example, I (Rachel) have always dreamed about being a mother. All my life I have talked about what it would look like one day to raise a family with my future husband. This was a goal of mine and if Daniel wasn’t on the same page or had other goals that didn’t include this, then that would have been a conversation to be had.
Things We Wish We Did Before Marriage:
We are not perfect, so of course, there are things we wish we could go back and do before getting married or even tell our pre-married selves. One thing I (Rachel) wish we did before marriage was to truly enjoy the dating phase and all of its benefits. Like Daniel driving to pick me up, bringing me flowers, or saying goodbye to one another at the end of the night. I am not saying we didn’t do this but we didn’t enjoy it. We didn’t truly cherish what it felt like to miss the other person, we just despised it. For me (Daniel), I wish we learned how to fight better.
Now of course I am not encouraging fighting, but I’m sure all of us that are married know there are going to be disagreements. From my perspective, when we come to this moment of disagreement, I get loud and Rachel gets quiet. I still struggle with feeling like Rachel has something against me in these moments but what I am learning and wishing I did before we got married is to know that she is processing. She is gathering her thoughts and her feelings. She is very intentional with what she says so she doesn't want to say anything she doesn't mean. On the other hand, I just blurt out anything at a loud volume. So truly learning how the other reacts in these moments is something I wish I leaned into a little more prior to marriage.
Things We Are Currently Learning in the First Few Months of Marriage:
We got married on May 21st of 2023 ... so as you may assume we are experts and have learned all that one may need to know about marriage. HAHA. Clearly, there’s a lifetime of learning ahead of us but in these 3 months we’ve been able to see daily habits we didn’t see before ... and how to react to them. One major lesson we are currently learning is the word “we”. Yes, there is still Rachel’s and Daniel’s individuality but as the Bible describes we are two becoming one. We have to now consider each other, in everything. This is the person you tell everything to, the person you go to for everything. It’s now a “we” mentality as opposed to “me”.
To put a bow on this blog, all of this is possible only through Jesus being the center. You may have asked yourself “God created marriage, can He make it work?” But with Biblical truths and the Faith Principles found in Christian Family Life’s resource, we can answer, “God created marriage, He can make it work!”
Check out a podcast with more on this here!