There are no words to describe our marriage prep class. It's been about 3-weeks since we completed it but we've both been raving about it to anyone that'll listen. I know that people don't particularly care about our class or experience, but we are so excited about it that we just don't care that people don't care. lol!
Anyway, the class was at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church. Which also happens to be the church that we have been attending as well (when we don't decide to worship God from our pillows on Sunday mornings :P And I'm sure God understands...). The class was on a Friday night from 7pm to 9:30pm and then a Saturday from 9am-3:30pm. All meals included :) We also received a "workbook" and 2 books: For Men Only by Shaunti & Jeff Feldhahn and For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn. We also talked about Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages in which Jake and I have already been reading and working through (we also found out that we both speak totally different love languages--and are working on that. My love language is Acts of Service and Jake's is Physical Touch [of course!]). Anyway, the class was only $75 and we thought of it as an investment into building a strong foundation for our marriage. (Plus, you get almost $30+ taken off of your marriage license if you take a marriage prep class and get a certification for it. It doesn't really equal out--but we weren't concerned about that as we thought it was a good step in the right direction to starting our marriage.)
So what was so great about it? Everything. When we left the class both nights we were both in awe at the things that we were talking about--and talking about in a church, with Christians!! And kept saying that these were things that we wished had been taught to us and talked about as we were growing up. Let me backtrack a little bit here. Jake and I discovered this class because I had crossed paths with one of the facilitators: Jenifer Johnson. I was at my internship on a day that I wasn't normally there which just so happened to be a day that the school social worker I was working with had groups for the pregnant and parenting teens at the high school. Jenifer comes to the high school on those days to talk with the young ladies as well as to mentor a young lady or young ladies. I was getting ready to walk out when she was walking in and we got to talking. We were both glad to finally meet each other as we had heard about each other from my supervisor and got to talking. I told her that I had just gotten engaged and had just started really thinking about planning our wedding and she told me about the marriage prep class. I told her that we had already been thinking of finding something like that and that I would look into it when I got home. Well, Jake and I had already been toying around with the idea of going to a church, any church really, in the area to find a "home" church. So, we decided to start going to church. And it took one church. Do you believe in fate? Destiny? God has a way of showing us things in the strangest ways... we believe he told us not only that it was time to go back to church, but this was the church for us--and it is :) Anyway, after a few weeks of thinking about going to church and thinking about the class--we started going and then we signed up for the class.
Anyway, the class is facilitated mainly by Jen's husband, Barrett but Jen was there for most of the day on Saturday and facilitated the girls breakout session. Can I tell you how amazing Jen and Barrett are?? You can just tell that they are still so very much in love and have a great relationship. But they kept it real. The things that we talked about are: the biblical basis for marriage, why you do what you do, things to talk about before you say, "I do", coaching for husbands/wives (breakaway session), money, sex, and other issues such as family, friends, holidays, etc. I know we think about these things before marriage anyway--but I don't think it's in depth and couples definitely don't talk about them in the detail that they should!! Anyway, the class just made me realize how much work it takes to be in a relationship and that loving Jake really is a choice and that I need to show him on a daily basis that I love him. It also made me extremely excited for marrying Jake. I mean, I was excited before, but I feel that we're in such a good place in our relationship as a result of this (and other things) that I'm even more super excited. And I just can't wait to marry him!!! We're building such a good, strong foundation for the rest of our lives.
So excited. How does that saying go? "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible" -- When Harry Met Sally :)