The Nearly/Newly Married class at Austin Stone saved our marriage before it ever even began. We thought we were ready, but we really didn’t have a clue. This class was amazing. It challenged us every week to confront some tough issues.
We learned about the Biblical foundations of marriage, that it was designed by God. There are clear roles defined in the Bible as well, even in Genesis. What we love about Austin Stone is there is very little opinion given on these subjects, it is all scripture based. The worst thing to us is hearing a leader or preacher of a church say “I think..” God gave us The Bible. Within it are the all the answers we need.
We met once a week on Sunday with the big class after morning service. There were around 30 other couples in the class, and Liz and I were one of like 3 engaged couples. Everyone else was already married. We are so thankful that we found this class before we were married, it prepared us in ways we didn’t even know that we needed. We also met during the week in a smaller group to discuss the topic of the week and what God revealed to us regarding it.
We hope to go through some of the topics that we discussed within this class, here on this blog, to share with all of you in the hopes that it can help you in the way it helped us. Some of the topics included: Biblical Foundations of Marriage, Communication/Conflict, Love & Respect, Roles & Responsibilities, In-Laws – Leaving and Cleaving, Finances, and Sex. After we finished the class and sufficiently had our minds blown on all of these subjects, we realized that we had a long way to go. That is why God is so good, you aren’t expected to be perfect, it’s quite the opposite. You realize how bad you are at things, and how much you need Him. You see how much grace you have already been given as an individual, and that allows you to try and emulate that towards your spouse.
So it was after we finished this class that we discovered another course offered at The Stone, Pre-Marital Counseling. It sounded a little scary, but we signed up. The Nearly/Newly class was 8 weeks, Pre-Marital would be 16. We were set up with a mentor couple, this would be much more intimate. I could hide within the group at the big class, I never quite allowed anyone to become that close to me there. With the counseling, there was nowhere to hide. It forced me to discuss some tough things, and God made me that much stronger because of it. We actually discussed the same topics as the first class, but this was much more in depth. There were sermons to listen to, homework to do, and books to read; it kept us really busy!
I am so thankful that we used all of the available resources that Austin Stone provided to prepare us for our marriage. Without them, and this foundation that we were able to build our marriage upon, I know we wouldn’t be where we are today. We learned what The Bible says about each of our distinct roles in marriage. Now that we understand what God expects of us, we see how far we still have to go. But this is not discouraging because we are filled with hope that the harder we strive to perfect our roles and die to ourselves, the stronger our marriage will become and the better we will be a picture of how Jesus loves the church.
So here we are today, still striving, and climbing this mountain of married life laid before us. Not perfect, but filled with hope that we are trying to do what God asked of married couples. We’ve never been happier, and we’ve enjoyed sharing this journey with each of you.
This is how we can say that we Travel Devoted now. We are living for Christ, devoting ourselves to our marriage, and also to seeing the world.
The Biggers Life