Years ago when the apple blossom bloomed in the mists of time, I sang under the shower on the night before my wedding, "I'm getting married in the morning, ding dong etc etc." and "I'll be with you in apple blossom time etc etc". Nostalgia and mythology still surround the wedding day. The 'Marry in the Morning' couple on channel ten's today show, Fiona & Brad, applied for and have been chosen to get married on the show and to let the viewers plan their wedding. The ring, the dress and the honeymoon venue as well. They seem a lovely and genuine young couple and I wish them well. Now wouldn't all marrying couples like someone to take care of that huge cost of the wedding? However our trend is to spend thousands of dollars on the wedding day but very little on the marriage. Unfortunately my role as a relationship counsellor is often one of picking up the pieces at the bottom of the cliff when I would rather be working at the top helping to prevent the fall in the first place. I'm glad Fiona & Brad are having pre-marriage counselling, because I know it's vital if couples are to have chance of making it through the minefield that is a life commitment to a partner. Of course how you plan has a lot to do with that word 'life'. If you go into marriage with lower expectations of a good outcome you probably won't get one. Someone once said, "To fail to plan is to plan to fail". For Christians husbands there is the almost impossible task of loving your wife as Christ loved the Church, and an old hymn writer once wrote, 'The bride eyes not her garment, but her dear bridegroom's face". Is this slop or reality for a lasting relationship? I often say to couples in difficult times, your partner doesn't have you chained here, it is your choice to stay, but if you stay you will need to look at how you can enhance your partner's life. If you're in it for self-serving purposes it won't work. S. Scott Peck defines a good working love as follows: "The will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth". If things could be improved in your relationship or you are about to marry, we have counsellors who can help at Valley Care Counselling Service 0409 517273 or log on to www.focalpoint.org.au and follow the prompts to Valley Care. Now there's a creative wedding gift, a number of sessions with marriage planner. (Rather than or as well as a wedding planner).
Combined Church Leader's Co-ordinator, Counsellor and Manager of Valley Care.