As I mentioned before, yesterday Jon and I had our first premarital meeting with the pastor who will be officiating our ceremony. We'll have a total of three of these quasi-counseling sessions before we get hitched, and the first of these was basically dedicated to getting to know each other.
We started out with how we met, and how each of us got to Syracuse in the first place, and then talked about how our relationship evolved out of our friendship and where it went from there. We talked about when we started discussing marriage between ourselves, and how and when we knew we wanted to get married. (This part of the conversation also covered the trials and tribulations of graduating, moving and finding jobs, which put the brakes our early marriage talk in a big way.) Then Rev. Burns asked each of us to tell him what we loved about the other person. I got to go first, but I still felt compelled to interject when Jon was talking because I had forgotten something. Way to be on your best behavior for the preacher, self! I mentally kicked myself for that one on the drive home.
After that, Rev. Burns talked about a few things that he feels are important in a marriage: that we are friends, that we feel pride in being with/chosen by the other, that when we fight (or disagree) we do so fairly, and that we feel a spark with one another. (Is it bad that we struggled to recall those four things? It's probably good that I'm blogging about this!) He then went on to introduce the idea of Christian marriage, and talked about how our ceremony is in fact a worship service. We talked about our respective faith backgrounds and perspectives and about potential ways to incorporate spirituality/faith into our life together.
I'm probably missing a few things, but all of that could easily fill an hour, so maybe I got it right. At the end of our meeting Rev. Burns gave us each a large manila envelope containing a photocopied "Premarriage Awareness Inventory," a nine-page multiple-choice questionnaire that we were to answer independently without discussing. We'll turn these in and he'll score them somehow, and we'll go over our forms at the next meeting, I think. Jon and I both finished the assessments tonight. There were a few topics covered in them that we probably need to discuss further, but mostly what I was bothered by when I was filling out the form was how crappily worded the questions were. Watch my overthinking put our grade in the tank!
Anyhoo, we left the meeting feeling good and not at all intimidated or scared or uncomfortable. Jon likes Rev. Burns a lot, as do I, and we both appreciated all of the things he had to say about marriage. Next time should be interesting... I'll be sure to let you know how we did on our test!