Mark and Hannah Thomas have served in the College/Young Adult Ministry of Lakewood Baptist now for 7 years.  10 years ago, Dawn and I had the privilege of taking them through the Prepare/Enrich process as they prepared for marriage.  Subsequently, I had the honor of officiating their wedding (along with being the staff liaison for their reception in the Ministry Center of Lakewood - that was capped off, on a windy day, with Chinese lanterns being blown haphazardly through the air that almost set the church on fire! But, that’s a whole other topic that may be unpacked in a future blog on “Epic Wedding Fails” - of which I’ve had a few!).

Over the Christmas break, Mark and Hannah celebrated the 10th anniversary of their engagement.  Hannah posted her 10 Pieces of Advice for Newly Engaged Couples.  Dawn and I thought the advice was so good, we asked the Thomas’s if they would mind us using it as a guest blog.  They did not.  So, here you go…


Scott & Dawn    

10 years ago today we got engaged! It feels like yesterday, although a lot of life has happened in those short years.


Here are our 10 Pieces of Advice for Newly Engaged Couples:

  1. Do premarital counseling. We recommend the Prepare/Enrich Curriculum.
  2. Don’t stop hanging out with your friends! (unless they aren’t supportive of a faithful marriage) Marriage can be lonely because engaged couples often are so in love that they forget about their friends. One year in when all the heart-eyes have faded, you look up and realize that you actually do need friends outside of your spouse.
  3. Honor your parents and future in-laws. The transition to marriage is an adjustment for all. Don’t burn bridges in those early years that you will wish were intact later.
  4. If you aren’t a part of a biblical church, find one together ASAP! This has been crucial to the health of our marriage.
  5. The wedding day/night isn’t the epiphany of your life. Don’t treat it like it is. Focus more on preparing to be married than preparing for a ceremony.
  6. Start out your marriage with as little debt as possible. Don’t go into more debt for your wedding day…you’ll really wish you had that $$ for a new car transmission than for that live music.
  7. Your spouse complements you, not completes you. Don’t expect your spouse to be for you what only Christ can be.
  8. Unrealistic expectations breed frustration. Communicate. Don’t expect each other to “just know”.
  9. What bothers you about them now will only be magnified in marriage. Make sure that those bothersome things are just annoyances and not things that are paving the way for unhealthy behaviors in the future. (Ex. If they aren’t trustworthy now, they won’t magically become trustworthy because a ring is on their finger.)
  10. Surround yourself with people who love and value marriage, who aren’t afraid to tell you the truth, and who you can learn from. Ask good questions of people who have healthy marriages. Listen. Feelings fade and people change. Commit to the long game!

Thanks for reading this far 🙂