Being engaged, the time before your marriage, is not just a time to plan a wedding. It is the time during which you get to know your intended spouse. To get to know your spouse well you must get to know yourself well. Now when the news is all carrying information about Americans resisting religious labels, it leaves many of us in a grey sector. It’s fine if you don’t define yourself according to anyone else’s labels, but you have to be comfortable with who you are and what you believe? Why? Because sooner or later you’re going to want to use those beliefs and you might not have time to sit down and sort things out!
So make use of this luxurious time. Ask yourself, then ask your beloved:
- In what do I believe?
- How have my beliefs changed since childhood?
- Have those beliefs been tested by obstacles?
- Do I have an active spiritual practice?
- Does my partner?
- Is it shared, compatible or in opposition to mine.
- Is it related to a religious faith?
- Deep down when no one’s looking, does it bother me if my partner’s belief system is different than mine?
- Should we have children, do I have needs about their spiritual upbringing that I have not discussed with my partner?
- Do we know what we are going to do about a shared spiritual practice?
- Do we know what we want to do if we have children?
- Are there religious strictures around lifestyle choices (foods, pets, children, friendships) that I will want to include in my life?
- Are there such things in my partner’s life?
- How will we deal as our belief systems grow and evolve? How will we keep sharing?
Tip: This is a wonderful exercise to begin and continue with your beloved throughout your life together. Because you will keep evolving. And your religious/spiritual beliefs are at your very core. Sharing that with your sweetie is sharing your most intimate self. This is what marriage is about.