from Pastor George Sasso, CCCH Marriage & Family Ministry

with Kurt Bruner, The Center for Strong Families

Congratulations on this wonderful milestone. Few seasons in life are filled with as much joy and anticipation as the time spent preparing to get married.

You’ve probably heard it said that as you plan your wedding, you shouldn’t forget to plan your marriage. But it sounds so abstract to “plan a marriage” in the midst of the more tangible (and demanding) project of planning a wedding. How do you do it?

STEP ONE: Learn from Others

Research demonstrates the long-term value of making time now for marriage education classes or premarital counseling. Those efforts go even further when you supplement them by spending time with an older married couple whose relationship you admire.

STEP TWO: Plan with Patience

Couples often overlook the importance of using the wedding planning season as practical marriage preparation. You can intentionally set the tone for your marriage by the values you live out in planning your big day. The transformational process of “becoming one” can occur in everything from how you assemble your guest list to how you determine a honeymoon destination.

STEP THREE: Discover the Purpose of Marriage

A wedding is bigger than you as an individual and even bigger than you both as a couple. Ephesians 5 describes a couple laying down their lives for one another and becoming one as an icon of God’s sacrificial love for His church. That’s the counter-cultural call of Christian marriage. Read The Marriage Masterpiece by Al Janssen in order to discover the beautiful picture God intends every marriage to reflect.

STEP FOUR: Create a Meaningful Event

To focus on the sacred nature of marriage in the early church couples often stood during the course of a weekly service to exchange their vows. Those weddings were a part of the community of faith’s worship routine and a public vow within a church body.

They did not have anything resembling the grand ceremonies typical of modern weddings, focusing instead on the meaning and purpose of marriage. That’s not to say big celebrations are out of order, but many risk making them so complex that they fail to honor God or the community they are uniting – both of which are the basis for a strong Christian marriage.


It should be noted that Calvary Chapel Chino Hills does not necessarily endorse any particular resource and the entirety of its content.

Recommended Books:

Available at the CCCH Bookstore

The Marriage Masterpiece by Al Janssen

The Bible opens and closes with a wedding and in between God uses the metaphor of marriage more than any other to describe His relationship with His people. So what does that mean for your pending marriage? Al Janssen tells the bigger story of marriage as God created it and as couples can experience it.

Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Discusses a powerful biblical model for each spouse understanding and meeting the other’s most deeply felt need.

Preparing for Marriage by Dennis Rainey

Is a guide to help you begin the important task of building a lifelong Christian marriage.

Recommended Websites:

www.Focusonthefamily.com: This will give you an overview of what red flags are, why wait for sex, etc. Click on the “Marriage” tab then click on “Preparing for Marriage”

www.Loveandrespect.com: We believe love best motivates a woman and respect most powerfully motivates a man.

www.Familylife.com: The Art of Marriage equips those with a passion for building a godly marriage. Click on “Events for Couples” then click on “The Art of Marriage” for more information.

For a free guide to marrying well for women

www.Boundless.org has put together a short, practical guide for girls to help them become proactive about whether, how and who to marry. Click here.

For a free guide to marrying well for men

www.Boundless.org has put together a short, practical guide for guys to help them become proactive about whether, how and who to marry. Click here.

GOING FURTHER – Church Support

Relationship Mentoring:

Relationship Mentoring is an informative recommended must for couples who desire to have a strong, Christ-focused foundation with a Christian view of marriage for their relationship. This is one-on-one mentoring with another couple consisting of 11 sessions and takes approximately 6-8 months to complete. Please contact the church office for more information.