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Are You READY or KNOT?! The 12 Conversations To Have Before Marriage

with

Scott Kedersha

Scott Kedersha is a Marriage pastor, conference speaker, and popular blogger. He currently lives in Dallas, TX and is the Director of Marriage ministry AND the Director of Newly Married Ministry. Scott works with thousands of couples and has learned an immense amount about what they struggle with and need to discuss before marriage. Scott has become so passionate about this that he just recently launched his new book, Ready or Knot, to  help couples wrestle through the 12 critical conversations they need to have and the questions they need to answer before marriage.

Ready or Knot? is a compilation of essential lessons and in-real-life stories of more than 5,000 premarried couples that gives readers reason to ponder, blush, cry, laugh, and most importantly, learn.

The book covers a variety of ground, but most unlike a lot of other pre-marital books it covers:

  • Questions intended for individual reflection
  • Discussions designed to help determine marital readiness
  • Prayers that help couples pursue God, his wisdom, and each other
  • Knot-tying tips in dealing with differences and difficult family dynamics
  • Practical, biblically based principles on love, marriage, and relationships
  • Stories of married couples that are personable, relatable, and relevant

Kait and Scott dive in today about some of those 12 conversations and what that looks like within the context of dating today.

What does Healthy conflict look like?

  • In some ways, we need to reframe the word “conflict”, the reality is there are GOING to be disagreements.
  • If there is a couple that doesn’t fight about ANYTHING- it might mean that you are not truly being honest with one another.
  • The first step to healthy conflict is to NOT blame the other person.
  • “Don’t focus on what the other person has or hasn’t done, but rather focus on how your selfishness is contributing to this disagreement right now”
  • Sometimes we have unmet expectations that  then causes conflict.
  • Trying to be SELFLESS in conflict when we feel wronged is incredibly difficult but KEY.
  • How can we be more JESUS like in fights?
  • Using “I statements” is KEY.
  • Scott mentions that some of his best moments with his wife have actually come from disagreements.
  • “The only promise of our marriage in the WHOLE bible is 1 Corinthians 7:28 that says “If you marry you WILL have trouble.” SO you have to know it WILL come, and it is how you deal with it that matters most.

What is the limit for conflict in relationship?

  • Scott says there is no exact quantifiable measure.
  • Almost every couple that ends up getting divorced is usually because of the inability to work through conflict.
  • Sometimes we don’t have a good model for HOW to deal with conflict, so we have to LEARN how to do conflict because it doesn’t come naturally.
  • The GOOD news is, there are STEPS you can take to become a better communicator.
  • The caveat is: Some people just have MORE difficult communication than others.

How can we have conversations about spiritual intimacy?

  • YES you need to talk about your Faith. While it is usually the last conversation coupled have, it really should be the first.
  • CAVEAT: Don’t be weird and drop a TON of theology on date 1!
  • If you are going on a date with someone you DO NOT know that well… ask them questions to get to know about the depth of their faith. IE “What are the top 3 things you like to do on the weekends?” Let the answer to this question lead you to knowing if church/community is important to them.
  • Prayer- This can me really intimate and needs to be done with CAUTION.
  • Proverbs 4:23- guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life… AKA we need to protect ourselves and others from sharing too intimately before marriage.
  • There are some levels of prayer that are great. For example-Pray before a date, pray to stay pure, pray to have FUN with one another… BUT do NOT do those things at home alone where there could be a chance to then be physically intimate after
  • Treat prayer as you would layers of an onion- start more conservatively praying for OTHERS… versus praying FOR the relationship together.
  • Praying TOO much together can create some spiritual soul ties that both Scott and Kait caution.

Some couples feel insecure sharing what they are learning biblically with one another... how can we combat this? Also why is it so important to combat this in relationship?

  • Ask God to help you to be HUMBLE. To be a learner, to share with others without any kind of fear or any kind of pride.
  • On one side you can’t just constantly be trying to teach someone or bragging
  • On the other side if you are insecure or afraid that is not helpful either.
  • Praying for humbleness is SO key and at the core knowing that it is not a competition.
  • You nee to have a BALANCE of sharing what you have learned, but also giving them space to ALSO share.
  • Make it a SAFE PLACE for the other person to share.
  • Know that some people take a bit longer to open up spiritually than others.

Can you describe emotional intimacy in relationship and WHY it important?

  • We hear the word intimacy and we often immediately assume that relates to physical intimacy, but it in fact also relates to emotional intimacy.
  • On page 119 Scott writes, “to fully know and be fully known without fear of rejection.
  • We sometimes carry shame with us that we shouldn’t. “We sometimes define ourselves by struggles we have or things we’ve done… but that is not how God through Christ sees us. He sees us as a forgiven and redeemed individual.
  • To be full seen and walk through life without shame is one of the most beautiful parts of marriage.
  • We tend to think it is women only who want emotional intimacy, but really it is men who also want emotional intimacy.

What are 3 different areas of emotional intimacy?

  • Emotionally intimate about PAST- here is my story, here is what I struggled with, here are the high and low points, here are the vulnerable moments in my life.
  • Emotionally intimate about PRESENT- What are your current struggles? How can your partner pray and encourage you through that?
  • Emotionally intimate about FUTURE-What are your future plans or desires? Or conversely, what are your fears about the future?
  • Start to figure out through talking about this “how do you be ON mission together with your partner?

Why is FRIENDSHIP so important?

  • This is probably one of the most undervalued parts of marriages.
  • having FUN together is one of the biggest KEY elements to a thriving marriage.
  • Scott polled 400 people who lead in his marriage ministry, and asked them their favorite part of marriage. The highest % by FAR was “companionship and friendship” It was 4:1 the most popular answer.
  • We are missing it by not talking about how FUN it is!!!!
  • "If you can’t have fun on the remarried side, it is probably not going to happen on the married side.”

What is your final nugget of dating advice?

  • Don’t SUBMARINE! This is when you start dating and you DISAPPEAR under the surface, and you re-appear and the scene and ask your friends if you should get engaged… people will have NO idea!
  • Date and bring others in along the way.
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