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In this week’s Marriage Matters, Andy B and Jo talk about getting engaged - that period before marriage when a couple prepares to get married.

As always, Andy B finds us some relevant bible verses to see what the bible says about getting engaged. The bible doesn’t say anything specifically about getting engaged per se, but there are, of course, principles and experiences of engagement in the bible to be found:

  • Matthew 1:18- 21 – Joseph thinks about calling off his engagement to Mary
  • 1 Corinthians 7:9 – Better to marry than burn with passion

As Andy B points out, the purpose of being engaged to be married is to get prepared for marriage. And both Andy B and JoJo together explore the issues around engagement and the dangers, giving, as usual, some of their own experiences to help us get our heads around this stuff. In fact, listen out for a cool analogy about traffic lights; engagement is not on red or green or even amber, so where does it sit?

Find out by watching this enlightening episode on Engagement!

#RealTalk – Rules of Engagement

Tips and Resources

The Take Away

Think of the humble British Traffic light. Green to Amber to Red, then Red to Red plus Amber, then Green. A perfect analogy of Engagement and Marriage.

Andy and Jo



Jo 0:40 Hello, and welcome to Marriage Matters. My name is Joe. And this is

Andy 0:44 Andy

Jo 0:45 Andy, and we are here to talk about all things that matter in marriage.

Andy 0:49 Matters of the Marriage 'cos they matter, 'cos it's Marriage and Marriage Matters.

Jo 0:52 Yes, absolutely. Before we start, if you don't wanna miss any of what we do, particularly in Marriage Matters, then do like us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or sign up to our Newsletter on our website,

Andy 1:07 That's the best thing you can do!

Jo 1:08 Is it? Absolutely.

Andy 1:09 'Cos it matters in marriage that you do stuff that matters for your marriage.

Jo 1:14 Okay, so yeah, what were we doing?

Andy 1:16 We're working on that.

Jo 1:16 What we doing this week Andy?

Andy 1:18 Doing Marriage Matters.

Jo 1:20 Yeah. And in particular?

Andy 1:21 And what we're gonna be looking at is Engagement.

Jo 1:26 We're calling it rules of engagement, aren't we? 'Cos I think that's really cool.

Andy 1:29 I thought I quite like that. That was good. Rules of engagement. It's good.

Jo 1:32 A military term, isn't it?

Andy 1:33 Yes.

Jo 1:33 Rules of Engagement?

Andy 1:34 Well, yes.

Jo 1:35 It can be. And so there are some, there can be arguments in marriage can't there. And there can be difficulties on the sideline, and it is sometimes a battle. And we do need to fight for what's right.

Andy 1:44 It can be a real battle because the devil doesn't like marriage.

Jo 1:46 Yeah. So there's something so there's sort of helpful around calling it Rules Of Engagement. But we're talking about Engagement before, to be married, isn't it? And what the Bible might say.

Andy 1:56 When you think about Rules of Engagement, in terms of military, and what comes to my mind, actually, because of the topic we're looking at, or our perspective on it, it is isn't just about how they're going to be doing battle, it's about protecting the innocent and the civilians. So, actually, there's boundaries, as part of the rules of engagement. There's things you can do, and things you can't do. And actually, that can be quite protective.

Jo 2:16 Yeah. So what's the Bible tell us about Engagement then?

Andy 2:19 All sorts. Turning to the book of engaging.

Jo 2:24 S, you've got Matthew 1, 18 to 21.

Andy 2:26 Yes. So yeah, 1st, 1st book of the New Testament.

Andy 2:31 "Now, the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way when his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph"

Andy 2:37 Sorry, this is the ESV. I should have picked a different version. But, hey!

Andy 2:41 "Betrothed to Jesus. Before they came together. She was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband, Joseph being a just man, and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly."

Andy 2:53 Interesting, they were gonna get divorced before they got married. There's an interesting little one.

Andy 2:57 "But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife. For that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from all their sins. All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet."

Andy 3:20 And it goes on.

Jo 3:21 So the reason why we thought of that one, was because Joseph and Mary were engaged, in our words. Betrothed truth means the same, doesn't it? They were engaged to be married. And then Joseph was talking about breaking off that marriage wasnt he, which we will go into, and share something of our own experience.

Andy 3:36 I hadn't actually clicked on the fact that they were engaged, and he divorced her. 'Cos we only think of divorce as in, married and then divorced, but they weren't wed, so

Jo 3:45 So they were seriously committed even at the engagement stage.

Andy 3:49 Wasn't just a bit of fun. What's next?

Jo 3:51 Oh, 1 Corinthians 7, 9.

Andy 3:53 Thank you. So we have

Andy 3:56 "but if they cannot exercise self control, they should marry For it is better to marry than to burn with passion."

Jo 4:06 You're gonna do an advert and then we'll come back and get to the meaty bit.

Andy 4:10 This is gonna be a good one.

Jo 4:11 Ooh.

Andy 4:11 Hold on to your seats.

Jo 4:28 How do people talk to you normally? Do did they talk in burning bushes?

Dave the Dog 4:31 Sit.

Jo 4:31 Sit.

Dave the Dog 4:33 Fetch.

Jo 4:35 Fetch.

Dave the Dog 4:35 Know what I say back?

Andy 4:36 Would you say back?

Andy 4:37 You chuck the stick. Get it yourself.

Jo 4:45 Dave, are you there?

Dave the Dog 4:47 Are, I'm her, are.

Jo 4:48 Oh. Hello, Dave. Oh, I think we got the same problem as last week. I can't see you.

Dave the Dog 4:53 Have you opened your eyes?

Jo 4:54 Yes, I've opened my eyes.

Jo 5:01 You name it. He could play it.

Dave the Dog 5:04 Pipe Organ?

Jo 5:05 Pipe organ. Yeah, with all those pipes.

Dave the Dog 5:07 Lots of buttons, like a spaceship.

Jo 5:09 Spaceship.

Jo 5:10 Yeah, you're looking good? Have you done something to your hair?

Dave the Dog 5:14 I had me hair sorted. Went to the dog groomers.

Jo 5:17 Cor, brilliant. You look great. it's good to see you.

Dave the Dog 5:21 Thankyou

Jo 5:26 Do you know what your name means Dave?

Dave the Dog 5:28 Dave!

Jo 5:29 Dave. It just means Dave.

Dave the Dog 5:30 Yes!

Jo 5:31 Well, I looked it up and it's short for David, and it means beloved. That means your lovable.

Andy 5:37 Long for D.

Jo 5:38 Long for D

Jo 5:45 Big long stick to help him protect his sheep.

Dave the Dog 5:50 I like sticks.

Jo 5:50 You like sticks?

Dave the Dog 5:51 You gonna throw a stick?

Andy 6:12 I was a bit quick on me button there. Missed a bit of the last little.

Jo 6:16 Oh, poor Dave.

Andy 6:17 Well we didn't miss off Dave, he's alright.

Jo 6:19 Oh, that's alright then.

Andy 6:19 He's okay. So, this is the meaty section. It's the good bit.

Andy 6:24 So, we're looking at Rules of Engagement, Engagement, what is engagement? What does Scripture teach us? What do we know of engagement from history? What do we see of Engagement in culture around us? And what is our experience of engagement? And we have an experience of engagement, I can tell you!

Andy 6:40 So, the thing that I said before the break was Joseph was thinking about divorcing Mary before they were married, which I found fascinating, that we only ever think of divorce, as in two people who are married to one another, rather than going to be married. And you picked up, I think quite well, the, the point which was, they weren't playing. When when they were engaged to be married, that phrase isn't we're engaged. 'We're engaged to be married'. And we've seen a lot in society of marriage has become less valued, and less respected.

Andy 7:15 It's the cornerstone of a good society. It's fascinating that research keeps on trying to ignore this. But we know that the marriage, a husband and a wife, is the most stable environment for a child, or for a family. They try and keep not doing, saying that. But, then, they think, actually we know it's true. And it is. It's God's design. So, of course, it's gonna be good. It's how He wants things set up.

Andy 7:35 But engagement isn't, isn't a thing you do! And this is something that I think we, I wanted to touch on before we move on to other things. Because engagement isn't just a status in your relationship.

Andy 7:48 Neil Anderson, who we like his approach to some of his work, Dr. Neil T. Anderson from the USA, he talks about waiting. And I remember this really clearly, 'cos he was so powerful. When a husband is waiting upon his bride to be, that period of waiting, is the most active of his entire life, kind of. 'Cos he's doing everything to make sure, that nothing can prevent the marriage, and everything to make sure the marriage does go ahead, making preparations. Let's zip back 2000 years ago, the husbands would be would be building the house, maybe an extension on the parent's house or on the parent's farm or whatever. But, making preparations. It's not just, we're engaged. 'Cos, in itself, that means nothing. To be honest, who cares? But engaged to be married? Well, now we're getting into something more important, more serious, more relevant.

Jo 8:34 Yeah, I think something of that happens today. In that I think many men, and women, within those relationships are sort of preparing to build their finances, aren't they, in preparation, to be able to buy a house, or to get a property together. That's certainly what we, you and I needed to do, 'cos you have to think, well, where are we going to live? We can't live at, although some people do live with their parents. And that can happen. But we have to think about, 'cos when we started together, I got a new job. So, we did need a new place 'cos our parents weren't living there. So where are we going to live? How are we going to finance this new life together?

Jo 9:03 But I think we've got to be careful though, because we can get into a danger of needing to have all that set in place, and then the engagement may, may extend and carry on for too long. And there are dangers actually, and which comes to the second scripture, isn't it, 'better to marry than to burn with passion'? If you're getting too passionate, and things are taking too long, you might fall into temptation of obviously awakening love before before time.

Andy 9:27 Tha'ts another episode you can check out.

Jo 9:28 Yeah, absolutely. And, so, it's good to be engaged and have that time of preparation. But we need to be careful that we don't think 'oh well we're going to get married anyway so we might as well just pretend and be married and do things that only are really meant for the when you are actually married'.

Andy 9:43 If you're thinking about the traffic lights in the UK, and this idea just came to mind. In the UK people say, 'well how does a traffic light work?' Well it goes green, then Amber, then Red, then Amber, then green and actually that's not true. In the UK the traffic lights don't do that. They go Amber. Sorry. If your lights on green, then it goes to Red But in between Red and Green is Amber. So it's Green, Amber, Red. And then it's Red, Red and Amber, be prepared, get ready, and then it goes to Green.

Andy 10:10 And I think, in a sense, Engagement is really, it's that in between stage of Red to Green. I's not, yeah, it's a place to be. It's tied to the Red. As in don't have sex outside of marriage. Engagement means nothing in that context. So, it's that Red and it's Amber together, Green, if you want to think about it in purely sexual terms, Green is go. Enjoy your marriage. But Red, Red, and Amber means get ready.

Jo 10:34 Yeah.

Andy 10:35 You can kind of sit about on the Red and we shouldn't be in the Red, The Dating Game. That's not really where we're supposed to sit, 'cos cars aren't designed to sit at traffic lights. But Red and Amber? Yeah, get ready to go. And I think that idea popped into my head quite a, may be a helpful picture for somebody, that Engagement is not something we arrive at. It's not a status for our relationship for Facebook, Engaged to be Married is what we do as we get ready to be married.

Jo 10:59 You're not there yet! That's a really helpful analogy. 'Cos I was thinking about what Joseph said. Even though he used the word divorce, he was still willing, 'cos he was a godly man, and he, and he knew his Scripture, and he knew what was right and wrong. And he obviously knew it was okay to call off the engagement. Imagine if they had had relationships with each other, prior to marriage, and then he says, 'right, I'm calling off the engagement', that's a whole different ballgame, isn't it. And he's acted as though they're already married, so that you can't break that off. So, there's a difference isn't there, between that Engagement period, and definitely being married.

Andy 11:31 And I think that the other part of marriage, we've looked at this quite a lot, and we'll always come back to the same place, of God's ideal for the husband and wife in a relationship, is for the husband to lead the family, for the wife to support him in that, as they co-lead, if you like. But the husband is taking the reins on that one. That's the biblical standpoint. But, until you're married, it doesn't mean anything.

Andy 11:52 I've met quite a few couples over the years where, the, you know, the wife to be, will think, 'well, this sort of my husband to be wants. Well, that's great, you're not married yet. And that extends not to just not having sex outside of marriage, but also, you're two separate individual people.

Andy 12:06 Now, as you get closer to the wedding day, clearly, things are gonna start getting different. Because you're going to be setting up bank accounts and, and renting a house or buying a house together. So there's going to be different things going on. I really loved you practising your signature for when you became Mrs. Berry. It was awesome to watch you try to learn, 'what's my new signature gonna be'? So there are going to be some things that change and we need to make preparation. But preparation isn't the same as having arrived.

Jo 12:31 Yeah, absolutely.

Andy 12:31 And we see that in the little account of Joseph.

Jo 12:34 So we did talk about how we were gonna share something of our own experience of Engagement. And we, when we first met, it, to be honest, we knew quite quickly that that we were, we wanted more than just, you know, friendship. That that we wanted to get married.

Andy 12:47 Neither one of us just wanted

Jo 12:48 There was something

Andy 12:48 Someone to be with.

Jo 12:49 Yeah, there was something clicked early on. And I don't know how it works for other people. But, for us, it happened very quickly. But we weren't in a position to get married, or indeed to get engaged initially. But we had only been together for a few months, when we decided to get engaged. And we had, in the United Kingdom, and in many countries, you have a ring, don't you?

Andy 12:49 Yes

Jo 13:03 And oftentimes, both the male and the female will have a ring, but sometimes it can, it's only the female. But we had chosen rings, didn't we? I think we went and chose them together didn't we?

Andy 13:20 Yea, we got them together.

Jo 13:21 And, you know, you basically said right, let's get married, didn't you? Did you propose? I just can't remember the first one because it's all a bit hazy? Because.

Andy 13:30 You'll understand why in a minute.

Jo 13:31 Yeah, absolutely. The very first one, we got engaged, sadly, that was called off, wasn't it. And it was a painful experience for both of us. And I'll tell you from my side, I had quite an encounter with the Holy Spirit who helped me through that pain. So, thinking about Joseph calling off the engagement, from a point of view of knowing what it's like to have it called off, it's a painful process! It hurt deeply, because I was on a journey to get married, and it was called off. Now, in fairness, we, it was postponed. I knew in my heart that it wasn't ending, it was just something around what Andy was going through. And Andy will explain that in a minute.

Jo 14:09 But I had a real encounter with the Holy Spirit who, who actually, I felt God said to me, do you want to get married to Andy because I can take this away from you? 'Cos, do you remember, if you've seen previous episodes, I talked about how I gave it over, my marriage partner to God. I said You choose. And so I felt God had helped me to choose Andy. And so he was giving me this choice. It was an amazing experience! I've never, I don't know if I've ever felt God's love quite so profoundly to help me through that experience, that, that pain. And it's almost like when you say sometimes it's actually okay, or almost good to go through bad experiences, 'cos you have such an overwhelming experience of God in those moments, in those times, if that makes sense?And that was one of those moments for me. But I felt God saying 'Do you want to marry Andy? Or not? This, you can choose. Here's a crossroads, if those lights help. I was at a crossroads And I made a choice, and a decision, in spite of having the engagement called off, and in spite of the pain, I still wanted to marry Andy. And that was a choice I made at that moment. But, over to you, Andy, to explain the other side of why the Engagement was called off.

Andy 15:15 So, I mean, really, really, basically. I was married at 19. Jo was 24?

Jo 15:21 Yeah.

Andy 15:21 24! So, we met when I was at school. I was 17. I say at school. It's different everywhere. But I was in school. We had in the UK, that you finish your, the most part of your school, and then there's two years of college, kind of level.

Jo 15:36 Yeah.

Andy 15:36 And in case you're somewhere else in the world, those two years, are the bit you do before you would go to university. So it's the 16 to 18 ish years. And I was 17. So I was in the middle of it. And the school I was at happened to have a college for sixth form, which are these two years, that happened to be attached to a normal school. So hence, I was in school. But I was 17. I was very clear I wanted to marry Jo. There was no doubt in my mind.

Andy 15:58 However, I was not in a good family situation at all, at any level. It was quite unpleasant! And when I got married, there was so much really horrible pressure for me, to call off the engagement, because "marriage was so evil", I had that said, that I shouldn't do it. Now. God's word, it's really, really clear. Marriage is a good thing! Not everyone's called to marriage. It's good to be single. It's good to be married. But if two people who love Jesus Christ wanna get married, you need to do better than some of the rubbish we were given.

Andy 16:29 People were saying things like, "Ooh, you haven't got enough money". You'll never have enough money, I can promise you.

Andy 16:35 "You haven't known each other long enough." Well go back 2000 years, they hadn't even met each other.

Andy 16:39 You need to have more friends that are corporate friends." Where's that in the Scripture?

Andy 16:44 And so it went on. And it was these well meaning Christians, sadly, who had got so caught up with wisdom and common sense, that they weren't able to apply the logic of Scripture, or listen to the power of the Holy Spirit. And they put so much pressure on me that I had to call off the engagement. I physically couldn't go through with it. Now the beautiful thing was, as I was going through this utter trauma at the hands of these people, I told you you'd wanna sit down. I was going through a trauma at the hands of these people, who I thought were my friends. And they were just saying, well, just you know, go and have sex with Jo. Just go for a weekend, just get the sex out of your system, just go wild with each other and get on with your lives.

Andy 17:24 That is not something that anybody in a church should say.

Andy 17:29 It's absolutely not anything that anybody who's a church leader should be saying, repeatedly, and multiple people! Hence, it was quite a traumatic time. Now, I called off the engagement to Jo. I was devastated, and broken by that. But literally, physically, I couldn't go through.

Andy 17:45 At the same time as I was going through all of that mess, and darkness. I had my beautiful friend Jo, fighting for me. And we often talk about the knight in shining armour. I remember when we had really early on, early on in our relationship, I said to Jo, you're my knight in shining armour. You're actually helping me to value myself. To see myself as, as worthy of having somebody that loves me, and cares for me. And it was really powerful. So God took the real pain of what we went through. And He's used it for his good, as God will. He will redeem really bad stuff. The stuff that I was traumatised by, God redeemed that, and He brought us together. We've been married 25 years. We were told it wouldn't last. Everybody said, 'Well, you just get engaged, because you want to get married, because Jo's pregnant'. And, no, we never had sex before marriage, so that was impossible. But some of these well meaning, some not well meaning actually. And it's quite tragic how they had such a distorted idea of marriage.

Andy 18:44 I remember 2 guys talking about how they stop at crossings to let really pretty women walk across. And I said that's, that's out of line. 'Oh well, you ain't married long yet. You'll change.' I've never changed! That breaks my heart, that they think that's a good, healthy thing. But this is part of Why Marriage Matters is so important to us. Because the state of marriage in the UK is bad. But the state of marriage in the church is horrendous, based on our experiences. Not everyone has that! We've met some people who've had some lovely experiences. Really supportive friends, family, churches, it's fantastic. As it should be!

Andy 19:22 We don't have any bitterness either. Because hey, do you know what? You've got to deal with that one with God. I'm not gonna hold that one. Got enough to do! 1But it was really painful. And when when I called off that engagement, I had Jo fight for me. But the thing that's really important here in the context of this episode, Jo owed me nothing. And I owed her nothing. Although we had been engaged to be married. We were not married. So I had every right to call off the engagement. And Jo had absolutely no reason to have any expectation upon me of anything. Now, the Bible says let your yes be yes, and your no be no. We need to take counsel. We need wisdom. All of this stuff needs to balance with prayer and scripture. But all the reasons why we couldn't get married, apparently, we're just rubbish!

Andy 20:08 Now we never used this reason, 'cos we weren't that desperate for sex, that we were getting married, for that purpose. We wanted to get married because we wanted to, we wanted to be with each other. We loved each other. People couldn't comprehend that. 'What? You just love each other?' Well, yeah, why else would you wanna get married? That was my only sole desire to be with Jo in marriage, was so that I wouldn't not be with Jo.

Andy 20:30 Our phone bills were enormous bcause we were wanting to be in contact with one another. We tried to be with each other. We, we fought against everything around us to be with one another. 'Cos that's what matters. And, over 25 years of marriage, that same model of fighting to be with one another, is how our marriage has sustained. Because plenty of things are gonna come along through life. Some you might open the door to. Some are just gonna throw themselves at you. And how do you respond?

Jo 20:56 Yeah, I think the key to getting through what we did get through, was that we were friends first, aren't we. We're really friends. And, and I remember seeing some, you know, when you watch films, and they're having problems with their other half, their their wife, their husband. And they're like, 'Oh I need to speak to my husband or my wife, because that's my friend' and 'Who do I talk to about problems that I have with my friend?'

Jo 21:16 I suppose I was in that situation, you know that I need to speak to Andy, 'cos he's my friend to help me through this. But he's the one who's you know, the part of the problem, sort of thing. And I guess that's where God comes in. He's our real friend. Our real true friend. And that's

Andy 21:29 And the Holy Spirit comes

Jo 21:29 Yeah, that the Holy Spirit comes, and ministers, and helps us. And I suppose a marriage works when you've got God at the centre?

Andy 21:37 Absolutely. And don't wait for your marriage to get God at the centre.

Jo 21:40 No, No!

Andy 21:40 God should be at the centre before you

Jo 21:42 Absolutely!

Andy 21:42 Before you arrive there. I don't want to move away from this section. Because I think this is. If you've had a similar experience, to what Jo and I did, can I just say I'm so sorry. As someone who's been in full time ministry, I'm so sorry, if you've had that experience. God loves marriage!

Andy 21:56 I remember a couple that we counselled for a little bit. We tried to just comfort them, and help them, and shield them, from the might of a church that was so disgusted that they'd had sex before marriage, she got pregnant, they weren't married yet. And it was like, disgusting. And we should never minimise sin. Sex outside of marriage is wrong, end of story. That's what Scripture teaches. But, for my heart, and Jo's heart, at the time was, but they're keeping the child. They're not hiding behind an abortion. They're actually choosing to get married, which to us was the honourable thing to do. And that felt good. Not they'd had sex outside of marriage, that's not good. That's not God's best. And it's sin, according to scripture. But we just wanted to support them, because people were so judging them, 'How dare you, that's terrible'. And here's the thing about sin. Sin is sin. Sin is just the things we do that pushes us away from God, not, it's not God's design for us. And they'd something which was wrong, which hadpushed them away from God. They both loved Jesus. But the church was, was so hard on them. It was, that was wrong! And, actually, who's the worst? The people that have had sex outside of marriage, made a mistake, owned up to it, decided we need to get married really quickly now. And they didn't hide it. Didn't lie about it. Who's worse here? Or is it the people that kind of cast them aside? Because 'Oh, how dare you you've got pregnant, that's evil'. Well, they've kept the baby. That actually should have been celebrated. Not, let's ignore the sin, 'cos we can't do that either. But to ignore the good is the bit that really offended me. So, if you've had really bad experiences in your church, you know, if you've got the man of your dreams, then can I just say to you, I'm really sorry. And if you're the man and you've got the woman of your dreams, who you want to marry and, and she's, you know, the people are saying you shouldn't, for all these different reasons. Marriage doesn't have to be ugly. Marriage is beautiful. It's God's design, all the earth to have people who are married.

Andy 23:57 Paul didn't want everyone to be single. Because if everybody was single, there would be no recreation of life. But I don't want to just rush away from this, because we had a really, really hard time. God redeemed that for us. But we've met many couples who have had some really hard times, and although it's not easy, we can make things so much harder when we don't celebrate the good. And we need to keep that balance of yeah, we need to hold people accountable for things they've done, which are wrong. That's scriptural. But we shouldn't ignore the good either.

Jo 24:30 Yeah.

Andy 24:31 And that that's the bit that I've seen lacking. And that's the bit that was lacking at us. 'Well you're only getting married because you weren't because you're having sex together. And no, we weren't actually. 'Well, she's pregnant'. It would be another Mary immaculate conception if she was. But people, we can make these judgments. I'm not pointing finger at the church folk either in that situation. We all make judgments, but let's not. Let's love, and support, and care. Let's let the Holy Spirit do the convicting.

Andy 24:53 There are standards that God has, and we should hold to those. Absolutely. But at the same time, let's not miss people in making our point known. Let's not forget that making point is crushing someone.

Jo 25:05 Yeah. Engagement is a lovely time. A lovely period. It can be quite a romantic time.

Andy 25:11 There's good bits, we have to do some good bits.

Jo 25:12 Yeah. I love the, I love the old films where you know, 'Ddid you have an understanding?' You know, there's a simplicity and a beauty

Andy 25:18 We were betrothed.

Jo 25:18 Betrothed. It sounds lovely. And it is lovely to have rings, isn't it. To have that, that connection. But I suppose the ring is a symbol of something greater isn't it. A deeper thing. A commitment. A promise? The beginning, perhaps of a new journey, ahead of you. But, obviously, we're on the Red light, though!

Jo 25:19 It's the Red and the Amber.

Jo 25:25 Red and the Amber, that was it.

Andy 25:36 By the time, yeah, well, if you're dating, it's Red. And then if you're on the Engagement, to be Married, Engaged to be Married, not just Engaged, Engaged to be Married is Red and Amber.

Jo 25:49 Red and Amber.

Andy 25:50 Waiting for that Green light to go.

Jo 25:52 Fantastic.

Andy 25:53 And that's not just about a sexual relationship. That's a part of it, of course it is. And the Bible's very clear about that. But! It's a process. It's not a, it's not a destination. And if you've got engaged 'cos it's the next thing to do, just go to God and say, 'Do you want to get married'? Is that your actual plan? Go and seek counsel.

Andy 26:11 We said this previously, to our boys. I pray for them every night, to find a wife with whom they can love and serve Jesus together. But if they ever find anybody that they think they might want to make a wife, or become married to, we've always said, come back to us. We'll pray and fast for you for a week, with you for a week. Let's see what God's plan is. Because the problem is you get engaged to be married, you don't owe that person anything.

Jo 26:34 No.

Andy 26:35 But the closer you get to that point of marriage, the more complicated it is. But there's still no, you don't owe anybody anything.

Jo 26:42 It is a serious commitment! And once you obviously tie the knot, as it were, or get married, then that is the commitment. But it makes me laugh on some of the films, don't they in particular, it's attend to the guys there. Is it the wedding day they're about, and they can't get 'em down the aisle because they've suddenly had a commitment issues. Yeah.

Andy 26:58 It's forever!

Jo 26:59 But the funny side of it is they realise the commitment, that this is serious.

Andy 27:04 I'm not sure that's what Hollywood was trying to portray.

Jo 27:05 But it is, isn't it. It's that, I mean,

Andy 27:07 They do wonderful job, accidentally.

Jo 27:08 I know. It's funny and everything, but actually, they realise the commitment. This is serious, and we shouldn't be taking marriage lightly.

Andy 27:14 No. Engagement, important. It's a really good time, and getting, being Engaged to be Married is the period within which you are preparing for your marriage. You are waiting, actively, for that wedding day. And you're doing everything possible. The wedding day doesn't just happen. Engagement and Marriage is not about the bride. It's about two people. Don't ever think it's about the woman. That's not what it's about!1 The spotlight should never be on one person over the other. That doesn't help! But Engaged to be Married is a great time of preparation. But it's a time of preparation, not doing.

Andy 27:45 Shall we take a break?

Jo 27:47 Yeah.

Andy 27:47 Is that enough? Has that covered everything?

Jo 27:48 Yeah, that's, that's brilliant!

Andy 27:49 I told you to sit down!

Nathan 27:56 "Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better promising benefits in this life and in the life to come".

Nathan 28:03 The point of this scripture is that while physical training is good, it is beneficial for us, it keeps us fit, it keeps us healthy, it's not nearly as beneficial as spiritual training and all that makes up training for godliness. Such as reading our Bibles, praying, and going to church. And that is the point of Endurance. It is to show how we can maintain self discipline and how we can endure through our training for godliness. With that in mind, go check it out!

Andy 28:49 I'm getting all me segway button things all clunky today.

Jo 28:53 This is our resources and tips section. So we've had a think about this this engagement side of marriage, this preparation, and the things that might help us. And, obviously, Song of Songs. That's the book of Marriage, of a relationship, of relationships, and of that preparation time. And what we thought would be good, if you read Song of Songs. It's not a particularly big book is it?

Andy 29:14 8 chapters, 9 chapters?

Jo 29:15 Yeah, it's not huge. Maybe listen to it, in audio. But pick up on where you think the Engagement part is, where the married part is, and seeing, you know, there's some parts of, of wooing isn't it. Isn't it called wooing your, your

Andy 29:29 I love the idea of wooing your bride to be,

Jo 29:30 bride to be or something? You know, you can see it in modern day like, you know, I fancy her

Andy 29:35 8 chapters.

Jo 29:37 8 chapters, yeah

Andy 29:37 that's all it is.

Jo 29:38 So, read through it and think well which part of this is the Engagement? Which part is it where we're on the red and Amber? And which part is marriage and which part is maybe

Andy 29:47 I like me traffic light analogy? I don't know where that came from.

Jo 29:49 It's really good!

Andy 29:49 I never thought about it before

Jo 29:50 That's really good. Yeah, absolutely.

Andy 29:52 Especially the British one. The English traffic light. Sorry, it came from Wolverhampton. If you don't like traffic lights! Wolverhampton was the first site of the first traffic light.

Jo 29:58 ooh!

Andy 29:59 Really apologise about that.

Jo 30:00 So, yeah, Song of Songs. We'll always keep going back to Song of Songs., 'cos that is the book.

Andy 30:04 It's the book of marriage,

Jo 30:05 marriage isn't it? Yeah. So read that. See where Engagement comes in. The next one was this amazing article by Bethany Hamilton, who says, it's called "Staying Connected", isn't it?

Andy 30:16 Yeah. So Bethany Hamilton, Hamilton, if you're not quite sure who she is, though her name may be familiar. But she's an amazing surfer. I've watched a few bits and thought, how, how, are you welded to that thing? Cos, I just. Anyway. So she's a surfer, who as a child had her arm bitten off by a shark attack, and she still surfs. And she's amazing! But she's a beautiful Christian. And she does a, she's really into kind of building people up. I love some of the work that she does. It's great. She's just, just full of life. It's great. But she's written an article because, clearly she's busy, she surfs a lot. And she's got a husband. She's got children, and all the normal things of life. And so she wrote this really great, wonderfully timed article for me, ahead of this episode of Marriage Matters, all about how does she stay connected to her husband. Well, that's part of it.

Jo 31:03 Yeah

Andy 31:03 But it's a really good article, so well link to that for you.

Jo 31:05 Yeah.

Andy 31:05 It's really worth taking your time.

Jo 31:06 So, Song of songs. Get connected. Read that article. And then go on and do something about it! So remember, how, well the things you used to do when you weren't married, before you got married, in the engagement period? When you going for walks, whatever you used to do? Make sure you carry on doing them, together? Is that right?

Andy 31:23 Yeah. It's really easy, isn't it, when you get married, to think well I havne't gonna try anymore? I won't bother doing me hair. I mean, I don't do much to me hair. But do you know what I mean. Perhaps if you have longer hair, I, I just, anyway! Maybe there's things you think, oh, I can't be bothered anymore, itdoesn't matter. Actually, it does matter! And it's very easy for us to get lazy.

Andy 31:41 There's loads of stuff of life that'll get in the way. And we have to fight, to go back to some of those things we did. And if we go back to that Rules of Engagement, the Engagement time, Engaged to be Married, there's so much that we do to win, to win my bride. What do I do to impress her? We should be continuing that. Not at the same level, because it's not possible, I don't think? But a lot of it is. Actually we can still, I can still woo Jo. I can still be romantic towards her. I can still open a door for her, rather than thinking well, do it yourself. I can make her a cup of tea thinking well, you know how to make it, you've made plenty, make your own. You know, I'll make her a cup of tea. You know, there's all these things that we can still do

Jo 32:17 Yeah.

Andy 32:18 To try and impress.

Jo 32:19 Absolutely.

Andy 32:20 And we shouldn't give up just 'cos we're married, doesn't stop the need for loving, and being kind, compassionate, all that stuff from the Fruit of the Spirit. It doesn't end on when you say "I do!"

Jo 32:31 Yeah, and I think if you, if you watch The Dating Game and the Date Night episodes, this goes into something of the things you can do together,

Andy 32:40 Yes.

Jo 32:40 isn't there

Andy 32:40 The previous two weeks.

Jo 32:41 Yeah, some, some ideas in there as well.

Andy 32:46 Yes?

Jo 32:46 Yes.

Andy 32:46 Yes!

Andy 32:51 We love making resources for you. Resources to inspire and encourage you. Resources you can stream, share and download in your church, your family or home, whatever your situation. Perhaps there's a Dave the Dog story you'd love us to cover for your work with children, or an All Age Service.

Andy 33:11 We've been asked to do videos on teaching, so we've covered topics like Reverence, Prayer and Faith, Broken Dreams and Hope.

Andy 33:21 Any money we make from commissions like these goes straight back into the BerryBunch to keep everything else that we do free, for everyone that needs it. So get in touch, let us know what your needs are, and we'll see what we can do.

Andy 33:38 So here we are in the last segment, section, part, portion, the last bit.

Jo 33:55 Conclusion.

Andy 33:56 Conclusion. Okay. So here we are to conclude Marriage Matters, and looking at Rules of Engagement.

Jo 34:03 Rules of Engagement.

Andy 34:03 I hadn't forgotten. I was pausing for effect, and then I forgot. So we're looking at Engagement today and we've been thinking about all ,what does the, the Bible say about engagement? What is engagement itself? Is it is it a thing in its own right? And what we were looking at earlier, was Engaged to be Married is probably the most helpful phrase. Rather than saying "I'm Engaged", say "I'm Engaged to be Married". If you can't say that, you shouldn't be engaged, but I am Engaged to be Married, because the whole point, as a Christian, about marriage, is as a period between not getting married and being married. That period is called engagement, which is a process of preparing yourself for marriage. But do it wisely and carefully!

Jo 34:40 Yes. And I mean, it's serious time. It's a commitment. But what we were saying was, actually, you can pull out of Engagement, t would seem. Because there's nothing specifically around Engagement in the Bible. Although there's some stuff in Song of Songs that you can read. Joseph was gonna to call off the Engagement to Mary. And so, but we've talked about our own experience. How it can be painful if you've, you know, let your yes be yes. And you know, we make commitments make promises. But you know, the, the application of our responsibilities within marriage don't start until we're actually married. And the things that we're allowed to do, don't start until we're married. So that engagement period is very different from being married, very clearly different for many, many things. It doesn't, your marriage doesn't start until you are actually married, until you say "I do". But prior to that, there's lots of things that you can do to make yourself ready.

Andy 35:35 And we have a traffic light idea.

Jo 35:36 Yeah, i love that!

Andy 35:37 It popped into my head. So the idea of the traffic light was really simple. When you're not married, and you're engaged, we think of the English traffic light system, which works like this. So, Green means you can go, Amber means get ready to stop or stop if you can. And red means stop, and wait. And then it goes from Amber sorry, goes from Red, to Red plus Amber, which is basically well, don't go anywhere, but be ready to do something. And then you get to the Green. And for me, the engagement is that Amber on the return part, when you're getting ready to go. You're not going anywhere. Nothing's started, nothing's happening, you're not committed to anything. But you're getting ready, you're prepared. In the UK, handbrake off, clutch down, into first gear, or maybe pull the shifter down to Drive, whatever. But it's a preparation time.

Jo 36:24 So in real life, where the analogy doesn't full come to term, in the sense that lights will always go to Green after it's gone from Red to Amber. But, in real life, it could go back to Red.

Andy 36:35 Yes

Jo 36:35 Which we found Joseph was thinking about.

Andy 36:37 Joseph called off his marriage, he divorced his wife before they were married, which is interesting.

Jo 36:42 And we know that people do call off their Engagement.

Andy 36:44 Unless I'veand get really confused that scripture

Jo 36:46 No.

Andy 36:46 I don't think so.

Jo 36:46 But we've, we've called off the engagement as well. It happens. It's a real life thing. that's what I'm saying that it can go back to Red. And that's why it's important to think about, it's that preparation, you're not in Green yet. And it could go back to Red, to be honest.

Andy 36:59 Absolutley.

Jo 37:00 What are you taking away from Marriage Matterrs this week, before you say it?

Andy 37:06 You've been trying to get it in every week haven't you? What am I taking away? I think it's the reminder, I mean I wrote this bit, but, it's the reminder not to stop trying to woo your, my, bride. So, I, I've always done this anyway. I'm quite, I dunno, I love giving gifts. I've always done that for Jo. When we were apart, but together, as in we were, we were an item but we weren't in the same vicinity, I'd buy cards, I'd send a packet of chocolates or whatever.

Jo 37:35 Squashed Rolo.

Andy 37:36 Squashed Rolo, yeah.

Jo 37:37 Last one.

Andy 37:37 You know, the whole, 'Would you give your love your last Rolo'? there was an advert in the 90s in the UK? Can I just advise you not to post that? Because when it goes through the sorting office, it gets splatted as I discovered!

Jo 37:48 It's the thought that counts.

Andy 37:49 Yeah, Jo kept it for me. And she couldn't eat it because it was so kind of mashed up in the foil she said, well, I couldn't eat it, but, you know, thank you. I think.

Andy 37:58 So yeah. It's that reminder for me to woo my bride, that when you get married, that's not the end of the pursuit of the person you're choosing to marry. When you get married, that's not the end of it. Marriage is the beginning! Engagement, actually in this context, is nothing. It's a period of preparation. It's an important period. But it doesn't mean anything. But, marriage does! But all the things you do through your engagement, in order to be married, so that Jo doesn't think 'I don't really like this guy'. And all the stuff you do, keep doing it.

Jo 38:26 Yeah. Good one. Thank you.

Andy 38:28 You're welcome. What's your take away?

Jo 38:30 Oh, you're not allowed to do that are you?

Andy 38:33 Well, I just did it?

Jo 38:34 Oh, well, I, I just really like the traffic light analogy.

Andy 38:38 I was chuffed with that.

Jo 38:39 I love that. It's just really, yeah, that really helps.

Andy 38:41 But don't assume, as Jo said, that just because you're on Red and Amber that the next one is Green. Green is marriage. Ready, stop. Amber is engagement. But just because you're on Red and Amber, waiting for that Green light, doesn't mean to say to go. As we saw with Joseph, he was all set to divorce his bride.

Jo 38:57 Yeah.

Andy 38:58 There you go. Marriage Matters for another week. What we doint next week? We haven't written it yet.

Jo 39:02 Oh, we haven't we haven't come up with anything. Yeah, it was exciting innit. Ooh, what's this space!

Andy 39:07 Gosh, your accent from your home comes through?

Jo 39:09 What did I say?

Andy 39:10 Innit

Jo 39:11 Innit?

Andy 39:12 Combine Harvester

Jo 39:13 Ooh Are

Andy 39:13 Anyway. So thanks for joining us.

Jo 39:15 Yes.

Andy 39:15 We'll be back next week for more awesome Marriage Matters. Maybe you disagree with what we've said, you can let us know. Maybe you've had a really great experience. We'd love to see, here the good ones.

Jo 39:24 Yeah.

Andy 39:25 And pray for the bad ones. And pray for the good ones too.

Jo 39:27 Yeah.

Andy 39:27 Have a great time, whatever you are, wherever you are in the world. See you again next week.

Jo 39:32 Bye for now.

Andy 39:39 There are loads of ways to stay in touch with the BerryBunch. The best thing you can do is to visit our website, sign up to our Newsletter, and you can be sure to always stay up to date with our latest News, Videos, Posts and updates on our Seasonal Events.

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