"For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Heb. 11:10 KJV).

The engagement period allows you the opportunity to look at one another more closely once you know you're getting married. It's a time for working on your friendship at the highest level.

Now close friendship and fellowship is something that should happen in the dating stage. Hopefully, during the dating process, you'll develop a relationship only with a person who meets your standards for life partnership.

So if you become serious about someone in particular, it means you've made your choice and you're ready to get engaged. That's when you want to take the relationship to the next stage—intimacy without the physical union!

Question: How long should a couple be engaged?

Answer: That's really an individual matter that needs to be decided by the couple. The mistake that many couples make is that they set the engagement period based on how long it will take them to plan the wedding.

The problem with that type of scenario is that the couple ends up getting so involved with the planning of the ceremony that they don't do what they need to during the engagement process—which is to work on their relationship.

Some people say that you need to be engaged at least one year. But don't get engaged and start planning your wedding for a full year. It doesn't take a year to plan a wedding—not when you know what you want.

If you want to wait one year, then that's fine. But base it on your own needs, not what someone tells you. Just be sure to make enough allowances so that you'll spend the majority of the engagement period getting closer to one another and not caught up with the details of the wedding.

Question: My fiancé and I recently had a big fight and my mother keeps prying to find out what happened. What should I tell her? I don't want to lie to her, but I also don't feel like answering certain questions.

Answer: You can just say, "We had a disagreement, but we'll be all right." If she still has questions, then you can answer them, but you don't have to elaborate. Don't alienate your mother. You don't have to tell her your business, but you do have to honor and respect her.

Study Reference: Exodus 20:12

Keith Butler Ministries
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