I’m terrible with directions. Like really, really bad. We’ve been going to our church for almost a year now and I still have to enter the address into my phone or I’ll get lost.
When I get in the car, I have to know where we’re going, how we’re going to get there, and what happens when we arrive. If I just “wing it,” I find myself stressed to the max and I probably won’t even get us to our final destination.
Marriage is the same way.
Without a clear plan and vision for your marriage, it’ll feel like you’re wandering without direction and purpose. You’ll struggle to know where you’re headed, how you’re going to get there, and what will happen if you arrive.
Sounds stressful, right?
On the other hand, when you and your fiancé share the same vision for your marriage, you’ll not only get where you want to go, you’ll have a blast doing it. Your marriage will be a source of fulfillment, peace, and excitement.
Britt and I do “Vision Days” in our marriage. We got the idea from Pastor Jimmy Evans and Marriage Today (read more here). This is simply a day for us to reset and set the vision for our marriage. While we were planning for this year’s vision day, we realized these would have been awesome to do during our engagement. We had a vision for our wedding, but we didn’t really have a vision for our marriage.
If you’re ready to set the vision for your marriage and start day one with a clear purpose, here’s how you and your fiancé can do a vision day. A quick note, we’re married. So our vision days can and should look a little different from yours. The guide we’ve written below is for engaged couples, not for married or seriously dating couples.
Ground Rules for Vision Day
Heading into the day, it’s important to have solid expectations and set some “ground rules.” We’d recommend addressing these ground rules the day or two before your vision day.
- Yield to your partner. Let them speak their mind and share what they need to share.
- Have your vision day in a semi-private place like a coffee shop or at a family member’s house. Don’t do this in private just yet (you can when you’re married).
- Take a timeout if you need to. Your vision day might become a lot to process. Grab a 10-minute break if you want.
- Start and end your day in separate places. No sleepovers… sorry.
A Vision Day Is…
A time to set the vision for your marriage, dream about your future with your spouse, and resolve any hurts or areas of tension in your relationship.
A Vision Day Is Not…
A day to bring up all of the problems you have with your fiancé, plan your wedding, or become sexually intimate.
Planning for Your Vision Day
So you’re reading this today (obviously), good for you! That’s step one. Next, you should send this post to your fiancé (assuming they aren’t reading it with you right now) and let him/her know you’d like to have a marriage vision day. After that, here’s what needs to happen to plan for a super successful vision day:
- Set the date. Give yourself a full day. No work, no other commitments.
- A week before, sit down with each other and go over the ground rules (mentioned above), talk about what you hope to get out of the day, and set your agenda. We have a sample agenda for you at the bottom of the post.
- Throughout the week, separately pray over your agenda and vision day. What is God’s vision for your marriage? What does He want for you and your future family?
- The day before, spend the day by yourself. Go for a walk, read a book, do something fun, and pray through the next day. Come into the day with a sense of expectation and a heart ready for whatever happens.
- The night before, text your fiancé and tell them how excited you are for the next day.
Your Vision Day
The day is finally here. You’ve been praying and preparing, and now it’s time to dream big and start preparing past your wedding for your marriage. Rather than drop the whole agenda in this post, you can just click here and it will show you an agenda you can print and use. Most of the agenda is self-explanatory, but we’ll run through a few elements so you can get the most out of your day. As a reminder, you can totally customize this to your needs.
Couple Prayer & Scripture Reading
Choose your verses ahead of time and add them to your agenda. We like to do scripture that is a couple of minutes long. Use popcorn prayer where one will start and the other picks up and finishes.
The second page of the printable agenda has the marriage pillars on it. These are just 6 areas to get focused on. We’ve included some starter questions for you to ensure you have a plan for each pillar. If one pillar is weaker, spend some extra time on it. We call them “pillars” because they all have to be strong to hold up the marriage. If one is weak, the whole foundation of the marriage will be weak.
Chat through your calendar after you get married. This will be the first time you have to attend events as a married couple, so spend some time making sure you know what’s coming up. Is your dad’s birthday the week after the wedding? Sister graduating from college in the spring? These help you 1) budget accordingly, 2) remind each other of big events, and 3) plan for fun events/trips you want to take on.
We want to talk about our immediate money goals first: do we want to save for a house? Do we need to tackle student loans or other debt? Do we want to save for a trip next summer? Talk through money during your first year. After that, talk about your lifetime money goals over the next 30 years. Yes, this will be a bit weird, but talk to each other about your dreams… where do you want to be in 30 years financially? This will help you set the vision for your finances.
This is intentionally open-ended, but start by talking about your goals for your first year. Do you want to start having kids right away? Do you want to lead a small group at church? Talk about your goals and then create a plan to get there. Next, jump into goals for the next 5 years. Asking questions about kids, trips, careers, and more.
Words for the Year
Depending on when you get married, these would be words for your first year of marriage. These are guiding words that you will help you make decisions and serve as a foundation for your first year. For example, our first year words were rest, faithfulness, and centered. We wanted to find rest daily, monthly, and yearly; be faithful stewards of our time and money; and be centered in God’s will at home, and work, and at play.
Fears & Dreams
Throw it all out there. What are your short-term and long-term fears and dreams? Make a plan to accomplish the dreams and overcome the fears. Here’s a pro relationship tip, listen to the fears of your fiancé and do everything you can to make those fears disappear. For example, maybe your fiancé said they were worried you would stop going out on fun dates once you get married… make it a point to take them on a date once a month once you’re married.
We won’t go super in depth on this post, but love tanks are all about love languages. If we aren’t doing a great job at speaking our partner’s love language, their love tank will be running on low. For example, if your partner’s love language is quality time, but you’ve been busy with work and wedding planning, their tank will be low. This is the part of the day to get real about your love tank and give your partner a chance to 1) fill your immediate love tank, and 2) create a plan for filling your love tank in the future.
Whew, that’s a lot. Normal couples don’t do vision days. They spend time planning the wedding and think about the marriage later. But you’re not normal and, as a result, your marriage won’t be normal either (let’s celebrate that!) If you made it this far, you’re well on your way to loving your first year. And when you love your first year? You’ll love your marriage.
Questions about marriage vision days? Shoot us a DM on Instagram @loveyourfirstyear.
Reminder: you can download the sample Vision Day Agenda here.