Too often pre-marital counseling is not considered important. This is especially true for those who are Christians and have gone to church all their life. Their thoughts are, “ I know what is right and I have my parents to follow as examples.” The problem is their lack of understanding as to why pre-marital counseling is important. Pre-marital counseling allows the couple to consider specific issues of life they will face after marriage but have not, in most cases, considered or talked about during their courtship period. Pre-marital counseling will allow the engaged couple to face some circumstances they will face after marriage.
- To educate engaged couples concerning the place of the family in God’s great plan of creation.
- It is to provide instruction in Biblical and practical relationship principles that will help to make their Christian marriage successful.
- It is to present the gospel to the engaged couple if they are not saved.
- It is to help give desire to the engaged couple to know their spouse better and to help them desire to have a happy home.
- It is to provide an opportunity for engaged couples to discuss areas in their personal lives which could be trouble spots in their proposed marriage.
- It is to provide a plan to slow down or prevent hasty marriages.
- It is to encourage the couple to become involved in working for the Lord in the local church.
- The first pattern for pre-marital counseling could be to consider the content of the marriage ceremony vows. All the parts of the vow are studied and interpreted.
- The second approach could be to consider the spiritual aspects of marriage only. The rest of the subjects could be left to others or to reading recommended books.
- The third pattern is where more and more pastors consider pre-marriage counseling to include the subjects such as the spiritual, the physical, the financial, the adjustment period, etc., as a part of their counseling responsibilities. They also schedule several sessions to be able to consider the different specific issues with the engaged couple.
III. What Are Some Principles To Follow In Pre-Marital Counseling?
- You should follow a specific plan of counseling, knowing the subjects you wish to cover in the sessions.
- Work toward providing an informal and relaxed atmosphere. Certainly do not come across with formality or preaching.
- Strive to communicate to the couple.
- Make sure the couple understands the purpose of the sessions.
- Do not share information or printed material where there is no need.
- Keep your sessions confidential.
- Seek to understand all you can about the couple.
- Seek to follow up the couple after they are married with possible visits in their home and any other helps you may provide.
IV. What Are Some Of The Topics You Should Cover In Counseling?
- The legal part of marriage - marriage license, blood test, legal implications of marriage.
- Is the couple in agreement concerning their spiritual relationships. Is the couple saved? Do they attend church together?
- Are they in agreement concerning the Biblical principle on authority in the home?
- Do they understand and agree on a Scriptural view on the permanence of marriage?
- Do they agree on the desire to have children? Do they agree on the topic of birth control?
- What do their parents think about their marrying each other?
- Does the couple seem like they are able to meet and solve the problems they will have in their courtship?
- How did the couple meet? How long have they known each other?
- Do they agree on financial matters?
- What are their future goals for their marriage? Do they plan to ever work in full time ministry for God?
- Do they understand the details involved in preparing for the wedding?
(Ceremony, flowers, music, rehearsal, reception, etc.)