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Whether or not the church you are getting married in or the pastor who is marrying you requires it, it’s really important to get pre-marital counseling.
Sure, pre-marital counseling sounds uncomfortable and unnecessary. Why make a problem where there isn’t one? And it can be awkward to sit and talk to someone about your intimate, personal intentions and romantic relationship.
But premarital counseling is worth it.
Reason #1: To Keep A Right Perspective during the Wedding Hoopla
Wedding preparations can suck you into a vacuum. They’re fun, exciting, and possibly dramatic. It’s hard not to get emotional about a lot of things during the engagement period.
Unfortunately, getting too caught up in the wedding hoopla can cause you to lose a right perspective about marriage, your spouse, your loved ones, and even yourself. That’s normal, but it’s not necessary.
In pre-marital counseling, you get a break from planning every meticulous detail of your big wedding day in order to focus on planning for the rest of your days together. You’ll talk about the feelings, expectations, concerns, and strategies that you need to work out together for a healthy, lasting relationship –because a life together is the point of getting married, not the wedding!
Reason #2: To Start Your Support System Early
Marriage can be challenging. There’s no way around that. You’re going to disagree, be disappointed in each other, and hurt each other. When that happens, you need a trusted, godly support system. Imagine if part of your support system is a person (or several persons!) who have witnessed firsthand your love for each other and who have, all along, been supporting your relationship.
Often potential marital issues are exposed in pre-marital counseling. Your counselor will hear about it, and give you advice for dealing with the issues. When you experience those issues in marriage, you’ll have someone that you both know you can talk to.
Reason #3: To Learn From the Wisdom of Godly Examples
Scripture is full of encouragement for those who are older to set good examples for those who are younger. Check out Titus 2 for an example. As a younger, engaged person, draw on the people the Lord has given as witnesses through pre-marital counseling.
Through pre-marital counseling, you and your fiancée intentionally commit to seeking godly counsel and to learning from the wisdom and example of people who have been in a god-honoring marriage for a long time.
Reason #4: To Prevent Common Marital Problems
There are a few common matters that become big issues in marriage. Money, sex, the division of household tasks, communication, and relationships with others (especially families and in-laws!) are major sources of marital strife.
Rather than waiting for your martial struggles to become so difficult that you have to seek marriage counseling, enter pre-marital counseling with the goal of nipping issues in the bud.
Find a pre-marital counselor who offers you resources like questionnaires and books that will help you to identify together the issues that are likely to affect your marriage specifically. By helping you to talk through unhealthy patterns or possible problems before they get ugly, your pre-marital counseling will help you to approach your spouse for years to come with the confidence that you are aware of problems and you are both working to resolve them as a team.
Reason #5: To Turn Your Relationship Over to God –Together
Pre-marital counseling can expose a lot of undesired things in your’s and your fiancee’s hearts. An unwillingness to even attempt counseling can signify pride, insecurity, and commitment issues, for a start.
Once in counseling, you both have to commit to seriously looking at your relationship and working to set yourselves up for a healthy, godly marriage. That takes humility and requires you both to surrender some stuff to God because, if you’re honest in counseling, you’ll find that there is nothing you can do on your own to make your marriage last.
Love, commitment, passion –these all wax and wane over time. What will keep your marriage stable and worthwhile is your unity in the Lord. Pre-marital counseling will help you to see that in living color and encourage you –together- to turn your relationship and your marriage over to God’s perfect, sovereign will.