Engagement season is in full swing, and boy is it exciting! The thrill of saying yes to your favorite person to love and honor them forever. To celebrate engagement season, I thought it would be fun to do a series of posts related to preparing for marriage. Starting us off is a post on the benefits of premarital counseling.
Premarital counseling typically happens with a pastor or officiant, and is commonly recognized and encouraged by many churches to prepare couples for their future marriage. Regardless if you were raised in a church or not, or if you had an incredible example of what marriage should look like, premarital counseling should be a priority. As a couple, you will gain valuable insight on various topics related to marriage.
Here are some benefits of premarital counseling:
- You will have a series of one-on-one discussions with a pastor (and most likely marriage veteran who has already been where you are) and he will become a mentor to you both as a couple.
- Fully understand that your marriage is a covenant that you are entering together before God. A covenant is defined as an agreement or promise between two or more parties. Your marriage vows are a promise, a covenant. Just like the one God made with Noah. God doesn’t break His covenants. Let’s look to Him for strength and endurance to keep ours. (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6)
- Gain understanding that your marriage is a picture of how Jesus loves the Church (believers). We, as believers in Christ, are Christ’s bride and He is the Bridegroom. He is preparing a wedding feast for us upon His return, and it will be glorious! (Revelation 19: 6-10)
- You will hopefully grasp the idea that your marriage is not about you and your spouse alone. Your marriage desperately needs God in the center to thrive at it’s fullest potential. He created marriage, and including Him in your marriage is the only way you will be able to experience it fully just as He created it.
- You will have accountability as you discuss and ultimately prepare for potential issues that can come up in marriage. (Expectations, emotional baggage from past relationships, and conflict to name a few!)
- It will create opportunities to get to know each other on a deeper level as each time you discuss a different topic. It will open up communication to chat about the way you were raised in relation to certain areas like money, conflict, expectations, and the like.
- It will help you prepare and create a plan when you do have to deal with issues. Will you decide together not to raise your voice during conflict? Will you decide together not to go to bed angry? Will you decide it is ok to cool off and go to bed angry to keep from saying something you may regret? How will you handle finances? You get the picture!
We often plan for our weddings like the Queen is coming, but what if we planned for our marriage with the same intensity?
Premarital counseling troubleshooting:
- If you and your fiance are from different backgrounds in terms of denomination consider doing counseling through both of your home churches. You can never be over-prepared for marriage. 🙂
- If the word “counseling” throws you off or if you’re not sure about one-on-one setting, look into local churches who offer an engagement course or class. They are group settings so there are multiple engaged couples who journey alongside each other and are typically taught by an older married couple. My husband and I did one as a newly wed class many moons ago. We discussed important marriage topics, but also had a lot fun through fellowships and events together. We thoroughly enjoyed it!
- There are also tons of premarital books on the market! Husband and I also did one together too! A few favorites are Starting Your Marriage Right by Dennis Rainey, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts by Drs. Les and Lesley Parrott. You can gain some amazing insight from reading a book together!
Did you do premarital counseling, or did you before you got married?! We’d love to know what blessings you received from working on marriage before it started!