How Premarital Counseling Can Save Your Marriage Before it Starts
The days leading up to a wedding are packed full of visiting venues, tasting dishes from different caterers, selecting a cake, and finding the perfect gown to walk down the aisle in. In the flurry of activity, the most important to-do item is often overlooked — premarital counseling.
Dating and engagement are often times of infatuation. You love your partner’s loud laugh and the way he has a laid-back attitude toward life. Your heart melts a little when he smiles at you. Every moment together is thrilling and you feel like life with him will be a dream come true.
Fast forward to three years into marriage and you suddenly notice stark differences between yourselves, the things you once thought were adorable about your spouse annoy you, finances are putting a strain on romance and communication becomes a strenuous activity.
Why You Should Seriously Consider Premarital Counseling
Once you say your vows at the altar, there’s no going back. If you are going tospend the rest of your life with someone, shouldn’t you take the time to discuss in detail your desires and mindsets? Some couples wed because they make each other happy, but what happens when those feelings fade?
A Christian counselor in Newport Beach can help you gain a larger perspective on your relationship. A counselor might reveal to you a blind spot that’s been overlooked during the dating and engagement season. Agreeing to go to counseling can help you begin building your marriage on Christ’s solid foundation.
5 Reasons Why Pre Marriage Counseling Should Be Required
Matthew 9:6 tells us that when a husband and wife get married they become one, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
But becoming one isn’t always as seamless as it sounds. Two people living independent lives are suddenly thrown into a marriage where decisions and actions must be discussed and agreed upon together. Premarital counseling can help you ease into those early days of navigating married life.
The following is a list of five reasons why premarital counseling should be a top priority for seriously dating or engaged couples.
1. Identify conflict resolution styles
Chances are you and your partner have different views on how to resolve a conflict. Maybe you grew up in a household where your dad had an angry outburst, gave the silent treatment and then once his mood passed everything went back to normal. The conflict was never appropriately addressed. On the other hand, maybe you saw your parents address conflict immediately and openly.
Finding common ground with your future spouse on how to best solve conflict will give you a leg up in marriage. Conflict is inevitable when you are in a relationship. Maybe the wife needs thirty minutes of alone time to collect her thoughts and the husband is adamant about addressing the conflict immediately.
A middle ground can be reached to make sure both people are resolving the conflict in a healthy, beneficial way. Counseling gives you a safe place to create a plan before the conflicts arise.
2. Ask the hard questions in a safe place
Counseling sessions are known to bring the critical but tough questions to the table. The questions force you to plunge below the surface of your relationship and uncover your personal beliefs that may have been minimized during dating.
When you are blinded by wedded bliss you might forget to ask about when to have children, how to discipline the kids, who will provide financially, how will you split household chores, what church will you attend, and how to manage finances effectively.
3. Take the opportunity to grow in love
During the Passover Festival, Jesus knelt before his disciples and, in an act of true humility, washed their feet. “It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
In John 13:1, the words “he loved them to the end” jump off the page. The same statement can be applied to marriage. Spouses are called to love like Jesus which means loving each other to the end.
Love is more than a feeling. Feelings fizzle out, but commitment provides a place for your love to grow and flourish. You don’t want your love to be like the leaves on a tree. As soon as the wind blows and hard times hit, the leaves vanish. You want a love like the roots of a tree.
The hurricane winds may come and bend your marriage, but it won’t break it. Roots mature over years of marriage, but the roots grow a little deeper during premarital counseling. It takes effort and energy to continue to grow those roots past the early stages of romance.
4. Marriage lasts the rest of your life
Brides and grooms spend countless hours and dollars to host the wedding of their dreams. Pinterest helps brides plan their perfect wedding and the wedding industry responds with sky-high pricing. If you want to put that much time and money into one day, wouldn’t you want to invest into the days that follow?
Marriage is definitely worth celebrating, but not at the expense of life after marriage. Premarital counseling makes sure you are both on the same page before racing off to your honeymoon. You can walk down the aisle with more confidence knowing you invested time into the important topics that will shape the future you share with your spouse.
5. God honors marriages that glorify Him
God is the author of our lives and the designer of marriage. Marriage will refine you and mold you in new ways. You will experience the valleys and the mountaintops with your spouse. A marriage blessed and strengthened by the Lord can withstand the storms. Marriage is a high and difficult calling, but everything our Lord calls us to He also empowers us to accomplish.
Get Wisdom from those Around You
A Newport Beach Christian counselor can equip and empower you to step into marriage knowing your spouse on a deeper level. Marital love is an expression of humility and self-sacrifice that brings honor to our Heavenly Father.
Your marriage can be an example to others of Jesus’ love for the church. If you are engaged to be married or seriously dating, consider investing some time to experience the benefits of premarital counseling.
“Forgiveness,” courtesy of David Nunez, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Committed,” courtesy of Zoriana Stakhniv, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “To have and to hold,” courtesy of Jon Asato, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Jesse & Terry,” courtesy of Vanessa Porter, Flickr Creative Commons, CC by 2.0