Premarital Christian Counseling: Helping Couples Prepare for a Lifelong, God-Honoring Commitment
Once you’ve found the person you want to commit to for life, you’re ready to embark on one of life’s most significant journeys. In marriage, you’ll learn more about your spouse, but also about yourself, especially your weaknesses. This is an opportunity for growth and positive change, but it can be a difficult process to walk through.
One of the best ways to prepare for marriage is to know that you will inevitably go through stress and conflict. You can be ready for hard times when they come by working on important skills now, such as communication, setting goals and boundaries, and discussing areas of concern.
Preparation for marriage should include extensive thought about all aspects of your future life together. Divorce rates are highest in the early years of marriage, and premarital Christian counseling is proven to lower divorce rates and increase marital satisfaction for both partners.
The Importance of Premarital Christian Counseling
The institution of marriage is on the decline in the United States. The foundations that are necessary to have a trusting, intimate relationship with a spouse are disappearing. Marriage is much more than a perfect wedding day, yet many fail to take this lifelong commitment seriously.
In premarital Christian counseling, couples have the opportunity to explore the true meaning of marriage and get a head start on building a healthy relationship that will last a lifetime. Before their wedding, couples are often still in a state of infatuation with each other, so it’s important to have a structured way to talk through the aspects of the relationship that will be there when the infatuation fades.
The initial bliss inevitably dwindles, and that’s when conflicts and troubles often begin. Talking through these things ahead of time allows couples to have realistic expectations and to acquire tools for conflict resolution. Premarital counseling offers a setting to guide couples through discussions about their future and how they can intentionally build a strong, intimate marriage.
The Purpose of Premarital Christian Counseling
In essence, premarital Christian counseling is a place where you and your partner can identify obstacles to building a strong relationship and gain skills for how to overcome them. The goal is to improve your relationship now as well as to prepare you for hurdles you may face in the future.
Specific goals of premarital Christian counseling include:
- Anticipating possible future problems and healthy ways to resolve them.
- Learning how to effectively resolve conflict.
- Learning healthy communication skills.
- Identifying strengths and weaknesses of each partner and in their relationship as a couple, in order to determine areas where growth is needed.
Premarital counseling can address the following issues:
- Faith and spiritual development
- Relationship roles and dynamics
- Money and finances
- Sexual expectations
- Decision making
- Anger management
- Extended family issues
- Children and parenting
Whether you have a specific issue that has caused you to seek premarital Christian counseling or you simply want to prepare for marriage as much as possible, our compassionate and skilled counselors can help. We offer unbiased mediation, a fresh perspective, and trained guidance to help you prepare for the next step in your relationship.
How Premarital Counseling Helps Marriages
Two of the most important things you can do to prepare for marriage are improving your communication (including conflict resolution skills) and setting goals as a couple. In premarital Christian counseling, you’ll have a chance to share and process your opinions, values, and histories, and discuss how these factors will affect your marriage.
Often, couples just entering marriage have an expectation of holistic fulfillment in their emotions, need for companionship, and sexuality, but marital satisfaction doesn’t happen automatically; it’s the result of continued effort. It’s important to discuss expectations prior to marriage so that you can be understanding of each other.
In premarital Christian counseling, our desire is to help you build your marriage on the strong foundation of Christ, who is the only true source of faithfulness and commitment.
At Newport Beach Christian Counseling, our Christian counselors will work with you and your partner to help facilitate your spiritual growth and love for one another. We believe this will provide the best start possible for your marriage.
The Benefits of Christian Premarital Counseling
When you seek premarital counseling from a Christian perspective, you’ll receive the benefits of evidence-based counseling methods shared from the perspective of a biblical worldview. Our counselors are trained in relationship dynamics, and the guidance they offer is based on Scripture.
This allows us to offer a well-rounded approach to healing and growing your relationship, one that encompasses all aspects of personhood. Matters of the soul are intricately connected with our emotional and physical wellbeing, and sometimes healing is needed in all of these areas.
While preparing for marriage, it’s vital to discuss spiritual matters and understand how your partner expresses his or her faith. Your Christian counselor will encourage you to discuss how both of you express your faith and how you expect to live it out as an individual and a spouse.
We are happy to work with couples coming from a variety of religious backgrounds. We will help to provide compassionate solutions to help you prepare for marriage.
What to Expect in Premarital Christian Counseling
While the specific counseling approach will vary based on the counselor, we always work to meet the needs of each couple on a case-by-case basis. Some counselors offer programs specific for engaged couples, while others base their sessions on approaches used in couples counseling. Either way, we will work with you to facilitate your preparation for marriage.
Our counseling methods will also vary on a case-by-case basis, depending on the needs of your relationship, and may include:
- Psychodynamic counselingto address family of origin issues and how they affect your relationship today.
- Cognitive behavioral counselingto help resolve communication issues and unhealthy behavior patterns.
- Solution-focused therapyto establish goals and ways to overcome future struggles.
- Emotionally focused therapyto help couples manage stressors and negative emotional responses within the relationship.
When you meet with your premarital Christian counselor, you and your partner will both have a chance to engage with one another in a compassionate environment that will help you move forward into your new future together.
Premarital Counseling for Blended Families
Engaged couples who are preparing for a second chance at marriage may feel that their future spouse is a godsend after a difficult situation. Unfortunately, couples may overlook some of the challenges inherent in blending families.
Couples who have been married before often have the misconception that they’ve learned from their past mistakes and are less likely to repeat negative patterns. They may believe that if they are a good parent, they have the tools to be a good stepparent.
These beliefs are understandable and well-intended, but they can be mistaken. Managing a healthy blended family is stressful and challenging.
Premarital Christian counseling can help you to prepare for the journey ahead in all of its aspects. We want you to beat the statistical 67% divorce rate for second marriages.
The goals of Christian premarital counseling for blended families include:
- Discuss parenting issues for biological and stepchildren.
- Acknowledge and work through hurts from failed relationships in the past.
- Improve communication and conflict resolution skills.
- Identify problems that contributed to the end of a previous marriage, in order to break destructive patterns.
- Identify and discuss each partner’s needs and expectations.
- Discuss co-parenting with your children’s other parent.
- Understand the dynamics of blended families.
- Set realistic expectations and goals for your new marriage and family.
It’s possible to have a fulfilling and healthy second marriage and to successfully navigate blended family relationships, but more likely than not it will be a difficult process of learning and growing, and having support can make all the difference. Family counseling is another option that can help address the issues inherent in blended family relationships.
Frequently Asked Questions
Meeting with a premarital Christian counselor before your wedding is one of the best things you can do to prepare for marriage. Our staff would love to help answer any questions you may have about it. Here are some of the questions we get asked on a regular basis:
Who goes to premarital counseling?
Christian premarital counseling is a healthy step to take even if you aren’t aware of major issues in your relationship since the focus is on preparing for the future and building a strong foundation for a lifelong marriage. It helps to underscore the seriousness of the step you are about to take and to make sure you’re on the same page with regard to many important issues that will affect your future together.
If you are experiencing issues in your relationship, premarital Christian counseling can be an invaluable resource to address these before you make your covenant commitment.
Is premarital Christian counseling only for Christians?
We work with clients from all religious backgrounds to help build healthy, nurturing relationships. Whether or not you are a Christian, we can work with you professionally to help you prepare for marriage.
How do I find the right Christian counselor?
An experienced marriage and family therapist will be helpful as you navigate through the premarital Christian counseling process. Please feel free to look through our counselor profiles as you are seeking to find a counselor who can best help you and your future spouse. Please contact us with any questions you may have about finding a counselor who is a good fit for you.
What does Christian premarital counseling in Newport Beach cost?
There are a number of factors that affect the cost of premarital Christian counseling, including your insurance coverage and the level of experience and qualifications possessed by a particular counselor. Some of our counselors accept payment on a sliding scale based on your income level and other considerations.
You can contact your insurance company to find out what kinds of coverage they offer, as well as contacting one of our counselors to discuss their rates.
How long does premarital counseling take?
Some couples may prefer to meet only for a handful of sessions to work, while others may meet for longer based on the issues they want to work through. Premarital counseling can be a process lasting for several months or for a much shorter amount of time.
Want to safeguard your future marriage? Contact us today.
In a world where marriage is becoming rarer each year, we at Newport Beach Christian Counseling want to work with you to prepare you for a sanctified and deeply committed relationship that will last a lifetime. Contact us at 949-6680-335 to schedule your initial risk-free appointment and find out how Christian premarital counseling in Newport Beach can help your marriage thrive.