Why is Christian premarital counseling so important?
Christian premarital counseling is very important. Imagine this: It's six months after your wedding. Little things that you used to think were "cute" are starting to really bug you. Your spouse isn't quite as attentive as when you were first married. Your husband says that money is "tight" and is starting to be a bit overbearing about how much you are spending on fixing up the house. Or your wife is already talking about wanting to start a family and you are just not ready to think about being a father. You're Catholic and your spouse is a Baptist. Neither of you realized how hard it would be to try to find a church home that you could attend together. Your fairytale image of marriage is crumbling in the face of the many problems that your relationship is facing. Maybe you made a big mistake getting married. After all, you were really young; you didn't realize what you were getting into. You feel trapped. What now?
Marriage, with or without Christian premarital counseling, is a challenging adventure that can be both rewarding and fulfilling if it is characterized by unconditional commitment and sacrificial love. But marriage is also a union of two individuals who have come together from different families, each with a different set of expectations concerning marriage. Both spouses have been shaped by positive and negative experiences within their own childhood homes. Because of this, each has a predetermined idea about how conflict should be handled, the value of money management, religion, having children, and what it means to love someone.
Currently, a little over half of all first marriages end in divorce. Sadly, couples that marry without having premarital counseling are at much higher risk of divorce. Those who have prepared for marriage by getting some secular (non-Christian) premarital counseling are better off than those who have had no preparation for marriage at all. So why is Christian premarital counseling so important?
Christian premarital counseling has glue - Many forms of premarital counseling will give instruction in dealing with basics, such as finances, child rearing, and even basic communication skills. However, secular premarital counseling will not provide the "glue" that will help couples deal with conflict or the damaged emotions that may follow chronic disappointment in each other, and in the marriage relationship.
Christian premarital counseling has foundation - Christian premarital counseling is often offered through the local church, or may be obtained through para-church organizations that offer Christian counseling. It is designed to teach couples about the truth about marriage, according to God's Word, the Bible.
Christian premarital counseling has Godly intent - Christian premarital counseling prepares a couple seeking marriage to enter into a relationship based upon sacrificial love for one another, and to place the needs of others before the needs of self. The Christian couple is encouraged to invite Jesus Christ to be not only a personal Savior, but also the third cord spoken of in Ecclesiastes 4:12. Jesus becomes an integral partner in the marriage. In times of marital difficulty due to conflict, hurt feelings, financial struggles, or even more serious problems such as infidelity, God calls each spouse within a Christian marriage to repentance and a renewed commitment to the marriage.
So why is so important to seek Christian premarital counseling? God's Word teaches that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman that is intended to last for life. Christian marriage is based upon an unconditional commitment that takes the classic marriage vow "till death do us part" very seriously.
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