Here is an excerpt from a letter I wrote explaining to a couple my thoughts¬†about premarital counseling. If you know of a couple, young or old, who is heading in the direction of marriage please encourage them to consider premarital¬†counseling! Some of the most common excuses for not seeking out counseling is time and money. This is comical in light of how much TIME and MONEY go into¬†most American weddings! I could go on. And on. And on. But I will jump off my soapbox and let you read the following:
For couples who feel they are called to be together, this will be an exciting journey. During the premarital process, you will continue to reaffirm your love for and commitment to each other. This will serve to strengthen the relationship and commitment you already have. In addition, you will learn ways to cope with life’s struggles and challenging situations that often fracture many couples who were caught unprepared. You will learn how to grow closer in the storms of life instead of being pulled apart – how to keep the lines of communication open, even in the midst of a battle.
Many of the common issues that come between many couples after marriage are addressed during this period of time. My role is to encourage you to not fear each other’s weaknesses and flaws, but to identify ways to openly discuss and work through them. Whereas most couples would avoid these areas before marriage out of fear it would destroy their relationship; I encourage you to address and work through them. If there are issues that would destroy the relationship if discussed before the wedding, then I challenge the couple to consider what their relationship has been built on.
It is my belief that both of you should have the freedom to openly¬†address any issues that are present, and fear should be put in its place –¬†far behind love. Love does not shrink back from issues but is strong¬†enough to address and work through them. I help you move¬†beyond the best representative of the person you are¬†engaged to until you find the person you will marry. I’ve discovered¬†that most people wear a mask and do not reveal their true¬†nature until after they are married. I think it is not only beneficial¬†but absolutely necessary to know someone on this level before you marry.¬†It is out of this belief that I approach premarital counseling.