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December 2011 updated!
Introduces a premarital Christian counseling manual to aid pastors, elders and other church leaders involved in premarital counseling to challenge and prepare engaged couples to have good and godly marriages. Included is the schedule for appointments.
This premarital training manual is not designed for a couple seeking to get married but for those who would counsel them. I have no objection for an engaged couple to read the material here. There are no secrets. It is best, however, to have someone work through the lessons with you. But do check out the many good links at the bottom of different pages for helpful reading for different areas.
I recommend Christian premarital counseling for every couple. Just think of it. The great God who designed male and female also designed marriage. He knows how marriage best works! Why not see what He has to say?
I do not know of any who marry with the hope of having a bad marriage. One can see by the festive manner in which the couple holds their wedding that they have a lot of hope for their marriage.
The question is, “How is the couple going to get there? Where are the good models for these young people? They are hard to find. The more the society and families break apart, the more a study of what God says about marriage is needed.
Couples are often rather naive regarding their needs. Although the couple will not remember much, we as the counselors must help them see what obstacles they might find in their early marriage and give them hope and means to overcome them.
I find it rather amusing that in one of our pre-wedding appointments that the couple usually comes over after a big argument. They do not want to come, but it is an appointment with the pastor. They still come. Guidance, love and hope sowed early into a couple’s life brings about much fruit.
The materials I prepare are designed with much flexibility. I use them to guide me into and through deliberate conversations where I am able to better know and understand the couple getting married. The first lessons are probably half taken up by getting to know the couple better. As the sessions progress, the couple is guided on how to converse with each other, resolve problems and appreciate each other.
The counselor's responsibility is to help them face their early problems early on in a protected context so that they can by God’s grace manage them well later on. Couples always will have difficulties to face and overcome. We show them how.
We meet six times before the wedding and once afterwards if they are in town. My wife, Linda, and I hold these meetings in our home. Our sessions are semi-private, that is, our children are apt to run by. Usually we do not require total privacy except on certain parts of the material. If we need more privacy, we provide it. We feel that by having them in the home we are introducing them to how a godly family operates.
Premarital counseling is a highly specialized but important form of mentoring for the church. Many churches are starting to implement premarital counseling but have very limited resources. This fits right into that niche. Really practical.
Our hope is that couples will get better counsel, godly advice and a strong biblical foundation.
And to top it off, BFF has provided many top quality articles on marriages sorted in three categories: 'Preparing for Marriage,' 'Strengthening Good Marriages' and 'Renewing Poor Marriages.' Click on our marriage book above!
When special problems develop, you can easily send them a link to our many free resources.
Note: The forms are arranged where they are ideally discussed. The forms, therefore, should be distributed before that session so that one can first privately review the form but also so that one can evaluate or compare it with their spouses. This is doubly true for the premarital questionnaire and the temperament profile. All the forms are available in pdf for printing.
The forms and handouts are available in Word (doc) to modify for your purposes. If not linked here, then need to download from the BFF resource center. If there is not time to discuss the form in the applicable session, one can discuss it later. We also ask the couple to read the book: "The Family: God’s Weapon for Victory" by Robert Andrews. Buying Tim Lahaye's Your temperament: Discover Your Potential or other personal analysis form is recommended.
Our book, Building A Great Marriage is also available and forms a great resource for Biblical picture how marriage is designed, how to work through problems and how to seek the intimacy in marriage that God has designed marriage to bring.
Title of Premarital Counseling Lesson
Forms or reading
Handout#0 Premarital Counseling Introduction .pdf
Handout #2 Principles of Godly Communication
Handout #3 Wise Decision-making
Handout #4 Finances & Marriage
Handout #5 Understanding our Differences
Handout #6 Preparations for Intimacy
We will next look at the design of marriage. Next ->