Congratulations! You are recently engaged and preparing to marry the love of your life. Maybe you were high school sweethearts or perhaps you reconnected later in life and decided not to hold back on what your heartstrings told you long ago. You are choosing to say “yes” to someone for better and for worse. You are choosing to say “yes” to someone in sickness and in health.As you go about selecting the perfect cake, picking a beautiful venue, choosing your jaw-dropping dress, and deciding where you will reside after the big day – it is important to remember that emotionally and spiritually preparing for marriage should be at the top of your list. It was once said that “A marriage built on Christ is a marriage built to last.”
While your venue, flower selection, first dance, and first kiss as a married couple are all instrumental to your dream wedding, it is how you prepare for the marriage disagreements and everyday life that will truly help your marriage thrive. Putting Christ at the center of your marriage is the heart and soul of a lasting marriage.
5 Topics to Discuss in Premarital Counseling.
As you prepare to navigate marriage, here are some key topics to discuss with your significant other at premarital counseling:
One of the main causes of divorce and marital issues is finances; the stress of finances, disagreeing on finances, and not taking the time to plan financially. As you prepare for marriage, now is the perfect time to sit down and create a budget together. Are you going to pay bills together or is one person going to oversee it and balance the account?
Plan to live well below your means rather than living beyond your them. Take time to discuss how you will manage finances – will you start by opening a joint account? Will bills be set on automatic payments? Do you plan on investing? How do you both feel about credit cards? Are you both coming into the relationship with accrued debt?
What are your long-term financial goals? Will you start a savings account or emergency fund? Have these discussions now. Stay open and honest now and in your marriage. Discuss finances regularly rather than try to put the conversation on the backburner.
If you have a personal relationship with Christ, it is imperative to discuss how to make your relationship with Christ the center of your marriage at premarital counseling. It is important to have conversations about what you believe. Is it more about religion, rituals, or a relationship with Christ? When did you accept Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? How do you want to live out your faith? How can you support one another in your relationship with Christ?
Do you plan to attend church and raise a family in the church? These are important conversations that will help you hold one another accountable and not feel like you must choose your spouse or your relationship with Christ. It should become a cord of three strands – they are better and stronger together.
…though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:12
As you prepare to get married and establish your family, couples must take time to discuss their hopes and dreams for their family. Do you plan to have children? Do you want a big family, a small family, or just want to wait and see how God leads? Do you hope to adopt or foster children?
Couples should talk through their aspirations for these milestones now, so you do not have major disagreements and spew threats of divorce later. While some of the logistics of these decisions can change and evolve, if one person is confident that they do not want to have children, that is something you want to know before you say “I do.”
- In-Law Boundaries
Navigating in-law boundaries and new family dynamics can be difficult, especially if you and your spouse come from vastly different upbringings. Family dynamics can also be difficult to navigate if you were raised in an abusive, controlling, or manipulative home.
Discussing your upbringing, knowing the family and family dynamics, and discussing how you will handle controlling family members in premarital counseling is crucial to having fewer disagreements and dreading family events in the future. If one of you was raised by a mother who tries to control every decision you make, what will you do about it once you say “I do?”
If your parents try to talk negatively about your spouse to you, how are you going to navigate that? When you wed, you are vowing to put your relationship with your spouse before other relationships, and this might mean putting in a lot of work because of any baggage and negative family dynamics that you might be carrying.
- What life will look like
As you continue the exciting journey of marrying your best friend, remember to have fun and enjoy the journey. Continue dating when you are married. Continue getting to know one another in every phase of life. Be fun and spontaneous. Send love notes and sweet texts. Have a romantic dinner with candles. Never stop saying “I love you.”
Know it’s okay to be vulnerable. Know that it is healthy to be open about your past baggage so you can move forward in the best possible way. Be sure to dream together now and when you are married. Talk about your hopes and dreams. Talk about your dream job. Explore new hobbies together. Support one another’s endeavors and careers.
Here are some questions to ask one another now as you continue growing in your relationship. Getting to know one another is a life-long process:
- What is one thing from your childhood that you want for your children?
- What was your favorite childhood memory?
- What was one difficult part of your childhood that you do not want for your children?
- What is your dream job? Explain.
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
- What is your greatest fear? Why?
- Describe the perfect weekend.
- What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
- Describe your dream home.
- What are three of your pet peeves?
- If you received $1000, what would you do with it?
Marriage is fun! Take the time now to prepare emotionally and spiritually so you can thrive together. Premarital counseling is available to discuss these topics and more, discuss the importance of communication, and help you establish healthy relationship patterns. If you have past baggage to discuss but do not know where to start, we would love to help you as you prepare to invest in the beautiful adventure of marriage – it will be worth it!
Scriptures for your marriage.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church. – Ephesians 5:25-33
But you say, ‘Why does he not?’ Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. – Malachi 2:14-15
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. – Proverbs 3:3-4
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. – Romans 12:10
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16
There are three things that amaze me – no, four things that I don’t understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman. – Proverbs 30:18-19
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. – 1 Peter 4:8
Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. – 1 Peter 3:7
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? – Ecclesiastes 4:9
With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. – Ephesians 4:2-3
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised. – Song of Solomon 8:6-7
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:12
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. – Genesis 2:24
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Christian premarital counseling.
If you’d like to set your marriage up for success through the help of Christian premarital counseling, feel free to contact our office to schedule an appointment with me or one of the other counselors in the online counselor directory.
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