Did you know that Marriage Counseling Before Marriage has the potential to reduce the divorce rate by 31%? For many; this comes as a surprise, but for those who have done premarital counseling, they know exactly what am talking about.
When we prepare well for marriage we are equipping ourselves with techniques and skills to handle future challenges. Is it necessary? Yes. Premarital counseling is necessary because challenges in marriage are inevitable, you will face some serious changes and you better be equiped to handle them. This type of counseling prepares you for that.
As a pastor, I have had the privilege of taking couples through premarital counseling courses. I can tell you for free, this is a must-have investment for couples who desire to build marriages that will last. Even though there are no guarantees in this world, we believe preparing well for marriage will give you a better chance of having a thriving marriage.
If you want to marry once , marry wellShadrack T. Ashaiyo
What is Pre-Marriage Counseling and why should you consider doing it?
Premarriage counseling is a form of therapy designed to help couples process and prepare well for marriage. This type of counseling involves a series of reflective questions that a counselor will ask to help a couple evaluate their relationship critically.
It will include questions that address individuals’ backgrounds, worldviews, current, and future expectations with the goal of helping the couple thoroughly prepare for their future life together. Read more here.
Is Marriage Counseling Before Marriage Biblical
God is the one who initiated and designed marriages. To have thriving marriages we must first understand God’s original intent for marriages. With this perspective, we can say that premarital counseling is biblical because it helps couples understand God’s design for marriages. Helping them honor God in their marriages by following what scripture suggests as the right way to live together.
However, there are other forms of premarital counseling that are non-religious. We only focus here on biblical premarital counseling conducted by pastors or religious leaders. What to learn more about that. Read more.
What Is The Purpose Of Premarital Counseling
The purpose of this kind of therapy is to help you as a couple process the reality of marriage and learn more about each other. With this information; you then go ahead and make a decision whether you want to get married specifically to your partner.
The goal is to thoroughly prepare a couple for marriage. This is by asking them a series of questions to help them critically evaluate themselves and their relationship together in relation to marriage. Read more.
When Should You do Premarital Counseling Before Or After Engagement
When to do premarital counseling is entirely dependent on you as a couple, there are however some pros and cons of doing it either before or after engagement. We usually recommend couples start the process as soon as they have decided to date with the intent of getting married. See this post to learn why we recommend this approach.
Some couples have shared that they benefited more from doing premarital counseling before engagement while others say after the engagement was the idea for them. Because people are different and relationships are unique we suggest you read these pros and cons to help you decide which one works for you. Read more.
Benefits Of Pre-marital Counseling
Before you brush off the idea of premarital counseling, let me give you some benefits of doing this type of counseling before marriage.
Apart from the obvious one that pre-marriage counseling will help you prepare well for marriage, there are other benefits that you might not be aware of.
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- A conselor will help you voice out your expectations, your fears and your insecurities in a safe environment.
- You will understand God’s design for marriage.
- A Pastor will help you deal with your background baggage and issues that you din’t even know you had.
We have more benefits here. Learn more.
Is It Necessary for couples already living together
Yes, pre-marital counseling is necessary for couples living together, however, the way it is facilitated is a bit different. This is because the relationship dynamics of couples cohabiting are a bit different from those who have never lived together.
Assuming that the couple is just cohabiting then it’s important that they formalize their union by doing a wedding or going to the necessary authority and getting a marriage certificate. If this is the case then it’s necessary that they go through premarital counseling to help them process the reality of marriage and the commitment they are making.
There are many reasons why couples find themselves cohabiting, whatever the situation you must understand that cohabiting is not a forever commitment that’s why we challenge couples to formalize their staying together. The commitment of marriage brings stability to a relationship that you won’t otherwise enjoy if you’re just cohabiting. Learn More here.
How long does premarital counseling last
Ideally, pre-marriage counseling should be 2 hours, once a week for 12 to 16 weeks. The time varies depending on the frequency of meetings and issues that needs to be discussed. A normal premarital course should have at least 10 to 16 topics to be discussed, including several relevant questions for couples to answer.
Some premarital counseling takes longer than 16 weeks especially if the person or people involved have been previously married, have children, or is of a different faith. Though dating someone with a kid can be a bit easier, marrying them without proper preparation can be a nightmare.
A counselor or pastor should dedicate one topic for each session. For maximum impact, they will access and see if a couple needs more time to fully cover the topic. Learn more.
Cost Of Premarital Counseling
Premarital counseling will cost you around $200 for the session, $ 13 for the premarital counseling workbook (check Amazon for the latest prices). Several dollars for transport and depending on the program another $100 for the couples retreat. These prices will vary depending on where and what type of therapy you signed up for.
If you’re doing premarital counseling with a pastor some of them might opt to charge you while others might not if you’re a member of their church. Read here to learn how to choose the best premarital counseling program.
Who Should Do Pre-marital Counseling
As long as you’re intentional about your relationship and are looking to get married either for the first or the second time, you should consider doing premarital counseling. We also recommend those cohabiting or married that have never done it before, to do it as it will help them navigate their marriage issues as well.
Some people opt to do it with a counselor just the two of them while others chose to do it as a group and others chose a DIY approach. Whichever approach you prefer -the most important thing is for you to do it. For those who choose a DIY premarital counseling approach you should consider using this premarital counseling workbook, we highly recommend it.
We update this blog post every week, for more information check out next week.