Going into pre-marital counseling, I was nervous from the stories I had heard before. I was worried about a compatibility test or being told our marriage wasn’t going to work by a Reverend who has baptized me.

It was nothing like that.

I grew up in the Methodist denomination and the marriage counseling was an approach of making anything work instead of seeing if we would work. After going through the experience, I definitely recommend premarital counseling, but remember, not all premarital counselings are the same. 

I think something that really struck me and really tightened my relationship in Christ with my now-husband is that we believed and still believe that we were brought together by God to create a family that follows in His name. It was this idea that we are better together for God than apart. We make each other better people. We lift His name in all that we do. My Reverend really brought that purpose to light for us. In fact, it was the subject of so many discussions. 

We were given many reading materials that were not required, but always suggested. They were centered on a faith-based marriage. It was important to us to remember the reason for our marriage. So, we read material by renowned theologists that really put tough words into digestible information. 

We talked about our roles in relationships like who is better with the finances and who is better with organizing a household, but he kept mentioning our roles as partners in marriage. That even when we argued, we need to take a step back and remember that we are on the same team. We are here for the same purpose. We are both children of God and we both deserve the respect that God views us with.

Another important thing we learned with this is that we should be each other’s first calls. This was more difficult for me than it was for him. I have always turned to my parents first, but it really helped me put into perspective the importance of turning to my husband first and having him be the person I rely on. Our marriage before God is our promise to always put the other before the surrounding people in our life. 

Then, we got to pick the verses we wanted to use in our wedding ceremony. There was a verse that had always meant a lot to me and then we had to figure out a verse that we wanted to focus on as we went into our marriage. We went with a verse that we felt that we could really rely on in times of difficulty and guide us through rough waters. Then, we got to choose the songs for our ceremony. We wanted these songs to symbolize our relationship with God and our relationship with each other. 

Every time we left our counseling, we had amazing conversations about what we had learned and what we wanted for the future. We had spent our time preparing for premarital counseling by discussing our parenting styles and what our hopes and dreams were, but that wasn’t what counseling was for us. It was solely based on our relationships with God and with each other. We would leave thinking “wow, this isn’t what I expected” but it always felt good. Our marriage counseling was not a pass-fail kind of counseling, but more of a series of lectures that we took seriously about what a Christian marriage is, finding that purpose within our marriage, and what it looks like to live a Christian marriage. 

I couldn’t recommend premarital counseling enough. In fact, I feel like it really helped us figure out what marriage was going to look like. It was enlightening and helped us form an even deeper bond. I can never thank my Reverend enough for the knowledge he instilled in both of us during these times.

Caroline C.
FFL Cabinet Member
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