For over 35 years, research studies have demonstrated The PREPARE/ ENRICH Workbook for Couples is a complement to your assessment that don't go away over time, it is important to seek professional counseling. . The Dating Exercise. I would rather have extra money in the bank than some new purchase. Welcome to this Bible study lesson on preparing for marriage. From the beautiful love They met when they were freshmen and started dating their senior year. for marriage? Proverbs , New Living Translation . Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Luke 14 Suddenly, on a plain black field with simple white letters, one read: "Need marriage counseling? I'm available. —God." I laughed out loud. Loyd, asleep in the.
What potential problems do you anticipate in your marriage? Have you been involved in pornography in the past or are you at present? Although there is a lot to do in this first meeting, there are four things that must take priority. First, and most important; Do both the bride and groom profess faith in the Lord?
Preparing for Marriage: Before You Say "I Do" > Free Bible Study Guides
The church will not be involved in the wedding if this question is not answered in the affirmative. It was mentioned earlier that it would be preferable for the couple to come unprepared for this meeting. This might be okay, but you will have missed an opportunity to gain insight into them as individuals and as a couple.
Consider approaching it this way. In other words, do they know how the other came to faith and can they tell the story? From this approach, you might be able to glean the following. Does the couple talk about their faith with each other? Does the couple seem to have an interest in spiritual things? How well do they really know each other? How well do they communicate about spiritual things? As you might guess, this approach can open up some wonderful and meaningful discussion.
It is a delight to hear a couple talk about the Lord, what He has done in their life, and how He is still at work. This approach can also completely stump the couple! Second, is the couple committed to a Christian marriage as defined in the Bible? If the couple is not committed in this way, it will be impossible, for example, for the husband to obey the command of Ephesians 5: Third, does the couple have parental approval? Although not necessarily a biblical requirement for marriage, it can be inferred and is very important.
Lack of parental approval is a huge red flag! Granting approval without parental consent should be an extreme exception. The church desires and expects parental approval. Take some time and find out the reason.
If possible meet with the parents and have them articulate their concern. You may want to devote an entire meeting or more just to address this issue. Consult with other Pre-Marriage Counselors who may have experienced this situation, and certainly seek the counsel of the Elders and Deacons of the church. Fourth, and somewhat uncomfortable to discuss, is sexual purity. To be specific, you need to find out if the couple is involved physically and to what extent.
If they are involved physically, communicate clearly the expectation that from here on to the wedding, they must commit to refraining from physical intimacy. Tell the couple you will check with them at each meeting on how they are doing on their commitment.
You also need to find out if they have been involved physically with others, and have they discussed it? Although potentially very hurtful, it is better for the couple to address this issue now rather that after they are married.
Have the couple turn to and read Ephesians 5: Then ask them where they stand in relation to these verses. Let the discussion proceed from there.
Many in our body have witnessed first hand the tragic result of pornography and sexual abuse on individuals and married couples. You might have to meet privately, men with men, women with women, in order for this to surface as an issue to address.
Christian Marriage I — Basics. The couple should come to this meeting prepared to cover these chapters. If they do not come prepared, you may be getting an indication as to how serious they are about Pre-Marriage Counseling.
These meetings work best when everyone comes prepared. It would probably be better not to meet if the couple is not prepared. Simply reschedule the meeting as quickly as possible so as not to throw off the rest of the schedule. Tell the groom you are expecting leadership from him in this area and that it is now time to start demonstrating it!
Having gone through the book with your spouse, you should be familiar with each chapter. If you try to cover every question from each chapter in discussion format, you will never finish a meeting! Therefore, as you and your spouse prepare for each meeting, with prayer and discernment decide which portions will be emphasized. Some portions you may cover in a lecture format but most should be through discussion.
The emphasis should always be on the truth of Scripture. Remember, you will want to hear what God is teaching them through their study. You and your spouse simply facilitate the discovery process. With each meeting and counseling session, you will get better in this area. The outline for this meeting should include the following.
The basics of marriage. A thorough study of Genesis 2: Put these verses in context with chapters one and three. Much can be gleaned from these verses but place an emphasis on the following. Adam did not a take a wife; he received one from God! Ask the couple for their view about divorce.
What they believe Scripture teaches about it, etc. If you, as the counselor, are unclear what Scripture say about divorce, take some time and think about the following passages: Will there be any problems from parents and siblings in this regard? The tests of love from I Corinthians To what extent do these qualities of love exist in their relationship?
Which are less evident? A discernment of their maturity, both spiritually and emotionally. This would be a good time to introduce the value of reading through the Bible in a year. By now you will have developed a relationship with the couple and learned about them in terms of personality, spiritual and emotional maturity, etc.
This insight will be very valuable as you prepare and conduct this session. For most couples, this will be their first in-depth study of what it means to be a Godly husband and a Godly wife. There is so much misinformation about this topic that many couples find the truth quiet a relief! Keep in mind Ephesians 4: But practicing the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head. From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament.
As each one does its part, the body grows in love. These verses precede Ephesians 5 which talks about, among other things, the proper relationship between husbands and wives. Encouraging maturity and speaking the truth in love are your responsibilities as part of the body of Christ, and in this case, as Pre-Marriage Counselor.
You are encouraged to not shy away from the truth of Scripture, particularly as it relates to husbands and wives. This meeting is conducted differently than the other meetings.
First, the men will talk, covering chapterswhile the women remain silent and listen. Then the women will talk, covering chapterswhile the men remain silent and listen. For some, the temptation to talk instead of listen is very great, but this must be resisted.
The outline for the men should include the following. Biblical headship and leadership. The main Scripture references will come from Ephesians 5. How is the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the Church? Verses from Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 should be emphasized. Define what it means to live with your wife in an understanding way. What is the command and warning of I Peter 3: The outline for the women should include the following: How is the wife to be a helper to her husband?
A submissive wife as defined by Scripture. Home is where the heart is! During your discussion about headship and submission would be a good time to discuss personal convictions. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. It is important to study the biblical instructions that you will be agreeing to in marriage. Understanding what we are committing to and considering how to apply these principles is a key part of making a strong and permanent commitment. See the "Apply Now" and "Related Resources" sections below for additional study on these roles and commitments in marriage.
Choose Wisely During Bible times, arranged marriages were common, so our modern method of choosing a mate is not discussed in the Bible. But the Bible has a great deal of advice on how to make decisions and choices, and these can apply in marriage as well.
What kinds of relationships does God warn us to avoid? When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest; so shall your poverty come like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.
For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial?
Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? A friendship with an angry man can be damaging enough, but the terrible scourge of abusive marriages is a stark warning to someone contemplating marriage. Laziness is another warning sign we should not ignore as we get to know potential marriage partners. Since our relationship with God should be paramount in our lives, the apostle Paul warned us not to choose to marry someone who doesn't share our deepest beliefs and spiritual commitments.
Marriage is intended to be the most intimate relationship, so we should try to find someone like-minded who we can share our deepest thoughts and dreams with.
Doug Britton Books
How can we choose our future mate wisely? We start by praying for God's guidance and seeking His will by studying the biblical passages on the subject.
God tells us He does answer our prayers when we pray unselfishly and pray according to His will James 4: However, we must remember that His time frame is much different from ours, so we must learn patience. When we strive to seek God's wisdom and follow biblical principles, we can entrust our decisions and the worries that naturally accompany them to God Proverbs 3: God encourages us to seek wise counsel about our decisions.
Our parents know us well, sometimes better than we know ourselves, and they have our best interest in mind. Seek their advice and input. Ministerial counsel is also a great benefit in understanding the biblical principles and roles and in practical application of those principles.