As a minister I have already decided I will not perform a wedding unless I am satisfied with the premarital counseling the couple has received. This is a very important part of preparing for marriage. The simple truth is dating does not prepare a couple for marriage. Anyone that is married can validate this fact. To be honest, even good premarital counseling doesn’t completely prepare a couple for marriage. Most couples go into it thinking they already know what they need to know. “I love him/her.” That is enough isn’t it? Well, to be honest no it isn’t. There will come a time when you will doubt your love. There will come a time when you will be angrier than you thought you ever could be. That is what happens when you are close to a person. You open yourself to them and little things that wouldn’t bother you in a friend or dating type of friend will drive you crazy in a spouse.
The biggest problem, though, is that even couples that go through premarital counseling don’t think about how to continue to strengthen their marriage down the road. Most professions require additional training and certifications as long as you are in the career. Sure, you can be in many entry level type jobs without continuing education but who wants a marriage equivalent to flipping burgers for a living. I’m not knocking that job but let’s be honest. It is a much better job for teens and college students than for someone in their 30s or 40s.
All marriages will benefit from regular counseling, seminars, or other marriage building sessions. A good marriage will get better. In fact a couple in a good marriage is probably involved in some kind of program to improve their marriage. Maybe they read couple books together or try to go on marriage retreats once a year. They might actually go to a church couple’s class or some other kind of class like that. The point is that they understand that a good marriage takes work. We can always learn new things about our spouse and ourselves. Couples that think that going to something is admitting a problem probably have a problem they are trying to cover up. Those kind of problems will eventually come out and usually in a bad way that leads to the marriage dissolving.
If you are planning on getting married then make sure you get good premarital counseling. If you are married then get involved in building a stronger marriage even if you think you have a strong marriage. Start now before you have a problem.
What kinds of things have you done for your marriage lately?