Tis’ the season… the season of engagements and weddings! This is the current season I am in as a 24-year-old. The season of life when I can just about bet that I will log into Facebook between October – January and see that just about every weekend someone else I know is getting engaged. Yes, I was one of those people 2 Thanksgivings ago…
A year ago, I was knee deep in wedding plans: picking out flowers, stressing over guests lists and figuring out a honeymoon destination. In the midst of all the to-dos and questions of “well what do YOU want?”, it was so easy to get caught up in all the activities and decisions and lose sight of what was really about to happen- a lifelong, for better or worse, commitment to one another. A commitment of not only ourselves to each other, but the work of Christ in each of our lives and our desire to display that within our marriage.
Why We Chose To Do Pre-Marital Counseling
In order to keep our focus in line with what was really important, me and my husband, along with the encouragement of our pastor who was to marry us, decided to do pre-marital counseling. We desired as a couple to prepare for not only the wedding, but our marriage. By seeking pre-marital counseling, we wanted to make sure that we sought wise counsel by someone who can give an unbiased, third party perspective into our relationship and advice on how to enter into this next step.
I will be honest; I was pretty nervous about doing this. Expressing my feelings and being vulnerable is not something that comes easy or natural to me, just ask my husband. I knew going into it that it would be challenging and that it would not necessarily be easy, so with hesitancy I walked in and began the first session.
Now, fast-forward to today almost a year later as I look back on that season, I can honestly say that doing pre-marital counseling was the best decision we made in preparation for our marriage. I am not an expert in marriage nor am I an expert in counseling, but the things we learned in those sessions helped us understand not only ourselves better, but also each other.
3 Benefits of Pre-Marital Counseling
So, here are a few insights and benefits that me and my husband gained from doing pre-marital counseling.
- We had to be vulnerable with each other. There were some issues that we had to talk about that were sometimes uncomfortable, but by doing so we were able to build more trust with each other.
- We gained new perspectives. Our pastor gave us questions and scenarios that can potentially arise in marriage that neither of us had thought of before. This allowed us to process how to handle the situations when they do arise, and some already have.
- We talked about expectations. We had the opportunity to talk about what each of our expectations were going into marriage. This was important for us to talk through because beforehand we hadn’t even discussed what our expectations were, even though we both had them.
I believe the thing I got most out of our sessions was the miracle and beauty of God bringing together two sinful, broken people and using their shortcomings to display His love, grace, and forgiveness. It hasn’t been easy and I am far from being a perfect wife, but these past several months have been full of grace, some tears, and many laughs. I look back and believe that pre-marital counseling was such a blessing for our marriage. It helped us to not only understand each other better, but also our own selves.
If you know someone who is about to get married, I would recommend seeking wise counsel from someone who has been or is in the stage of life you are about to enter.