An Overview - by Pastor Jason Wolin
Basically, this is a plea from my heart to yours. PLEASE, take this seriously. EVERY marriage has challenges and yours will not be an exception. Putting effort into contemplating where those areas might be in your marriage will go a long way toward good discussion and meaningful preparation!
Reading and Memorization:
Please read the book, When Sinners Say I Do, by Dave Harvey and complete the study guide. Please be prepared to share the answers to your study guide with your counselor (email them to him before your next session). Memorize the following Scriptures:
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (both)
- Col 3:18; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-2 (bride)
- Col 3:19; Eph 5:25; 1 Peter 3:7 (groom)
Outline for the Course:
The premarital counseling material is divided into six different sessions each with a specific goal and purpose. The material is designed to be flexible so that it can be adapted to various levels of maturity and needs but also rigid enough to force movement and hit the most essential topics. Selected chapters from the workbook, Before You Say I Do by Wright, H. Norman will be used to facilitate these discussions. Below is out an outline of the main course topics:
Session One: This is basically a get-to-know-you session on both sides. You will undoubtedly have questions for me as a counselor and I will have questions for you. The goal of this time is to create a comfortable environment of mutual trust. This session is also given to explaining what exactly marriage is and what to expect in marriage. Many people have an unrealistic view of what needs marriage can fill in their life and it is good to understand God’s design.
Session Two: Here we talk about communication. We talk about gender specific tendencies, the various levels of communication, verbal vs. non-verbal communication and how to develop the skill of being a good communicator. But most importantly, what does God have to say?
Session Three: Expectations in marriage can be both good and harmful. God gives us desires, and there is nothing wrong with wanting good things from our marriages. But when those good desires turn to idols we suddenly have conflict. How do we present our expectations to God?
Session Four: We bring a lot baggage and preference into marriage and undoubtedly this will result in conflict. Conflict is not a bad thing. The way we deal with it can either produce growth or it can produce disease that festers and kills the marriage. What does God say about how to deal with conflict?
Session Five: Money has been the cause of many divorces in our country. Poor money management, wrong priorities and selfishness are just a few of the many ways in which marriages have suffered. How does God want us to think about money and how does he want us to use it?
Session Six: Sex is a wonderful part of marriage but just like any other area of life can be destroyed by selfishness. How can we be students of one another and in love give ourselves to another?
These six sessions are simply a guideline for the course. Younger couples have different needs than older couples. Couples that have had previous marriages, who have lost spouses through tragedy, who have had history of sexual abuse have different needs than couples who have not experienced these things. As such we want to talk specifically and tailor the course to your needs. Please feel free to discuss openly what are your greatest needs as a couple and how can we set you up for success in this exciting new journey!
Please view the documents below for more information:
Questions to Consider Before Marriage Building Usage PolicyRelationship History: BRIDE Relationship History: GROOM Wedding Considerations and Checklist Sample Wedding Vows Sex and Marriage Rehearsal Evening Checklist