The following is my favorite and most successful Counseling session I developed. Please share it with anyone you know thinking about getting married. This can save a ton of pain, suffering, and money:
Marriage is a sacred institution and a lifelong commitment between two individuals. While taking the leap of faith, it is essential to address specific concerns to avoid any conflict later. One of the most valuable tools to tackle such issues is incorporating scriptures into the process. Scriptures are a valuable source of wisdom and guidance that provide insights and offer a blueprint of what a happy marriage should be like.
The following ten areas need to be discussed to eliminate some possible rifts and to cherish the bond of marriage:
1. Finances: One of the leading causes of divorce is money problems. A premarital financial discussion is crucial, including savings, investment plans, debts, spending habits, and division of responsibilities. As Ecclesiastes 5:10 states, "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income."
2. Communication: Communication is the cornerstone of a successful relationship. Couples should discuss their communication patterns, maintain open and honest conversations, and actively listen to their partner's concerns. Scripture tells us to be "quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry" (James 1:19).
3. Conflict Resolution: Disagreements are inevitable in a marriage, and solving them respectfully and efficiently is vital for marital harmony. Proverbs 17:14 reminds us of the wisdom of "starting a quarrel [being] like breaching a dam."
4. Intimacy and Sex: Intimacy and sex are essential components of a happy marriage. Honest discussions about sexual likes, dislikes, and boundaries are necessary before making a marital commitment. As 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 states, we are to "give to each other due benevolence," and this conversation should be approached with mutual respect and sensitivity.
5. Family Planning: Decisions on children, raising them, and when to have them must be made before marriage. Genesis 1:28 encourages the procreation and nurturing of a family.
6. Roles and Responsibilities: Understanding each other's roles and responsibilities in a marriage is vital. Ephesians 5:21-33 speaks specifically of the roles of husbands and wives within the union.
7. Religion and Spirituality: Couples must acknowledge how religion and spirituality fits into their lives and future marriage. 2 Corinthians 6:14 advises us not to be unevenly yoked with an unbelieving spouse.
8. In-Laws and Extended Family: Maintaining and giving proper respect to in-laws and extended family is essential in avoiding conflicts within a marriage. Ephesians 6:2 advises children to honor their father and mother for their family's peace and tranquility.
9. Trust and Honesty: Marriage requires the utmost honesty and transparency. Scripture tells us that the righteous "swears to his hurt and does not change" (Psalm 15:4), encouraging truthfulness and trustworthiness.
10. Personal Growth: Both individuals in a marriage should continue their personal growth and development. Philippians 3:13-14 speaks of moving forward to attain stated goals and personal growth within a marriage.
In conclusion, addressing these critical issues before marriage while using scripture as a guide can promote deeper understanding, deepen respect, and strengthen the bond between the couple. By doing so, married couples can build a solid foundation that can withstand any of life's challenges that may arise.