Real Families. Real Hope.
Offer God's hope to hurting families.
Yes, I will help struggling families!

A Powerful Way to Honor Marriage in Your Church

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
a newly married couple showing off their rings
These three elements of premarital counseling should strengthen your church and help the newlyweds honor marriage more vigilantly.

I remember the day as if it were yesterday. I was filled with gratitude, excitement and nerves as we sat in our pastor’s office waiting to begin our premarital counseling sessions. My wife and I had a long-distance courtship for three years as I waited for her to finish college. She lived in Michigan, and I lived in Louisville. Whenever I could make it up to see her, which wasn’t often, we would spend multiple hours preparing for marriage with our pastor. Our time together was a joyful challenge. Both she and I grew as a result of hearing another perspective.

Every Bible-believing church should have premarital counseling as a prerequisite to marriage for their members.

While we can’t force people to go through with counseling, we do present it as an expectation and require it if the couple is going to use the church’s facilities or have the pastor perform the wedding.

It concerns me when I hear a Christian share his or her engagement story before marriage and the story doesn’t include premarital counseling. Or, if they have had marriage counseling when their experience was similar to one couple in which their first and only session consisted of an hour-long sports conversation between the husband-to-be and the pastor. If our churches don’t offer acute care to people who are engaged or married, we’re missing an opportunity to teach them what it means to “honor marriage” as Hebrews 13:4 commands.

I’m convinced that the best way to create a strong church is through strong families, and strong families are a result of strong marriages. Since this is true, it’s wise to invest in marriages before they begin. Sadly, many couples in our pews will spend more time discussing their first house or vehicle purchase than they will be discussing the intricacies of marriage. They’re lead to believe, perhaps by the silence of their pastors, that as long as they love each other now, that everything will work out.

Here are the three most significant elements of a premarital ministry that will help couples honor marriage:

It’s important for each couple to spend a significant amount of time with a pastor, mentoring couple, or church leader.

I recommend a minimum of 8-10 sessions with each one, lasting at least an hour. During this period, the couple should reflect on their own personal journey and family history. They should also read a book about marriage that will help facilitate discussions about communication, biblical roles and expectations, sexual intimacy, financial stewardship, raising children, spiritual synergy, etc. I’ve found that some of the best “aha” moments of the marital experience happen as they read and discuss the assignments that they were given together.

Have the engaged couple interview married couples in the church about areas of their lives in which they’ve seen God at work.

For example, since there are couples in our church that excel in financial discipleship, I have engaged couples meet with them to learn from their experiences. Each couple is then encouraged to make a budget that they can implement together from the very first day of their marriage.

Premarital counseling is an excellent opportunity to get couples reading their Bibles more often as individuals and together.

I’ve found when couples come for pre-marital counseling they’re ready and willing to do whatever it takes to ensure a healthy marriage. As a Christian pastor, I believe that abiding in the Word of Christ is one of the healthiest endeavors that a couple could partake in. It’s through the regular, prayerful, and careful reading of scripture that couples will learn about the person and work of Jesus. As pastors, we should use this time to evaluate the couple’s personal devotion life and help give them a vision of what life in the Word could look like for them in the future.

These three elements of premarital counseling should strengthen your church and help the newlyweds honor marriage more vigilantly. As members learn about your high and engaging standard for marriage, they will see that this sacred covenant should not be entered into lightly.

Discover the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Marriage

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take a free marriage assessment to identify the key areas where your marriage could use improvement and the tools that will help you strengthen your bond with your spouse. Take the free assessment!

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.
Book Cover: Aftershock A Plan for Recovery

Aftershock: Overcoming His Secret Life with Pornography: A Plan for Recovery

This book is for women who have discovered their husband’s struggle with pornography and other sexual infidelities. Based on biblical principles and psychologically sound advice, Aftershock is designed to help women heal, grow, and receive restoration for themselves, their husbands, and their marriages.

That the World May Know

Join renowned teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan as he guides you through the lands of the Bible. In each lesson, Vander Laan illuminates the historical, geographical, and cultural context of the sacred Scriptures. Filmed on location in the Middle East, the That the World May Know ® film series will transform your understanding of God and challenge you to be a true follower of Jesus.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

You May Also Like