The church premarital counseling ministry aims to help people understand marriage after God's heart and how a couple imitate Christ to learn and practice love in their marriage in a few hours' of counseling.
In my opinion, the following parts are necessary in the counseling:
Evaluate a couple's commitment to God.
Different from workshops, psychological consultative centers, and marriage services, the God-centered premarital counseling ministry evaluates the commitment of each partner to God.
Facts prove that a couple who are both Christians or whose families are devout Christians don't always enjoy a God-blessed marriage.
The future husband and wife should strengthen their own commitment to God before being really united.
Correct wrong concepts of marriage.
Counselors dig into how each of a couple understands marriage through a series of inquiries, discussions, and data collecting. They help a couple compare their misconception of marriage to biblical verses, face and analyze the misconception, and establish correct ideas of marriage.
Establish effective ways to resolve conflicts.
Conflicts are inevitable in marriage. The horrible thing is not conflicts, but not having a solution.
Some Christians deal with conflicts in marriage in extreme and violent ways or just run away from them, while some use means of interacting to turn conflicts into lubricants for marriage.
Premarital counseling helps a couple review their past experiences of handling conflicts in marriage. Then a benign interaction pattern is supposed to be set up in order to resolve conflicts in marriage through summary and reflections.
Guide a couple to respond to the intervention of a third party.
A couple needs to properly manage their relationships with a third party like their parents, children, the other spouse's friends or colleagues.
Practice has shown that about 45% of divorce has a direct or indirect connection with a failure to cope with relationship with a third party.
Therefore, have in-depth discussions on how to respond to the intervention of a third party in marriage, how to seek the involvement of a third party for marriage problems, and the proper degree of a third party's involvement.
(The author is a worker of a local church in Jiangsu.)