God ordained marriage and emphasized the importance of the family unit throughout Scripture. Yet the concept of “marriage for life” is nearly obsolete in our society. Unfortunately, the Christian community has not been left untouched. Although physical divorce or separation may not be quite as commonplace in the Christian world, there are many emotionally divorced couples in church Sunday after Sunday.
Premarital counseling is one way to deal with this problem. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Premarital counseling is a preventative problem-solver. It’s dealing with problems before they come up; it’s examining strengths and weaknesses within the individuals as people and as a couple, and then seeking to find out how each person can best compliment the other.
The premarital counseling ministry is a seven week ministry devoted to teaching some basic issues that arise in almost every marital relationship. It is not intended to be a heavy Scriptural study of marriage, but rather its intent is to delve into the practical day-to-day situations and problems that come up in any marriage. Unfortunately, much of what is covered is only a surface look at the subjects due to the shortness of time. But the sessions are intended to hit on the things that will be encountered during the couple’s first year of marriage, which is generally considered to be the most difficult.
- Premarital counseling needs to be viewed as preventative medicine. Although marriage was intended by God to be a positive experience for man, even the best of relationships experience times of stress. It is the desire of this ministry to give marital candidates the opportunity to work through – at least hypothetically – some of the pitfalls that could plague them in the future.
- Marriage must be entered into with the proper understanding. We believe the following areessential:
- Marriage is not a struggle for rights.
- Marriage is a composite relationship of which its components are equal.
- This equality does not demand synonymity in function, i.e. each partner has a specific role to follow.
Initial Evaluation: Question & Answer Time. This is designed to determine the readiness of a couple for marriage. It also helps us evaluate our commitment to be involved with the couple.
The couple will be asked to complete a “Money Before Marriage” course taught by a certified financial counselor from Millersville Bible Church.
The couple will also be asked to view videos, listen to cassettes, and read materials related to marital readiness.
The couple will have several sessions with one of the pastors of MBC.