Purpose Of Premarital Counseling
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Goals of premarital Counseling? Purpose of PMCC

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Did you know that premarital Counseling can help prevent divorce by 50%. Over 50% of people who go through a premarital counseling session tend to know how to navigate issues way better than those who didn’t. We can’t say exclusively that the goals of premarital counseling is to prevent divorce but we are confident that it contributes to a strong and long-lasting marriage.

That’s why we recommend once a couple has decided to get married, way before they propose they should go through the 10 weeks of premarital counseling. 

What is the purpose of premarital counseling? The purpose of premarital counseling is to prepare a couple to face the realities of marriage. Giving them wise counsel. This will include how to navigate their conflicts, managing expectations, communication, and helping them be aware of what to expect when they get married.

The Bible talks about wise counsel in Proverbs 11:14

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors, there is safety.

Ideally, this session should be conducted by someone who is married or a professional marriage counselor. Which can be conducted in two different sets, group session, or individual (couple) session. Which I will discuss further in this article. 

No matter how well you think you know each other, or how confident you are that you are a good person, marriage exposes a lot of your weakness, insecurity, and fears. During this 6 to 10 weeks of premarital counseling, you will learn how to navigate these issues and express yourself to your partner with a lot of grace.

Goals of premarital Counseling

Is premarital counseling a must? This is one of the frequently asked questions among Christian couples. Before I got married I had the same question, especially because I thought I knew my girlfriend (my now wife) so well. 

We both worked in the church and in our evaluation we thought we knew each other well. We were compatible and we thought that was enough. It is until we started going through the session that we realized that compatibility alone was not enough. 

Right from the first session of premarital counseling (PMCC), I never knew that I was impatient, controlling, and a bully. This is just but a few reality checks that I experienced. We were forced by these realities to make choices to forgive, to be patient, and to work on ourselves as we prayed for each other. 

It was not an easy feeling to be exposed and challenged to work on me. But it was helpful and it made a huge impact not only on our marriage but to our ministry to couples

At the end of the day, the goal of premarital counseling is to expose you to the truth, equip you as a couple with knowledge and skills on how to make better decisions concerning your relationship moving forward. Personally, that’s why I believe a couple should go through premarital counseling before they propose. It gives you a much clearer picture of who you are planning to get married to.

There several questions and topics that we covered during the counseling sessions. All these topics and questions will help you process, evaluate, and look at your relationship from different angles. 

It’s okay if you feel uncomfortable during these sessions, I honestly think it’s better you know the truth and evaluate honestly your relationship before you say I do. Most marriages break because of secrets that could have been prevented if they shared them during the premarital counseling session.

If your ready check out the best premarital programs in Kenya here.

Group Counselling or individual Counselling 

The other question that I get a lot from young couples is this, Pastor, should I do the session in a group setup of just me and my girlfriend? 

Well, the answer to this question depends on your preference, I will cover both here at let you decide for yourself.

Individual(couple) premarital counseling benefits

As a couple you might be conformable doing the counseling alone, this approach has its pros and cons. 

Pros 

  1. It’s easy to open up and share secrets and deep emotions. 
  2. The counselor has the undivided attention 
  3. You will have enough time every session to drill deep into the issue. 
  4. It’s easier for the facilitators to call you our without fear 

Cons

  1. It’s easy to find yourself seeing the problem from one angle because you have not heard from other people who are going through the same issue. 
  2. There are no accountability partners.

Group Premarital Counselling

My wife and I did our premarital counseling in a group setup. It was fun to hear different people share their stories, struggles, and success. 

We got to see relationships from different based on each couple’s story, it helps us learn not only from our own issues but from other people’s issues. Even though we had fun and all, this approach also has its pros and cons 

Pros. 

  1. Easy to keep each other accountable 
  2. You learn from other couples
  3. You will understand some of your issues well once someone else in the group shares the same issue or ways to deal with something
  4. You will be encouraged that you are not alone
  5. Other couples can explain something different for you to understand better
  6. Having another couple facilitate your session might result in a long term relationship even after the wedding

Cons

  1. Not easy to open up
  2. Most people are afraid to share a deep secret in front of others. 
  3. Some people fake story to impress
  4. People an easy hid from the crowd and share very little 
  5. The larger the group the more time you need
  6. Facilitators might need more time to be able to reach everyone personally 

Both this approach is good and can produce impactful results, however, it’s recommended to discuss with your partner what they are comfortable with. 

A good premarital counseling will set a good foundation for your marriage. Take time to do some results or talk to some of your friends for a referral or talk to your church leaders for any further information. 

Now you know what the purpose of premarital counseling is, let us know what you got from the article in the comments. We reply to all questions feel free to leave them in the comment. 

Premarital books that worth your time, find them on amazon. We recommend these two. 

Premarital Counseling Handbook

Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

Bible Verse About Premarital Counseling 

Proverbs 11:14 ESV

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors, there is safety.

Proverbs 12:15 ESV

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advise.

Proverbs 15:22 ESV 

Without counsel, plans fail, but with many advisers, they succeed.

Proverbs 19:20 ESV 

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future

FAQ

What is discussed in premarital counseling?

A lot is discussed in a premarital counseling session, some include how to communicate effectively to your partner, dealing with conflicts, personality, forgiveness, how to communicate expectations, roles, secrets, and how to handle each other in the marriage.

How many sessions are needed for premarital counseling?

Ideally, the sessions required are between 6 to 14 based on the program in place. It is recommended you do at least 10 sessions to have covered the main topics.

What questions do pastors ask in premarital counseling?

You should expect the pastor to ask you about your relationship, how you met, what attracted you to your partner, your financial status, and how you view money. Some additional will be on purity and sexual boundaries. And other questions may arise from the conversation so be ready to open up and share honesty. 

What percentage of couples do premarital counseling?

The number of couples going through Premarital counseling has dropped to 38% from the initial number 44% in 2000 to 2019. Most couples are rushing into marriage without being prepared and that explains the rising number of divorce in the world. 

How do I choose a premarital counselor?

Find a program that shares common values with you, if you are a christian choose a program run by a church. Ask around to see which program is mostly recommended.

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