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Using this book as a resource helps facilitate an orderly approach to gleaning from God’s Word topics related to marriage. How and why did you decide that you should get married? Since you are postponing this requirement to the next meeting, this won’t be completed. Pre-Marriage counseling is a process, and it’s better to get to the heart of the matter rather than to complete a checklist.
At this point, it should be noted that if you have not read the book and done the assignments with your spouse, by all means stop and do so now! Second, is the couple committed to a Christian marriage as defined in the Bible?
In this first meeting you will cover chapters one and two of “Preparing for Your Marriage.” If the couple has already set a wedding date, this meeting should take place approximately five months before the wedding day. The couple must express a desire to be in God’s Word on a regular basis and to worship and fellowship with other believers. Although not necessarily a biblical requirement for marriage, it can be inferred and is very important. Granting approval without parental consent should be an extreme exception. If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have parental approval, proceed with much prayer and caution. If possible meet with the parents and have them articulate their concern.
It is preferable that the couple NOT prepare ahead of time for this first meeting; I’ll explain why in a moment. For you to get to know the couple and to make them feel comfortable and at ease with you, your spouse, and with the counseling process. To discern the spiritual condition of the counselees, and the degree to which each is familiar with the spiritual history and commitment of the other. To discern problem areas which might disqualify the couple for marriage, and determine if the couple meets the qualifications for marriage. To come to an understanding of the necessity of sexual purity prior to their marriage. To outline the counseling process and what will be required of the couple. Should you grant your approval for their wedding and for the church’s involvement if one or more parents are against it? You may want to devote an entire meeting or more just to address this issue.
To the best of your knowledge, what is a Christian marriage? This might be okay, but you will have missed an opportunity to gain insight into them as individuals and as a couple. With no prior prompting, have the bride tell you the groom’s testimony of his faith!
You, on the other hand, will have prepared and have a mental outline of what you would like to accomplish. Schedule all other meetings, about one month apart, and outline what will be covered in each meeting. To clarify that no announcements should be sent out until approval by the counseling couple is given and communicated to the Officiant and church Office. Consult with other Pre-Marriage Counselors who may have experienced this situation, and certainly seek the counsel of the Elders and Deacons of the church.
Mc Rae’s book “Preparing for Your Marriage.” You, your spouse, and the couple you are counseling, should have a copy of this book. Should that be the case, rather that allow them to “wing it,” make this an assignment they will be ready to do at the next meeting.Encourage the couple to complete the assignments separately. The church’s Pre-Marriage Counseling and/or Wedding Process, states that after the first meeting you and the Wedding Officiant are to decide if the couple qualifies to continue.Only in this way will you be able to know what additional resources you will want to incorporate into your meetings. If the couple is not committed in this way, it will be impossible, for example, for the husband to obey the command of Ephesians : “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” How can a husband love his wife as Christ also loved the church if he is not committed to the principals of biblical headship?It will be wise to work through those passages of Scripture in Section 3, Recommended Preparation Prior to Counseling. A Christian marriage is a lifelong building project that begins on the foundation of God’s Word.
Counselors should feel free to adapt this approach to their own gifts and style, so long as the essentials are covered. This guide is intended to assist you in planning and working through the counseling process with your couple. From this approach, you might be able to glean the following. Does the couple talk about their faith with each other? Are they confident about the other’s conversion, and is it true faith so far as they can tell? Does the couple seem to have an interest in spiritual things? It is a delight to hear a couple talk about the Lord, what He has done in their life, and how He is still at work.Keep in mind also that each couple to be counseled will have different levels of spiritual maturity and needs. Some will be engaged for the first time; others may have been married before. The primary source to help you in organizing your meetings will be William J. This approach can also completely stump the couple!