Making the decision to get married is an important one. Despite what the statistics say about the commonality of divorce, entering into the covenant of marriage is not something that either party should take lightly. In order to get married by some ministers, couples have to undergo premarital counseling with them. This may be viewed as a ridiculous requirement by many, but here are three reasons it is important for Christian couples.
1. You can define your expectations from the marriage beforehand.
One thing that causes a lot of problems for couples is they enter into marriage with a load of expectations, but they don't tell their partner what they are. Maybe you expect your partner to always kiss you good night before you go to bed. The first time they fail to do this, you will be disappointed. But, if you don't tell them about that expectation, how will they ever know to do it every night?
Of course, that is just a hypothetical example. Most expectations are more complex. For instance, if one of you plans to go to medical or law school, then it will likely be up to the other person to work to pay the bills and put food on the table. If you expect your future spouse to support you long-term goal of becoming a doctor or a lawyer, you need to make sure they are on board with that beforehand—otherwise, it can cause irreparable problems in the marriage.
2. You can get a better understanding of what marriage is supposed to be from a biblical standpoint.
Today's society has taken marriage and kind of made it into a fad. Much like a hairstyle or clothing design, when the marriage no longer suits your needs, you can simply throw it away and get something else. This is not what marriage was intended to be. In the Bible, marriage is compared to God's love for His people.
When God makes a promise, He keeps it no matter what. The same should be true of Christian couples entering into marriage. They should consider it a covenant—not just between each other, but between them and God as well. Christian couples need to understand just how significant the vows they take in marriage are and forsaking those vows should not be taken lightly.
3. It can reveal incompatibilities and save you from making the mistake of getting married.
Likely one of the reasons so many Christian couples don't want to go through premarital counseling (available at The Center for Family Counseling, Inc.) is because they are afraid of what they will discover. It is easy to fall in love and want forever with someone if you haven't really dug deep into who the other person is and what they want out of life. Even if you think you know them, premarital counseling can open up your eyes and make you realize that you didn't. And that is scary for all couples, not just Christian ones.
However, no matter how difficult it may be to realize the person you were going to marry isn't the one for you after all, it is still better to make that discovery before you marry them. The old adage that opposites attract is true, but only to an extent.
Some incompatibilities cannot be overcome. For instance, if one of you wants kids and the other is adamant about not having any, that is a big deal for a marriage. And while people do change their minds about things like that, you shouldn't enter into a marriage with that hope in your heart. You are setting the marriage up for failure and ensuring yourself of some miserable years ahead if you still go through with it.