Christians should seek premarital counseling for the same reasons as any other engaged couples should.
Marriage is a huge adjustment and probably one of the most significant and life-changing events in a person’s life. Just as with any other big event, such as moving into a new house or changing careers, you would invest much time and effort in planning and preparation, in order to make the transition as effective and fruitful as possible.
For a Christian, marriage is a lifetime commitment, one which requires counting the cost and being completely sure before making a promise before God and the witnesses of this serious marriage covenant.
With the divorce rate soaring, what can engaged couples do to lower the risks for divorce? What about living together first? What about Christians marrying non-believers? What about couples who are dating?
If a Christian marries a non-believer, then where will the children go on Sundays? Will they go to church or will the other spouse say “No!”? This is why Paul warned against this type of association with non-believers, saying “What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you” (2 Cor 6:15-17). Paul also said, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals” (1 Cor 15:33).
If you are a Christian and marry a non-Christian, then you will tend to be less effective in your walk with Christ because you will be heavily influenced by the unbelieving spouse. Besides that, God commands believers not to marry unbelievers. That should be a reason enough.
Any couple struggling in their marriage should seek counseling sooner rather than later. Every marriage includes bumps and turns that if not handled correctly can create chasms too wide to bridge. Often, either from pride or shame, a couple does not seek help with issues early enough to save the marriage. They wait until so much damage has been inflicted that the marriage is already dead and the counselor has little to work with. Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (ESV). When we face battles too great to wage alone, wise people seek wise counsel.
Recurring issues in a marriage are like road signs warning of danger to come. Some of these road signs are:
- Inability to resolve conflict in a healthy way.
- One partner dominating the relationship so that the needs of the other are not met.
- Inability to compromise.
- Either partner stepping outside the marriage to “fix” the problems.
- Breakdown in communication.
- Confusion about the roles of each spouse in the marriage.
- Disagreement about parenting styles.