PREMARITAL COUNSELING AS A VISIONARY JOURNEY
A wedding marks a beautiful and fundamental shift in the life of every couple. It is the continuation of a visionary journey that begins during the early phases of every relationship, when couples open their hearts and minds to the reality of a lifelong commitment to each other. Engagement moves them forward in solidifying the depth of that commitment, while adding a spark to the fire of their devoted love and the dreams they share for their future. Let me take a few moments to present how premarital counseling fits into the process of accomplishing those martial dreams.
Premarital counseling serves as one of the most unique and important elements of this visionary journey, because it provides couples with a forum to wade through deep waters of their love, while learning to carefully traverse through the daunting peaks and gaping valleys of their differences. Taking such a journey is one that requires the help, knowledge, and wisdom of those who are skilled at helping others navigate through the joyous and difficult parts of such an endeavor.
THE PURSUIT OF WISDOM
Engaged couples who are willing to dedicate their time to premarital counseling heed the call of wisdom and effectively work toward preparing and fortifying their relationship for the long-term journey of marriage.
"Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you." (Proverbs 4:6)
This biblical passage highlights the protection that we experience when we choose to gain and apply wisdom, and serves to encourage all of us to pursue it.
Wisdom is something that comes to us in different forms. It comes to us when we learn from the experiences of others, who have already traversed the territories we are embarking upon. It may also come to us as we learn from our own life experiences, including the risks, mistakes, successes and failures that make life the grand adventure that it is.
The reality is there are different roads to wisdom, some being smoother than others. Nevertheless, it is up to us to determine which roads we will take when gaining wisdom as it relates to building a healthy marriage.
PREMARITAL EDUCATION AND ACTIVE LEARNING
It's one thing to read a book and speak to someone about having a healthy marriage. It's a completely different story when it comes to having to apply that learning with your soon to be spouse, especially when emotions are involved. This is why my work with premarital couples will often focus on two primary elements: Education and Active Learning. These elements are representative of the roads to wisdom we mentioned earlier.
Education is the process of providing information to couples on key principles that will enable them to have a strong and healthy marriage. Active Learning is the process of actually helping them apply those principles as they address the different dynamics of their relationship. These areas include communication, money, sex, spirituality, extended family, and relationship roles among many other areas.
Once a couple has thoroughly worked through these two main processes, they are better prepared to navigate through the ups and down of marriage, and have a greater understanding of how to help each other feel loved, valued, and emotionally connected throughout their relationship.
THE PURSUIT OF A DEEPER LOVE
Beyond all of the well known practical reasons for premarital counseling is something emotional, less tangible, and perfectly priceless. It is the underlying sentiment of connection and love that couples will fight vehemently to maintain between them, and still often fail to see realized in the long term. This isn't because they aren't capable of experiencing an enduring love, but because there is a breakdown in how they convey their love.
I've heard it said that believing you can experience a lasting romance in a relationship is absurd, and yet I would say that to let go of that belief is even more absurd. There is a reason the fight for this type of connection between couples is so ardent and lasting, even after multiple points of conflict.
The truth is that every heart longs for something deeply passionate and romantic with a lover that fills the heart and mind and reaches a level of ecstasy which causes us to forsake every notion of time. Yes, timeless is the way I would describe this type of love. But why is it something that feels out of our reach, especially with those with whom we have committed our lives. Is it biology? Is it familiarity over time? Or is it that we have lost sight of this romantic love? My hunch strongly veers to the latter of these questions, though I wouldn't negate the first two.
My point is that if you are willing to consistently do what is necessary to help your partner, lover, marital confidant, or whatever you might decide to call them, be satisfied with your love, then I dare say it will be hard to lose the romance you can experience as a couple. Having said all this, premarital counseling is something that can help you to venture clearly in this direction, so that your understanding of each other and what is needed by way of keeping hold of the deeper sentiments of love, will be firmly planted into the enduring foundation of your marriage.
KEEPING THE END IN MIND
Having a lasting marriage is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of the heart. It is in this sacred place that each man and woman decide what they want their marriage to be, and how they are going to contribute to that end. It is the realm in which their faith and character collide to produce a persevering love that is not broken down or distracted over time.
However, being effective in helping your significant other experience your love over time is a matter of sharing your hearts openly in a manner that feels less like communication and more like communion. Reaching that level of interaction is a result of having a clear sense of how to join your heart and words with theirs, thereby achieving such an end. That is where premarital counseling can serve you well.
In closing, my hope is the following words will remain close to your heart:
Let wisdom prevail and learn all you can about how to love your partner well, before getting married, so that you can have a truly beautiful marriage that stands the test of time.
If you would like more information on premarital counseling options at Fulfilled Christian Counseling, reach out to us today:
We look forward to hearing from you!
Eric Gomez, MS LMFT MHP
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Fulfilled Christian Counseling