Now, I'm pretty good with teenagers after all the years I spent teaching high school, but I was looking forward to marriage counseling because I'd never been married before and was pretty set in my ways, and because the teenagers I know usually go home every night. What did I learn during the process? NOTHING. I can confidently say that my marriage counseling from my husband's pastor was sub sub par. It consisted of a few conversations and please read these somewhat helpful love and respect books. In an ideal world those would be perfect, but we don't live in an ideal world. We live in a world where we need to be able to handle the tough questions and there were no tough questions.
Thankfully, my cousin had great counseling and recommended a book that I wish the pastor had us read together. It's called Fit to be Tied by Bill and Lynne Hybels. Reading this book BEFORE you tie the knot is key. Asking hard questions BEFORE you tie the knot is key. Nobody wants to regret marrying the person they did a year or two down the road. You have to think and talk about the things that may seem great now, but may drive you crazy later. You know... exciting and romantic things like making the bed and paying the bills.The book is written in two parts, Part I is for pre-marriage and is called On the Way to Marriage, and Part II is called Marriage that Lasts.
If you're someone who counsels couples before marriage or if you know people who are thinking about getting married, I strongly suggest you add this book to their required reading. Tell them to each get a notebook and as they read they should write down thoughts and questions to ask their want-to-be spouse. I'm not a big fan of the discussion guide I found in the back of the book, but if they answer the following questions as they read I think it will bring up plenty of topics for discussion.
- What do you agree with in this section/chapter and why?
- What do you disagree with in this section/chapter and why?
It's not about agreeing or disagreeing with the authors, it's about agreeing and disagreeing with each other.