“To the married I command, yet not I but the Lord.” 1Co 7:10 NKJV
Dr. Archibald Hart, psychologist and author, recommends at least six counseling sessions before you marry. Why? Because engaged couples have expectations about marriage that are never verbalized. As a result, conflict becomes inevitable when those differing assumptions collide. So if you’re wise, you’ll talk about these understandings in the less antagonistic light of courtship. Dr. Hart asks the following questions of couples who consult with him: (1) If I had never met the person you’re planning to marry, and I had to rely on you to give me a description of who that individual is, what would you tell me? (2) If you could think of one thing that you would like to see your fiancé change, what would it be? (3) What are the five or six major goals you have established for your first few years together? (4) What does your budget look like? (5) Have you planned how you’re going to pay for the things you’re going to buy beyond your honeymoon? These are tough questions. But if you can’t agree on them before you’re married, you’re certain to fight over them afterwards. And since half of all marriages today end in divorce, you better be sure you know the answers before you take the test. The biggest mistake you can make is assuming that your future husband or wife will automatically change for the better as a result of being married to you. And if you’re the parents of an engaged couple, perhaps the most thoughtful wedding gift you could give them would be to pay for several sessions of premarital counseling.
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