Tell the couple that this final approval will not be given until after the third meeting. Fourth, and somewhat uncomfortable to discuss, is sexual purity.
To the best of your knowledge, what is a Christian marriage? This might be okay, but you will have missed an opportunity to gain insight into them as individuals and as a couple. With no prior prompting, have the bride tell you the groom’s testimony of his faith!
It is preferable that the couple NOT prepare ahead of time for this first meeting; I’ll explain why in a moment. For you to get to know the couple and to make them feel comfortable and at ease with you, your spouse, and with the counseling process. To discern the spiritual condition of the counselees, and the degree to which each is familiar with the spiritual history and commitment of the other. To discern problem areas which might disqualify the couple for marriage, and determine if the couple meets the qualifications for marriage. To come to an understanding of the necessity of sexual purity prior to their marriage. To outline the counseling process and what will be required of the couple. Should you grant your approval for their wedding and for the church’s involvement if one or more parents are against it? You may want to devote an entire meeting or more just to address this issue.
You, on the other hand, will have prepared and have a mental outline of what you would like to accomplish. Schedule all other meetings, about one month apart, and outline what will be covered in each meeting. To clarify that no announcements should be sent out until approval by the counseling couple is given and communicated to the Officiant and church Office. Consult with other Pre-Marriage Counselors who may have experienced this situation, and certainly seek the counsel of the Elders and Deacons of the church.
God does not promise or rearrange our worlds to suit our longings.
He does promise to permit only those events that will further his purpose in our lives.
Encourage the couple to complete the assignments separately. The church’s Pre-Marriage Counseling and/or Wedding Process, states that after the first meeting you and the Wedding Officiant are to decide if the couple qualifies to continue.
Using this book as a resource helps facilitate an orderly approach to gleaning from God’s Word topics related to marriage. How and why did you decide that you should get married? Since you are postponing this requirement to the next meeting, this won’t be completed. Pre-Marriage counseling is a process, and it’s better to get to the heart of the matter rather than to complete a checklist. Is it your desire to have a Christian ceremony and Christian wedding? If the couple knows ahead of time they will be asked about their faith, they will have time to “prepare” an answer. It was mentioned earlier that it would be preferable for the couple to come unprepared for this meeting. Although there is a lot to do in this first meeting, there are four things that must take priority. How do you want your spiritual relationship to improve? Describe both the strengths and the weaknesses of your mate. What potential problems do you anticipate in your marriage? Have you been involved in pornography in the past or are you at present?It will be wise to work through those passages of Scripture in Section 3, Recommended Preparation Prior to Counseling. A Christian marriage is a lifelong building project that begins on the foundation of God’s Word.