Its about time people heard the straight talk about premarital counseling and education. For years it has been misunderstood. In some cases it has been overrated and in other cases it is underappreciated. But if you are looking at this article you have a vested interest in knowing everything you need to know.
Maybe you are getting married. Maybe for the second or third time. Maybe you are a concerned parent of a bride, or groom. This will help you whatever your situation.
First thing to do is answer the most important question. Will getting premarital counseling and education make a difference? How, and why, will it help? Or, is it a waste of time?Honestly, unless you get the right kind, it is a total waste of time.
Perhaps the first organized effort to pass on premarital counseling and education in a formal way was attempted by churches. Statistically this effort was a waste of time. And, it was perhaps worse than that. But there is a logical reason for its failure. The whole reason for it was to instill church doctrine, like about sex, contraception, and how to raise your children. It was not to help couples be happy.
That kind of premarital counseling addresses day to day married life like the ten commandments addresses individual life. Its all about restrictions; not love!
Then marriage and family therapists began offering premarital counseling. Some of them are tied to churches of various denominations, and they try their best to mix theological guidance with various ideas for spousal interactions. The weakness in this kind of premarital counseling and education is inconsistency. You will never know what you are getting until you got it, and because you are new to marriage you will not know if what you are learning has any merit or practical application.
Now, things are not only getting better, but they are, in scientific terms, completely useful. Paul Friedman, (that would be me), decided enough is enough. It is time to teach marriage from the ground up, using scientific principles of biology, psychology, and spirituality. And before I go on let me assure you there are scientific spiritual principles, just like there are core principles for any other enterprise.
Now, when a young, or older, couple want to prepare for marriage they can get practical, useful, marriage-enhancing knowledge. And, when it is presented properly, what you learn is self-evident. You do not have to filter out the dogma from the physics.
Realistic Premarital Counseling And Education
The number one desire you should have is for a lifetime of happiness. Everything you learn should be about what will make your marriage happy, and at the same time you need to know exactly what will destroy your happiness.
If you want to learn what God expects of you, and you are not sure, then that’s when you can incorporate some clerical support if you wish. But the most important thing for you is to learn how to be happy together; period.
Some may argue that you cannot be happy if you are not moral, and I agree with that. But I would add that there is nothing about living a moral life that will take away from your happiness. On the contrary. Its just that we do not come from a “thou shalt” point of view. Rather, we show the cause and effects that work in marriage, and the ones that throw marriage into whacky land.
The bottom line is this. Marriage is not as simple as going on a first date (which is not so simple) and is more complex than sailing a ship at sea. The knowledge you need to acquire in order to sail safely are numerous. When you know them, when you learn them, your marriage will do what it is designed to do; make you happy and love-filled. But if you do not get the knowledge you need your going to face some very hard times.
It is sad that until premarital counseling and education was properly assembled it got a bad reputation for unreliability. Now, its safe. So your marriage will be more than safe. Get educated, get married, and be eternally happy…that’s what I say!