A trendy thing to do these days in the modern Western Christian churches is to encourage young couples to undergo pre-marital counseling. Basically what this entails is that the couple will meet with a pastor and discuss what their lives will be like as a married couple in the future. Usually this involves the pastor giving some sort of advice as well as guidance on what to do.
Unfortunately, much of this advice, while good, is mostly whitewashed. I remember my own pre-marital counselor talking about how one time his wife kicked him in the head while he was driving because he was going too fast and didn’t listen to her earlier. And he stated that she was right to do so. The ironic thing is, she’s also a licensed therapist.
So I got some bad advice. I did get some good guidance (he did point us to Financial Peace University as a primer of finances) though. Anyway, here are a list of questions I would ask a couple to be if I was providing pre-marital counseling:
Questions for Both Groom and Bride:
- How often do you plan on having sex after your marriage?
- Can you stick to a consistent schedule of sex barring severe illness or other physical disability?
- How many children do you plan on having?
- Are you on good terms with your future in-laws?
- Do you have any past history with substance or alcohol abuse? Does your fiancée or fiancé know?
- Are your parents divorced?
- Do you know what headship really means?
- Do you know what submission really means?
- When is it okay for a married couple to get a divorce?
- Have you been sexually active in your current relationship?
- Have you been sexually active with other people in the past?
- Do you understand that your marriage vows will be an oath you make before God?
Questions for the Groom:
- Do you have career path in mind?
- Are you able to hold down a job?
- Do you a circle of guy friends you like to hang out with?
- Do you go to a gym or otherwise maintain a consistent level of physical activity?
- Do you know and understand the responsibilities you have a husband?
- Do you believe in a healthy balance between personal and professional work?
- Have you read up on anything related to Game, or the art of attracting women?
- Can you keep yourself at about the same attractiveness level as you are now or even get better as time passes?
- Do you understand the ins and outs of divorce laws and that they will be stacked against you should your bride decide to divorce you?
Questions for the Bride:
- Have you be sexually active in the past and have you disclosed all of this to your Groom?
- Are you willing to behave as attractive as he wants you to be when you engage in sexual relations with him?
- Are you willing to have as many children as he wants to have?
- Can you accept that divorce is never an option except in cases of adultery committed by your Groom?
- Are you willing to keep your weight down, even after childbirth?
- Are you willing to keep your hair long, even as you grow older?
- Are you willing to have sex with your Groom whenever he asks for it, even if you don’t want to?
- Can you cook?
Now these questions are designed to be a starting point for a pre-marital counselor. From here, you can develop a strategy of counseling, something to work on with the couple if they need it. The key though is to ensure that the couple seriously thinks about their commitment and understand their proper roles in the marital relationship.
The truth is, the Bible does give clear advice for married couples and it is quite simple yet very profound. Unfortunately, nobody in our modern age really pays attention to them. At least until it is too late.
The next stage is to have them develop expectations and commitments from their spouse-to-be in order to solidify their future covenant. This will help them to understand that marriage is more than just a social dating contract and is instead a sacred agreement you make before God.