Marriage is a skill, and working at that skill over the long haul takes intentionality. Pre-marriage classes and counseling can’t guarantee a perfect marriage, but they can help a couple to start out with the intentionality they’ll require as the years go by. Couples invest so much time preparing for their wedding day, and yet so often assume their marriage will just happen well because of the feelings they have for each other, or because of the relationship they’ve enjoyed so far. But these feelings and past experiences are only an initial part of a good marriage; there is more to the skill.
Pre-marriage counseling is a requirement many clergy adhere to today, and Pastor Bob expects the same commitment from couples he is working with. Usually couples enjoy the process regardless of age or whether this is their first marriage. There are two parts to Pastor Bob’s pre-marriage process which takes place over a 2-3 month period, and during which couples can expect 5-6 private meetings.
– First, along with reference to some other resources, Pastor Bob guides couples through a workbook called “Preparing For Marriage” which is provided free of charge.
– Second, Pastor Bob has begun to use the “Prepare/Enrich” material which, by way of an online survey, provides couples with focused attention on key areas of their relationship designed to help them build on their strengths. There is a cost for the Prepare/Enrich portion of the pre-marriage counseling which is payable by credit card directly to Prepare/Enrich through their website at the time the online surveys are taken.