Horn, Dwight A. Evangelizing Through Pre-Marital Counseling Westminster Theological Seminary. 2000.
Why do you decide to marry someone? People offer 3 principle characteristics: 1) personal and sexual attraction to a person’s qualities, 20 emotional attachment, and 30 friendship -- this is incomplete. Not grounded on sacrificing for another. Love will only lasts as long as the other remains satisfied by his lover (pg. 306)
Excerpts who have studied the phenomenon state the following: “
No matter whom we fall in love with, we sooner or later fall out of love if the relationship continues long enough…the ecstatic lovingness that characterizes the experiences of falling in love always passes. The honeymoon always ends. The bloom of romance always fades”.
Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled (New York: Touchstone Book, 1978), 84-85.
How can one find this foundation for love? The only way to know unconditional love, is by knowing God. I John 4:7-8 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
With this in mind, let us make the decision to marry only when we are prepared to love as Christ loved…Just realize that it begins not when you have found the right person, but when you commit to being that “righteous” person of the Lord. (pg. 311)
This is a great part of what marriage is created to be. It is one of God’s ways to enable us to experience Him and to find ourselves in Him.
John 15:9-14 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. (pg. 312)
True giving is the offering of a gift. A gift is something that expresses love not out of want, but out of understanding and service. It is knowing what another is in need of and being there to meet that need.
If one truly tires to love in this way, it is quickly discovered that to provide such a gift is a never ending challenge. Taking one’s eyes off of what is desired is not easy.
I Cor. 13:4-8
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not selfseeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
How would you define love?
How can I be certain I have developed friendship with my lover?
What stands in the way of our friendship developing even more? 256
In what areas do you think your lover would call you selfish?
Which needs are essential for your lover to meet?
What would you do if your lover could or would not meet these needs?
Is what ways has selfishness already harmed your present relationship? 260
What does it mean to love with purpose…repentance. ..Faith? 267
Wright, Norman H. Premarital Counseling Chicago: The Moody Bible Institute, 1981.
The status of marriage today is a negative one.
Attitude revealed by a young woman who said, “When I got married I was looking fro an ideal but I married an ordeal and now I want a new deal!” 8
The problem is not with the institution of marriage. The problem lies with the individuals within that structure and their attitudes toward it. 9
Cultural definition of the ideal mate can influence mate selection is called “idealization of the mate”
Various goals of premarital counseling
A vital goal is providing correction - concerning communication process, finances, in-laws, sex, etc.
To help eliminate as many surprises as possible
Opportunity for Christian growth
Suggest basic structure of six one-hour session, and one session 3-6 months after the fact
Hudson, R.L. Marital Counseling New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc,1963.
The problem behind the problems - desire to have someone to depend on or cling to, the concept of roles played by husband and wife
Prayer with a counselee should never be doe perfunctorily - only if right and natural, it should arise out of a situation
Knight III, George W. The Role Relationship of Men and Women: New Testament Teaching New Jersey, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1977.
Someone has said: The key to healthy marriage is to keep your eyes wide open before you wed and half-closed thereafter.
Strongly believe I the value of solid, biblical premarital counseling. Each engaged couple, even those who seem perfectly suited for one another, should participate in at least six to ten meetings with someone who is trained to help them prepare for marriage. The primary purpose of these encounters is to identify the assumptions each partner holds and to work through the areas of potential conflict.
Mack, Wayne A. Preparing For Marriage God’s Way Tulsa: Virgil W. Hensley, Inc., 1986.
You must know what real love is, to know if you are loving or being loved.
I Cor. 13:4 “love is longsuffering” vs. 5 - “love keeps no record of wrongs”
You see that love involves helping other people, but you probably won’t help unless you know where they need help. Don’t sit around and wit for your partner to tell you. YOU have to be aggressive. Look for and plan ways to serve one another.
Successful marriages are based on commitment. Y are the fruit of a commitment to God and His plan for marriage.
Never let anything or anyone come between you and your Lord!
** Your relationship with God is the most important relationship in your relationship with each other.
Communicating includes accurately RECEIVING the message as well.
In His Word, God has given clear, solid guideline and principles for viewing and handling finances.
Mack, Wayne A. Preparing For Marriage God’s Way Course Syllabus
God’s Blueprint for Marriage:
1 - Companionship - Gen. 2:18
The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
2 - Children
3 - Caretaking or custodianship
4 - Cowitnesses
5 - Coalescence or Convergence
- A lifelong, comprehensive union of an entire man and woman to each other.
- A complete partnership of a man and a woman in every area of life as long as they both shall live.
- A relationship in which a husband and wife share their lives completely as long as they both shall live
6 - Completion or Contribution
Husbands need to be learners. No husband can love or lead his wife in the way that God desires unless he is a good learner
Instructions on being a fulfilled and fulfilling wife;
It is not putting the husband in place of Christ
What good listening involves:
Good listening involves listening with your whole person - Pr. 2:2
Requires discipline/self control
Involves an eagerness or desire to hear
Involves gaining understanding
Four important rules for effective communication:
Be honest - Eph. 4:25
Stay current - Eph. 4:26-27
Attack the problem, not the person - Eph. 29-30
Act, Don’t react - Eh. 4:31-32
“Peacemakers carry about with them an atmosphere in which quarrels die a natural death” - R.T. Archibald
Eph. 4:1 - 3 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
7 Biblical Don’ts in handling finances: (pg 58)
1. Don’t use your resources irresponsibly
2. Don’t live a money centered life
3. Don’t love money
4. Don’t put your trust in money
5. Don’t be stingy or selfish
6. Don’t cheat or be dishonest in business
Consciously and deliberately acknowledge the ownership of in your life and with your possessions
- Give to God first
- Stay out of debt
- Seek God’s direction in the use of your (His) money
- Work hard
- Be generous with others
- Accept and be content with God’s provision for you
Why pre-marital counseling?
It impresses upon the couple the seriousness of marriage. Pre-marital counseling is a means “reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God”
Mueller, Chris “Dating and Relationships”. The Master’s College Chapel. February 25, 2005.
What is the sweetest relationship you have ever known, your mind should go to the trinity.
Relationships are your biggest test.
I John 4:20 “…one who loves God should love his brother”
Relationships are a growth tool. You are not more spiritual to avoid relationships
Look for PROVENESS!
Proveness: is fruit over time - the direction of their life, have they faithfully, passionately followed Christ over the long haul
Mt. 7:16-20 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
**Ideal Marriage is marrying someone who loves Christ more than you!
Are they seeking first His kingdom, NOW?! Are they amazed at the cross, NOW?!
What he is now, he’ll be that later
They demonstrate proveness in LIFE, not on a missions trip
How do you develop relationships?
By following God’s Word
1 - Don’t deceive Col. 3:9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices
A lie - is any type of deception!!
2 - Don’t defraud
Defraud: to take something that’s not yours to take -- with your words and actions don’t make marriage actions without a marriage proposal -- Never promise them anything - until you can promise them everything
*Do get a mentor!
Titus 2:3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.
Do remain pure!
NT tells us 27x to be pure
What do you do now?
TRUST in God’s timing and enjoy this time. When your ready - God will brig the perfect person into your life and join you together - Mt. 19:5-6
* You trust God by fully enjoying this time as a single
“Undistracted devotion” - II Cor. 7:35
Drink this up. Be in awe over the cross. Be blown away every single day. Be hungry to learn Really live. Enjoy it!
Look for the proven
Follow God’s Word
Trust in God
Enjoy this time
…you’ll never get it back!
Peace, Martha. The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective Minnesota: Focus Publishing, Inc., 1999.
God’s will for every Christian wife is that her most important ministry be to her husband (Gen. 2:18)
God has called every Christian wife to His excellence!
God is tremendously honored (glorified) if your respond biblically.
The members of a triune Godhead are living examples to us of a perfect relationship.
As there is harmony in the God-head, there can be harmony in a marriage relationship.
Husbands and wives should have a biblical goal for their relationships and pursue it.
A biblical course of action is simply a plan based on Scripture.
Have mutual sanctification in your marriage.
Just as Christ glorified the Father by doing the Father’s “work” the wife is to glorify her husband by doing the husband’s “work”. Her role is to glorify her husband. She was created for him.
It is only in fulfilling and living out these roles as God intended, that you and your husband will have close unity and harmony in your marriage.
“An idol can be anything. It may even be a good thing. But if we want it so badly that we sin if we don’t get it or sin to attain it, then we are worshipping an idol rather than Christ”.
Lou Priolo, Class notes on “Idols of the Heart,” (Atlanta Biblical Counseling Center), 1994.
God has always intended for the home to be the wife’s domain.
A “worker at home” is someone who guards the dwelling or is a keeper of the household.
Create a godly atmosphere.
Three categories of sin that will destroy love: selfishness, bitterness, or fear
Memorize I Cor. 13:4-7 -- Work on it diligently. Putting on love does not happen automatically. It is the greatest commandment! It should be the character quality on which you work the hardest
The wife is to act in a respectful manner - Pr. 31:23
Greek word for respect is phobeo which means “to be in awe of, to revere, to reverence, or to treat as someone special”
Think objectively, not subjectivity. So, don’t think self-focused like “How could he do this to me?” think “How does God want me to respond to help my husband change?”
Treating your husband with respect is not something that your husband must first earn, it is something that you choose to show him.
* Three main God-given basic responsibilities toward her husband: to love him, to respect him, and to submit to him.
Joy results from trusting and obeying God’s Word
“…Thy testimonies. Are the joy of my heart”. - Ps. 119:111
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.” - I John 5:3
A wife shows love to God by obeying Him whether she feels like it or not, by thinking true, right, and praiseworthy thoughts,
No skill will help a wife more in conflict with her husband than the ability to communicate biblically
* Resolve to do the right thing in the right way with the right motive whether you feel like it or not.
** A wife can be motivated to be submissive in the “big things” by being faithful in the “little things”
Your true heart and character is shown with small, seemingly unimportant things that your
Luke 16:10“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
A wife will never be what the Lord wants her to be until she graciously and joyfully comes under the authority of her husband.
Control of the Wife’s tongue - An excellent wife must communicate rightly to her husband if hse is going to love, respect, and submit to him as God desires
A wife’s wrong words begin with wrong thoughts and motives
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts…” - Mt. 15:19
A wife is accountable to God for every word she speaks
Mt. 12:36-37 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Purify your speech, for “the tongue of the righteous is as choice silver..” - Pr. 10:20
* “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels