Weddings are one of my favorite things about ministry. I have had many ministers tell me that they would rather do a funeral than a wedding. I still do not get that because I would much rather do a wedding than a funeral myself.
Weddings – for the most part – are joyous occasions. Not only are they special events in a couple’s life, but they are sacred events. God Himself created the institution of marriage. We read about it in the very first book of the Bible.
So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
Genesis 2:21-24 NASB
Because marriage is a creation of God, it has a purpose and proper way that it should be done. It is for this reason that I require any couple that I officiate their wedding to go through Christian-based premarital counseling.
I hate to hear the news of another couple that have come to a decision to call it quits and divorce. Many times it is over issues that could have been prevented by preparing on the forefront of the marriage. I know that just because a couple goes through Christian-based premarital counseling it does not guarantee that everything will work out. I do know though that the likelihood that the relationship meets a disappointing end is much higher without it.
A Recent Session
I recently met with a young couple who is looking to get married and they asked me to do their wedding. I informed them that in order for me to officiate the ceremony, they would have to agree to do premarital counseling. They agreed and we set up a time to meet together. In our first session, I spoke with the young couple about what is marriage and the proper foundation for a marriage.
It was in this session, while we were talking about the foundation for a healthy marriage, I came to realize that this couple did not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I shared with them how it would be impossible for them to do their marriage according to God’s plan without them personally having a relationship with Him first. It was at that moment that I had the privilege of sharing the gospel with this young couple and seeing both of them make a commitment of themselves first to Jesus Christ. Now they can start their marriage off with a firm foundation of the solid rock of Jesus Christ.
If I were to have just looked over the deal of premarital counseling with this young couple, I would have missed many opportunities here. First, I would have missed the opportunity to see two people be born again right before my eyes by the power of the Holy Spirit. Second, I would have done this couple a great disservice by not making sure that their upcoming marriage was started on the right foot.
If you are a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I would strongly encourage you to see premarital counseling as a great opportunity to minister to people. It can be easy to look at this task as another “hoop to jump through.” It is anything but just a “hoop to jump through.”
If you are young couple on the verge of one of the biggest decisions of your life (getting married), I would strongly encourage you to seek out Christian-based premarital counseling. There are so many things that lie ahead of you and your soon-to-be spouse. You would be wise to seek out counsel and get a good start on a great marriage.