MANY people love to be married. It is a good thing to be married.
The challenge, however, is the lack of seriousness in preparing couples for marriage. Marriage is a lifelong commitment and is not just an event.
Everyone entering into it needs to prepare seriously.
Most people prepare so much for the wedding day and spend and invest so much money and time on the day, but show no passion and zeal for the marriage.
Marriage is work and needs preparation and “skill”. For this preparation, premarital counselling is, therefore, crucial and its basic overall goal is to teach about marriage, assess the couple’s readiness for marriage and explore some possible problem areas.
Many couples get into marriage before they are ready. Some are just driven by peer pressure and only to suffer many things in marriage.
Everyone out there wanting to get married needs premarital counselling to bring awareness of the following hidden traps:
Unrealistic expectations that can lead to disillusionment
Most people approach marriage assuming they have a unique relationship. They think theirs cannot be affected by the pressures that affect others, only to be disillusioned in the future.
Few people realise that meaningful marriages grow slowly and only with commitment and effort. The dating atmosphere changes once in marriage and you begin a discovery journey. The things you will discover will not always be pleasant.
Personal immaturity can lead to insensitivity
Immature people tend to be self-centred. They can manipulate and compete with their mates in an attempt to satisfy their own needs. Some young men in particular feel threatened when they date a lady who earns more than them.
Changing roles can lead to confusion
The roles change and people need to be prepared for new roles in marriage. It takes time to learn and appreciate the new roles.
Many reject their new roles. You are now a wife and husband and not just people dating. You know how to be responsible for one another and you each expect quality service from each other.
Your relationship is at a different dimension. How you relate with friends and even siblings changes. Many people fail to switch to their new roles and they end up bringing confusion.
Loosening sexual standards that can lead to immorality
Discuss sex issues honestly, realistically and compassionately and examine them biblically. This is the time to discuss sex with an open mind.
Premarital counselling provides that platform. Many couples are from backgrounds where they do not talk about sex.
I think we need to understand that before you can enjoy sex in marriage you must be able to openly talk about it.
Talk and discuss faithfulness Remember faithfulness in marriage is learnt through abstinence before marriage and many of us are found wanting here and end up lying and complicate things.
Previous experiences can lead to overconfidence
It helps you enter the new relationship with an open mind. They say in the world, experience is the best teacher. This is not necessarily true with marriage. This is a new relationship.
Completely different from your first one. You need a fresh mind and attitude. Many try and bring their experiences from an old and failed relationship into a new one only to kill it.
Circumstances that can signal high risks for a marriage
Many people will downplay these only to be hurt in the marriage.
Things such as wide gaps in education or age differences, religious beliefs, involvement in ministry, financial insecurity, culture, step children, in-laws and race, can be a challenge if not properly handled.
These are things you can deal with at premarital counselling and enter marriage with an agreed position.
We cannot overlook the need for such an education before marriage. If you are going to enjoy your marriage, it is better to invest in it now. Premarital counselling will help you in making you ready for marriage and enter marriage well informed. Marriage is not about experimenting.
You go in with your life and future and the only exit God permits is the death of a spouse. If marriage is this serious with God, we ought to take it seriously too.
It is, therefore, prudent to seek this kind of counselling now before you tie the knot.
Kilton Moyo is a pastor, Guidance & Counseling Consultant and Author of The Church at War. You can call or whatsapp on +263 775 337 207 or +263 384 841. See email above.