Why You Should Go To Premarital Counseling Before Getting Engaged!

The Lonnie Hunter Show

One afternoon I was listening to the Lonnie Hunter Show, a radio show on a Radio One station, Praise 104.1, owned by Cathy Hughes.

Lonnie Hunter had a question of the day whereby callers could call in and say what was on their mind. I do not remember the question or topic of the day but I do remember what this one male caller said.

He said that he was in a relationship with a woman who was a single mother of five children that he met at church. He continued that they were compatible in their spiritual beliefs and religious traditions often praying together.

He painted a beautiful picture telling us listeners of his devotion and love for her. Lonnie Hunter let him speak freely and then said, “Well what’s the problem?”

The caller said that she was noticeably taller than he was and while he did not have a problem with it, she did. She did not love him the same because of the height issue. She didn’t see him the same. The caller, profoundly confused as he defended the power of God in their relationship.

Lonnie Hunter responded, “You’re in love with a prayer partner.” Of all the attributes, all the things that he could have raved about, his focus and intention was on her being a good person, and their encounters with God together.

I give this example because my mouth dropped! I mean I’m good at discerning relationships and even I was yelling at the radio, “She’s not the one!” However, I did not see Lonnie’s response coming at all!

This has me thinking about the way we choose our mates, and the way that we fall in love with one part of a relationship and then make preparation for marriage whether in our minds or with the agreement of our partner.

He’s about to pop the question!

Exactly one year ago today, I wrote a blog entitled, How to Ask for What you Really want. And, less than one year later, I have found a beautiful being that I share my life with.

Premarital Counseling is a tool that most couples use post engagement however, I believe that premarital counseling should be something that you do before the question is asked.

In biblical times, engagement was equivalent to marriage. People who were engaged were one hundred percent going to be married. The commitment was made before the ceremony.

In the age of irresponsibility, excuses, orgy bachelor, and stripper bachelorette parties, people are choosing to marry the wrong people! That’s right, I said it!

Engagement is not just dependent on the man making a public auction of his heart for the woman he loves, engagement is supposed to be as serious of a decision as marriage itself.

Women should choose their mate

In many cultures women nor men are able to choose their mate. Families are supposed make the royal decision however in American tradition, the man decided that the woman is the one he wants to marry, he sneaks around and asks for her hand from parents and family members. The man will go searching for a ring or give of his own family inheritance- a ring from his grandmother or his mother, and then create a big surprise in an intimate setting or as a family and friend event.

This day in age, I believe that the divorce rate and constant marital problems that Americans face could be attributed to a lack of agreement. Instead of having a man choose a wife solely, the wife should also be able to say that she wants to be chosen by him. In times past, women did not seem to have a voice, or a vote however, what we realize is that more people would find love if two actually become one. One way to do that is to go through pre-marital counseling. The woman would at least be able to know that the proposal is coming, and accept it informally. She would still be able to be surprised. She will not be informed of when the actual proposal is coming, but she should be aware of every aspect of the relationship so that you can make a mutual agreement as a couple that you are soul, spiritual and physical mates.

Premarital Counseling puts everything on the table

Premarital Counseling however is the opportunity to go through your relationship with a finite comb. You never know, you may find a tick that was getting fat off of your blood. That’s right, sometimes we can be so in love that we don’t feel the blood being sucked our of us.

Here is my caution: If you are a few months into your relationship and you are having lots of conflict relating to each other in communication, you may not need to go further. I am not encouraging people to run to counseling with random casual dating relationships, in fact, I do not advocate counseling for relationships which are in trouble.

Premarital counseling should be a tool used by couples who love each other, joke about marriage, children and/or their future together. They may have discussed marriage a little and met each other’s families.

You May Also Like: The Rules Of Engagement

Premarital counseling should be approximately eight weeks, and a good session will have lots of questions, feedback and even homework that you should complete individually or together.

Premarital counseling is not designed to break you up, however it is designed to put it all on the table; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Whether we realize it or not, we don’t cover ever aspect of our relationship when we converse with our mates, and even if we do, we may not agree.

Good premarital counselors in my opinion should be a married couple who have been married past the ten-year mark. Most ministries have premarital counseling for free if you are a member of their congregation.

When Lonnie Hunter said, “You’re in Love with a prayer partner,” I was blown away at his perceptiveness to this man’s situation. Sometimes we can put our finger on it but someone else will-quickly too!

What if the man is amazing but can’t perform in bed? What if he’s there physically but not emotionally? What if he is the man in the bedroom (to you) but unreliable, cheap and selfish? I can’t see how a selfish person is good in bed but that’s just my opinion.

There are all of these questions, and all these variables.

Are we looking for a Soul Mate?

I have a client, we will call her Tonya. Tonya is madly in love with this man but she questions whether he is the man of her dreams. In order for someone to be the one, he or she would have to be more than your soul mate. See your soul accounts for your mind, will and emotions. Pastor Tony Brazelton breaks it down by saying, “You’re thinker, feeler and chooser.”

Even if someone is your soul mate, they have to also have the same compatibility in spirit, and in sexual intimacy. If you are Christian, and saving yourself for marriage, healthy conversations about sex with each other and with your premarital counselor will help you to determine if you are sexually compatible.

Tonya may have found her soul mate, however this just means that he could be her absolute best friend if they are not compatible in other areas.

The caller on the Lonnie Hunter show, and Tonya present interesting looks at how we look at relationships and often think that someone is more compatible for us in a long-term relationship (marriage), than they are.

I am single and have never been married. When my relationship gets to a point where we desire marriage, I do not want a ring first. Let’s get in front of a lasting couple who have fallen in and out of infatuation with each other. I don’t believe you fall completely out of love in and out like that. God doesn’t do that with us, so true love doesn’t perform this way.

I want to have us talk to counselors that will ask us questions that we failed to ask. We may love each other but the question is, how?

Popping the Question

So, if you’re thinking about popping the question on the next holiday, her birthday or the next day of the week, be sure to talk about going through premarital counseling first. The goal of the counselor is to counsel you on your relationship, not to make you believe what they do. It is a safe place to discover the person you’ll spend your life with and rediscover truths about yourself and your habits that you may choose to adjust to create a habitable union.

Dr. Ressurrection Graves, is a pastoral counselor, workshop facilitator, and relationship mentor. She has authored several books including her memoir, Identity Crisis, Identity Christ Is: A Journey to Love and accepts speaking invitations to talk about being single and whole. She also offers pre-engagement and pre-marital counseling. Dr. Graves’ ministry is non-denominational.

About Ressurrection

Ressurrection Graves is a Child Sexual Abuse Grooming Expert and H.E.A.L.E.R. (Healer, Educator, Activist, Life Skills Expert, Empowerment Speaker, Relationship Mentor) Her website reaches readership in 188 countries. She is available for national speaking engagements, radio and television interviews. She can be reached at: 202.717.7377 or send your request to: ressurrection dot wordpress at yahoo dot com or comment on http://www.ressurrection.wordpress.com
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13 Responses to Why You Should Go To Premarital Counseling Before Getting Engaged!

  1. I really like this blog! You are my kind a author. Keep spreading this information, it is so needed for people today! I will subscribe to your blog today. When you get a chance come by blog and take a look around. I Look forward to seeing you and hearing what God is doing on your blog.

    Blessing,
    Cynthia Davis, Founder of Life Change Ministries

  2. Pingback: Is Being Married For Me? | MediaCue

  3. Heather says:

    I love this topic! You raise some really good points… thanks for the insight. Blessings

  4. Yolanda Fowler says:

    I have to give it to you on this one. I must say that I am engaged and I did it without going premarital counseling. I feel that if you and your SO is walking on the same path or have a detailed understanding of how 1 wants to live their lives and have an acceptance, then there is no need. If 1 can’t come to a common ground with their SO, then before popping that question or even answering that question, i feel you should get the counseling. Everyone is different, I feel that proposing is just a tighter bond for your relationship. It’s just says that you are ready for whatever the future may hold for you and you agree to do it together. The actual day is my most concern.becuase it is a beginning to a new chapter. I feel those vows are very sacred and should be taken very seriously. So do I feel 1 should get counseling before setting a date, yes. You need to make sure that this where you need to be and not where you want to be.

    Nice blog sweetie… Like I told you before you have a beautiful gift, continue recieving your blessing !!

  5. Pingback: Marriage Counseling: Where to start out and How you can Act

  6. Hello Ms. Graves,

    I commented last week about your blog. I would like to feature you this month on my blog. I have decided this year we would take some time and feature other ministries who share in the concern for people the way we do. This will allow our subscribers and frequent followers to share in some of what God has blessed others with. Please let me know your thoughts.

    Cynthia

  7. Pingback: How do I get out a Controlling Relationship | The Official BLOG site of Ressurrection Graves

  8. Pingback: RE: Matrimony, Who should Pop the Question? | The Official BLOG site of Ressurrection Graves

  9. Thank you for keeping the conversation going I am learning so much from you ladies and I really appreciate hearing your opinions .

  10. Pingback: The Rules of Engagement: The Biblical Truth About Dating, and Marriage | Love, Life, and Relationships: Overcoming Emotional and Child Sexual Abuse

  11. Pingback: Five Myths That Keep Women Single | Love, Life, and Relationships: Overcoming Emotional and Child Sexual Abuse

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