I expected to get a lot out of premarital counseling. I figured we’d discuss finances, communication, and sex. My fiance and I had already read some great books about those topics. So while our counseling sessions did cover those, that wasn’t the best part about it for us.
Even though my fiance and I both wanted premarital counseling, I know many people don’t go through it for one reason or another.
Because we benefited from it so much, I want to share how we were pleasantly surprised so that we can encourage others to get that counseling or even to improve the sessions they’ve already signed up for.
4 Surprising Benefits
- First of all, I didn’t know you could get a discount on your marriage license for completing premarital counseling. It saved us about $40 in the state of Georgia.
- So besides the fact that it saved us money on the marriage license (the sessions were also free for us because I’m a member of the church), the second surprise was how great it was to have that hour of quality time with my fiance each week for six weeks. We live almost three hours from each other, so it was nice to have that scheduled to look forward to. It just wasn’t the main thing I’d thought of when I had thought of premarital counseling.
- We got to know my pastor (and his wife who joined us for the last session) better. And best of all, he used the last ten or fifteen minutes each week to help us plan the ceremony! Pastors have so much experience with weddings, but we hadn’t even considered using our counseling sessions this way. It was the biggest stress relief during all the wedding planning! He shared advice on everything from vows and traditions to wedding cakes and who to have decorate. If your counselor doesn’t already do this, I highly recommend asking them to! Ours answered any question we had for him. It helps that he knows so many people in the area.
- As my pastor asked us questions, I was glad we’d discussed a lot beforehand, such as whether we’d been in love previously or not. But he also asked us some questions we hadn’t discussed much, like how we see the roles of a husband and a wife in a relationship.
I was surprised by some of the things I heard my fiance say. Mainly about how the wife is
often the most important voice of support in a man’s life.
Suddenly it wasn’t just a phrase I’d read in books or heard on the radio about other wives. No, this is my relationship we’re talking about. I’m the one who gets the privilege of being that voice of encouragement. I’m also the one who needs to remember that doing the opposite can have negative effects on the man I love.
I’m so glad we didn’t just rely on a bunch of books for our premarital counseling. It’s also going to help our ceremony to be more personal because the pastor marrying us will know us and our relationship a lot better, and we’ll both be more comfortable around him throughout the ceremony.
So what surprised you most about your premarital counseling? I’d love for you to leave a comment sharing some of the insights you gained, so we can all benefit from what you learned as well.