One of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Future Marriage

Getting married carries its own risks and rewards. Bringing two individuals into a life-long covenant relationship truly requires God-size love and faith. Having been through an unwanted and very painful divorce, the idea of getting married again was that much more of a risk for me. Now I had two young daughters to consider in addition to my own heart. I kept Stephen at arm’s length for quite some time as I cautiously navigated the unknowns of our relationship. One of the decisions we made early on, that I believe made an enormously positive impact on our relationship then and continues to influence us now, is that we chose to seek godly premarital counseling before we ever got engaged. This helped us in at least these ways:

  1. Without a ring on my finger and a date on the calendar, the pressure to see this thing through was off. We could discreetly and privately meet together with a trusted counselor who wisely led us through this delicate time in both our lives and the lives of my daughters.
  2. Pre-engagement counseling allowed us to be gut-level honest about our fears, concerns, expectations, and hopes for our future together. We were able to talk about these real issues without the pressure of a wedding to plan or the expectations of loved ones that often-times complicate our own emotions and thoughts during this season of our lives.
  3. Our counselor told us that his job before the marriage is to help couples see all the challenges that could hamper marital bliss and help the couple walk through this realistically. If there is any reason to not be married to someone, it’s far better to discover this before you say, “I do” than it is afterward! (Trust me on this!)
  4. Going through pre-engagement counseling afforded us the full-on celebration once we made our engagement official and public. We had done the hardest work ahead of time. We had asked, wrestled with, and answered some really tough questions before he popped the question and placed his ring on my finger.
  5. And, finally, for me personally, this helped me to walk through this with a wise and godly, grace-filled counselor before I ever introduced my daughters to our friend, Stephen, as their step-father-to-be. It helped my heart immensely to have a counselor on this journey with us towards blending our family.

I highly recommend pre-engagement counseling to any and all couples who consider marriage as part of their future together. If counseling is not an option, find an older, mature couple whose relationship resembles what you hope your marriage to look like and seek out time with them for mentorship. Most older couples are more than happy to come alongside of a young couple to help them on their journey to a life-long, Christ-honoring marriage. After twelve + years of being married to Stephen, I can honestly say that pre-engagement counseling was one of the best decisions we ever made as a couple!


Shelley Hendrix is the author of Why Can't We Just Get Along? as well as other titles. She is a speaker and television talk show host for Atlanta Live on WATC TV 57, and the founder of Church 4 Chicks. Shelley is honored to be married to her best friend, Stephen Hendrix, CADC II, and together, they are raising their two teenage girls and one spunky 10 year old boy. Find out more about Shelley at her website. Connect on Facebook and Twitter.

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