Most people agree that some form of pre-marital counseling is valuable. Our approach of using pre-engagement counseling to prepare couples for marriage is not about a difference in content; it’s about strategic timing. It is our conviction that pre-engagement counseling has a number of advantages over pre-marriage counseling. First, since choosing a mate is one of the most important decisions any of us will ever make, it is wise to prepare yourself for that decision as much as possible. Pre-engagement counseling keeps all the options on the table. Second, it is far easier to consider the strengths and flaws of a relationship and actually be able to do something about them in the pre-engagement period than during engagement. If issues are unearthed in the process that the couple needs time to work through, there’s no countdown to a wedding day going in the background. The couple can take the time they need without undue pressure from well-meaning family and friends. Third, pre-engagement counseling allows the couple a period of time before the life-altering decision of matrimony to consider realistically, with an experienced couple, how equipped they are to meet the demands of married life. Our material for pre-engagement counseling is called “Guide to Decide.”

The goals for this course are two-fold:

1. To help couples decide whether they are ready to engage in a life-long, God-honoring marriage with each other.

2. To lay a foundation for a lasting covenant, a joyful life, and fruitful partnership. These goals help couples consider more than simply how they feel for one another, or whether they are capable of being married for life. It is the aim of this counseling, rather, to set a standard that includes the powerful connection of two lives spent serving, loving, kingdom-building, giving, and being holy together. We are not interested in producing marriages that simply continue to exist, but rather in producing happy and whole marriages that grow and develop over a lifetime.

Check out dating and pre-marriage resources here. If you are interested in registering for Guide to Decide, please contact hannah@anyfocus.org.

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