Pastors: Do you counsel before marrying couples?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by rufus, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. rufus

    rufus
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    Pastors, do you counsel couples before marrying them? What procedures do you use? What kinds of questions do you ask?

    rufus [​IMG]
     
  2. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Generally not, I don't do weddings for couples that I don't know pretty well. If there is some question in my mind about them, then I will ask a series of questions to satisfy myself that they have a committment to each other, and have had an experience of grace. Usually I will know one or the other better than the other. If that works out, then I proceed, but counseling in the usual sense, no.
     
  3. blackbird

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    Ususally yes! But different than most pastor's I know who believe the couple "must go through" some sort of compatablility test--I told one preacher friend who forces his prospective marriage couples to council by his order--"My soul, man! This ain't Camp LaJeune! This church isn't Fort Benning, Georgia!"

    I have one pastor friend who told me "If they don't pass my compatabliltity test--I won't marry 'um!"

    My counciling is brief--I simply bring the couple back to the book of Genesis and trace a line through day number 6 to day number 8! On day number 6 God created Adam and Eve--they got married that same day--then on day 7--they took a day off with God--"You get with God Almighty in on your marriage!--then on day number 8--they went to work--and I am convinced that the first thing they worked on was their marriage!!

    You see, you don't have to work to get to God! But you gotta work to keep your marriage! You show me a man who doesn't work to keep his marriage--and I'll show you a marriage thats "takin' on water!"

    You work on that marriage, Brother! You get the weeds and thorns and briars out of it! You cultivate it and keep it and honor it and it'll stay yours--

    Basically--that's the council they get!

    Blackbird
     
  4. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    Absolutely (5-6 sessions).
     
  5. Jonathan

    Jonathan
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    What I've notices is that marital counseling (or even indepth teaching on marriage) is rarely done outside of two occassions:

    1) Just prior to the wedding when many of the ceremony arrangements have already been made, money spent, invitations sent, etc... As a result, I have never known a couple to be open to the possibility that their marriage was not in line with God's will at that particular time.

    2) At the end of the marriage when the damage has been done, when the romance has been long gone, and when one or both spouses is just looking for cover for escaping a loveless union.

    What I have been doing is taking the material that should normally be used in marriage counseling and teaching it to my college/young singles Sunday school class. It occurs to me that the time to understand the biblical basis for manhood, womanhood, marriage and family is waaaay before human hormones and plans render the hearers essentially deaf to it.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    Absolutely. Require a variety of sessions, depending on circumstances. From a couple hours to 5-6 hours.

    I marry couples who are totally unchurched (both unsaved) regularly, as well as couples who have been living together (shacking up) or where one or both have been divorced. Many of my ifb brethren ask me to perform such weddings where they have church policies that forbid such.

    I feel that such couples who feels guilty and desires to make things legal should be helped to "do right". This is a side blessing of being a minister; helping with the civic responsibility of society as well as opportunity to counsel and share the Gospel.

    On only 2-3 occasions I have been asked by a local judge to cover a wedding or two (illness, emergency out of town). I have a "civil" wedding that I do, sans any religion. Not my favorite, but again a way to help the local judges (including one in my church).
     
  7. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    2 questions:

    1 - What separates you from the J.O.P. ?

    2 - Is it right for a pastor to endorse a marriage that does not have a christological foundation from the start?

    I have a difficult time in my ministry helping couples who are believers from separating and divorcing. How can I expect those who have no spiritual foundation to uphold the sanctity of marriage?
     
  8. TomVols

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    Always. Did so even before it was state law here in Tennessee.
     
  9. Padre Bob

    Padre Bob
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    I rarely do weddings. Will not marry non-believers, never could understand why a nonchristian would want a christian marriage and understand less why a church would want to bless such a union. Will not marry a believer to unbeliever, how can I pronounce God's blessing on what He forbids? Those I do marry always get at least 18 hours of premarital counseling, mostly letting them discuss subjects that are certain to come up during the early years (finances, wife working, dealing with inlaws, children etc.) in hopes of helping them resolve those issues before marriage. I also counsel in conflict resolution.
     

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