Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Good Counsel on Pre-marital Counseling

This morning I read an interview with Winston Smith, the Director of Counseling at the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. You can access the whole interview HERE, but I wanted to share an excerpt on marriage and pre-marital counseling that was very helpful to me. In response to a question about essentials for giving pre-marital counsel Smith says,

"I think for the most part, young people get married because their dating experience has taught them that they are really good at having fun with each other. They have enjoyed wining and dining each other. And they want to cement that fun with marriage. It is really nice being married to somebody that you enjoy and have fun with, but ultimately marriage isn't about fun. Fun can be one of the great byproducts of marriage, but ultimately a marriage is a picture of Christ's relationship to his bride, the church, and his love for her. It is our opportunity and our obligation in marriage to image that—to be a walking, talking portrait of that kind of love. And you know what? That kind of love doesn't just show up in the good and happy times. That kind of love is sometimes most visible when things go wrong. We know Christ's love because he came to us in our messiness, our ugliness, our brokenness and our rebellion. This kind of marriage requires a couple to meet each other in those messy, scary places. In marriage counseling, I want to prepare people for this most critical part of imaging Christ. I need them to be willing to look at the messiness before they get married so they'll know if they are making a wise decision."

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