Ed Stetzer Shares Resources for People Getting Married

Image: Pixabay/Takmeomeo

I haven’t officiated a wedding in over a decade—no, scratch that, maybe more. But I’ve just committed to performing one.

Look out, newlyweds!

So, needless to say, I found myself needing some updated pre-marital counseling resources. I took to Twitter hoping to gather insight and found some of the responses rather… comical!

Some of the suggestions included:

  1. Make them listen to one another eat a bowl of cereal…if they can do it, they’ll be fine.
  2. Please talk about thermostat temps. Our premarital counseling completely skipped this crucial issue!
  3. Have couples try assembling a piece of IKEA furniture together.
  4. Make them watch each other load a dishwasher.
  5. Have couples define when they consider a tube of toothpaste to be empty.
  6. Find out if one of the pair is a “snooze button” person.
  7. Send the couple canoeing.
  8. Have them butcher chickens together.
  9. Make the couple take a road trip together with a cellphone-jammer in the car.
  10. Have them figure out which way the toilet paper goes on the reel.

Silly though they may be, I think these responses actually provide us with some important insight. When couples are preparing for marriage, it’s easy to assume that only the big stuff really matters. It’s a given that a couple’s faith convictions, big picture life goals, and expectations for raising a family should line up but other factors are often seen as non-essential.

I think we can all agree that how a person assembles furniture or loads a dishwasher is hardly ‘essential’ to a good marriage. But what we see here is that the little stuff—seemingly insignificant lifestyle choices and daily decisions—are also important to the foundation of a healthy partnership.

That’s why it’s so important to enter into the silliest of conversations before tying the knot—why leave any room for discord to surface at the last minute?

Dishwashers, canoes, and chickens aside, there’s a lot to talk through before (and even after) the wedding day. Thankfully, Twitter folks also had a ton of helpful resource suggestions for couples looking into pre-marital counseling.

Before giving the list, let me mention that several mentioned professional counseling, which I think is a great idea and always good to consider.

Here’s a helpful list:

1 – Prepare/Enrich was really popular amongst the Twitter audience. With over 4 million relationships strengthened, Prepare/Enrich has been the #1 premarital and marriage assessment for over 35 years. The assessment helps couples gain insight into the dynamics of their relationship, commitment levels, spiritual beliefs, and family systems all while working closely with a trained P/E facilitator.

2 – Save Your Marriage Before It Starts (SYMBIS) by Drs. Les Parrot and Leslie Parriottis another popular resource. SYMBIS was created by a couple, Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott, and serves essentially as a self-guided premarital counseling course. The book itself and companion men and women’s workbooks are time tested and allow couples to enter into meaningful discussions together as they work through the material.

3 – The Meaning of Marriage by Tim and Keller was written to debunk the notion that marriage is solely a hunt for some soul-mate who sticks around not until death, but only as long as his or her needs are fully met. Instead, Keller helps readers see that marriage isn’t about romanticism, but primarily intended to point us to eternal realities about the nature of God and man.

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Source: Christianity Today