Since marriage is this important to God and you, ensure you get the counsel you need. My new book, Just (About) Married, is organized to help you learn from God’s Word, discuss with your fiancé, and glean insights from a counselor. I want to guide you through studying the first three chapters of the Bible and reveal eight truths that can set your marriage up for success. As we look through this section of Scripture, these concepts will guide our way:
- Formed & Filled – How has God made each of you, and how does He desire you to align your marriage to His preferable design?
- Helpless & Alone – How does God expect you to be a suitable helper in your spouse’s life?
- Leave & Cleave – How will your marriage change how you interact with your first family and connect to your spouse?
- Naked & Unashamed – What role will emotional trust and sexual intimacy play in the health of your marriage?
- Fruitful & Multiply – What instructions does God provide regarding your life’s financial and family planning aspects?
- Commandments & Compromises – How should spouses help one another stay faithful to God’s helpful instructions contained in Scripture?
- Shame & Blame – When you sin against God and one another, how can you avoid common pitfalls in conflict and communication?
- Truth & Consequences – How should you deal with sin’s consequences in your marriage, and what role does Jesus play in your regular renewal?
Navigating Genesis 1-3, we find how marriage was intended, what broke it, and what can restore it. I would love to guide you through the pages of God’s Word, mining God’s wisdom so you can experience God’s work in your forthcoming marriage. While there are many ways you can use this book, I want to recommend the way I believe you can get the most out of it:
Use this resource as a supplement and not a substitute for premarital counseling.
As a pastor, I don’t think I can ever give an adequate amount of time needed for a couple to prepare for marriage. I wrote this resource because I want to equip the couples in our church to better prepare for marriage. When a couple asks me to officiate their wedding or administer their premarital counseling, I plan to give each one a copy of this resource and provide a reading guide to maximize our in-person time with either me, another pastoral counselor, or a mentoring couple.
I recommend that a couple read one chapter a week independently. No wedding ceremony preparation discussions are allowed on a weekly date night, but that time is reserved for sharing insights learned from the chapter and discussing the questions at the end of each chapter. Ensure that you share what you are learning with one another.
I recommend that at least three premarital counseling sessions be planned, each scheduled after the couple has read three chapters. Before the first session, read this intro and chapters 1-2. Before the second session, read chapters 3-5. And before the last session, read chapters 6-8.
If your premarital counselor desires to use the resource, you can simply coordinate with the questions at the back of each section. If your counselor uses another help or discussion plan, that is perfectly fine. If the content of this book creates a helpful talking point for you or highlights a potentially disagreeable or dangerous issue as a couple, bring that issue up to your counselor when you all meet together. Any counselor will welcome an intentional conversation about a potentially endangering area.
I pray it can help your upcoming marriage or counseling ministry at your church!
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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