Christian Weddings
Options

Marriage Counseling (semi-long)

Those of you that did marriage counseling through a pastor or other religious mentor, how early did you start?

We contacted our old youth pastor (we go to a different church now) in August 2010. He said he would be delighted to marry us and he said he wanted to go get lunch with us soon. He never really followed up on it. He sent FI a text message last week saying that FI needed to come see me (random, he must have seen be whining on FB about something). Last week was also my birthday and the youth pastor sent me a facebook message saying happy birthday and that he hoped I got lots of presents. I wrote him back saying thanks and that I'd like to get together soon.

Our wedding is in 98 days, and I really want to do some counseling because I want to do a covenant marriage (it's a Louisiana thing; I think a few other southern states have it).

I'm just wondering if I'm supposed to take the initiative and outright out ask if he plans to do anything.

Re: Marriage Counseling (semi-long)

  • Options
    edited December 2011
    It depends on what your pastor requires. My pastor requires counseling. Your youth pastor soundsl like he does not require it, since he has not initiated it. I would go ahead and initiate it. Also - most pastors I know are busy ALL the time. My pastor wouldn't pick up the phone or answer e-mail... I literally felt like I was stalking him to get a hold of him, haha. But even though my pastor requires counseling - I still had to do all the initiating of scheduling and stuff.
  • Options
    iamjoesgurliamjoesgurl member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We were in a LDR plus our officiant didn't live near either one of us so counseling was a challenge.  We ended up contacting someone who was certified to administer the Prepare/Enrich inventory and scheduled counseling through them.  It ended up to be a wonderful couple in my town who was related to the coach that DH was coaching basketball for (in another state).  God was really present in arranging that.  This couple runs a marriage resource center and was willing to plan our sessions on Saturdays when DH would be down here visiting.  We did 3 longer than normal sessions over 3 months starting about 6 months before the wedding. 

    I think it is okay for you to be concerned that you haven't met with him yet.  Is it possible that he is not experienced in counseling couples?  Perhaps he is just dragging his feet because of being unfamiliar with how to do it??  It I were you, I would ask to have something set up in the next few weeks.
    image
  • Options
    SE+MBSE+MB member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I just asked a friend who was married by him last year. She said it was required that they have counseling. She said she didn't get anything out of it though (bummer). We did just start a 12 week Life for Marriage class at our new church yesterday but it's not one-on-one.

    The only thing that I can really think of as to why he wouldn't have talked to us about it is because he hasn't seen us. I saw his wife a week ago in Walmart and she's always been a snooty person and she wasn't very friendly. That's why I kinda got concerned..maybe he was mad at us too? But then when he sent me a message on my birthday I realized he wasn't mad.

    We did change churches, but we changed before we got engaged.

    I think I'll have FI call him this weekend. He's got a much closer relationship to him than I do.
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    My FI and I will be doing counseling.  Our wedding is July 16, and the pastor contacted us about 3 weeks ago to initiate counseling, after I emailed and asked him when he wanted to start.  Our first session is March 20, which I think is about 130 days away from the wedding.  He only requires a total of like 6 or 8 hours, but spread out for the different sessions (plus whatever he wants us to read outside of that time).  

    My FI is not a member of my church so most of the communication comes through me, and that's okay with us.  Maybe your pastor is communicating more with your FI if he is closer to him?  You might also try catching him after service one Sunday or Wednesday to chat about it to make sure the you know what his expectations are, and so that he realizes that you guys want to start your pre-marital counseling soon.  Some couples only have time for the bare minimum and I know that some pastors don't want you to feel like you have to start the counseling WAY out if you can't do very much time to begin with.  
    July 16, Our Wedding Day, is also International Juggling Day!
    image
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    He probably got busy and forgot (unintentionally of course). We met with our pastor in  October/November and he said he wanted to wait until after January to start. We have yet to hear from him about it even though we've seen him many times.

    Call him and ask when you can schedule a time to meet together.
    imageAnniversary
  • Options
    iamjoesgurliamjoesgurl member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    If you want to supplement the counseling with the prepare-enrich inventory where you will learn more about some of the areas you can work on and tips for becoming stronger in those areas, here is a link to find people who are certified in administering the inventory:

    http://tinyurl.com/4l843hv

    I was really glad we took it and we had some great conversations with our marriage mentors on the topics that were areas of improvement for us.
    image
  • Options
    SE+MBSE+MB member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_christian-weddings_marriage-counseling-semi-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:464687ae-7bc1-4360-9aea-999e11f1e1adDiscussion:265d18c5-3ebb-4c36-ac04-bc4e8578c147Post:bafc4057-760e-4682-90e6-7fef318bb42c">Re: Marriage Counseling (semi-long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]My FI and I will be doing counseling.  Our wedding is July 16, and the pastor contacted us about 3 weeks ago to initiate counseling, after I emailed and asked him when he wanted to start.  Our first session is March 20, which I think is about 130 days away from the wedding.  He only requires a total of like 6 or 8 hours, but spread out for the different sessions (plus whatever he wants us to read outside of that time).   My FI is not a member of my church so most of the communication comes through me, and that's okay with us.  <strong>Maybe your pastor is communicating more with your FI if he is closer to him?</strong> <strong> You might also try catching him after service one Sunday or Wednesday to chat about it to make sure the you know what his expectations are</strong>, and so that he realizes that you guys want to start your pre-marital counseling soon.  Some couples only have time for the bare minimum and I know that some pastors don't want you to feel like you have to start the counseling WAY out if you can't do very much time to begin with.  
    Posted by kellya01[/QUOTE]

    The only time he talked to FI since us being engaged has been last week when he sent FI a text message.

    We no longer attend that church, but our he is important in our lives so I wanted to have him officiate. He actually never was our youth minister. We had moved on to college and career by the time he came into our church. We just got really close.
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    Our pastor e-mailed me today to schedule our first session. We will begin March 1st and our wedding is in July. Definitely contact him and ask. I am nervous a little! What kind of things do they talk about? Anyone know? 
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    I know that one of our sessions will deal with sex / intimacy / the physical side of marriage.  Another session is going to deal with how to live together, compromising, etc.  Not sure about the rest though... looks like AshNoel's counseling will be about 2 weeks ahead of mine.  My wedding is also July (16th).  Our pastor didn't pressure us into starting right away but we WERE going to have our first session on March 6 but he forgot about a church-wide thing that's happening that Sunday, and then the next was March 13, but that is DST (we lose an hour, UGH) so we opted for the next week.  He was fine with it.  :-) 
    July 16, Our Wedding Day, is also International Juggling Day!
    image
  • Options
    squeakyducksqueakyduck member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We're only required to have one real counseling session. We've had one meeting and we were told to read His Needs, Her Needs. (It's really good and I'd totally reccomend it.) sometime the month before the wedding is when we'll have our actual counseling session. 
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    Ya. i think that it is really up to what you, FI, and pastor want to do. We are having a pastor that is a family/friend do our ceremony and we were just going to meet with him a few times before the wedding. BUT...we then found out that we have to do the pre-marital counseling through the church that he is one of the pastors at (we have a HUGE church..that also has a Ministry School init...and he is one of the Revival Group Pastors at the school now)...so our pre-marital counseling will be 6-9 weeks long. 

    but ya.....i wouldnt worry just maybe initiate it and tell him that its important to you. (:
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_christian-weddings_marriage-counseling-semi-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:464687ae-7bc1-4360-9aea-999e11f1e1adDiscussion:265d18c5-3ebb-4c36-ac04-bc4e8578c147Post:be3161cd-9e2f-4303-ad64-caacc95888ed">Re: Marriage Counseling (semi-long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]We're only required to have one real counseling session. We've had one meeting and we were told to read His Needs, Her Needs. (It's really good and I'd totally reccomend it.) sometime the month before the wedding is when we'll have our actual counseling session. 
    Posted by rentaduckie[/QUOTE]


    Who is that book by?  I'm always up for some new reads. 
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    Our wedding is not till december 29, 2012 and we have already started our counseling.  I think it is because we are new to the church and to the religion.  My FI and I both grew up Catholic, but we recently started going to a baptist church.  They are very different, so we are still learning much about the religion.  We are both also building our relationships with God.  Neither of us have been to church in ages and we are trying to get there again.  Neither of us ever got much out of going to the Catholic church, but we love going to the new church.  We are growing in God's love and it's wonderful.  Anyways, enough about me...I think you should definitly contact your pastor to find out what the hold up is.  I think it is definitly time to start.  Good luck to you and God bless! Laughing
  • Options
    BeazillaBeazilla member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    If your friend didn't get anything out of it with this pastor, I'd be concerned about his counseling abilities. It is partially dependant on the participants' personalities and how they work with the counselor. If you're getting married in just over 3 months, I would think he would have started scheduling sessions with both of you.

    Have you thought about doing secular premarital counseling in tandem with the sessions with the pastor? Typically if your health insurance includes mental health coverage it also applies to couples counseling. You might get more out of those sessions.
    image
  • Options
    katanne9katanne9 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We started about 6 months before. We met about once a month.

    I can't say enough how much I encourage pre-marital counseling!! We had a great experience! Good luck!
  • Options
    azdancer8azdancer8 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We also started about six months before, and had six sessions. Scheduling them took a bit of forethought, since they had to be on weekends when I was in FI's town AND our pastor could come from New Mexico to meet with us. But it was completely worth it. :)
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_christian-weddings_marriage-counseling-semi-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:464687ae-7bc1-4360-9aea-999e11f1e1adDiscussion:265d18c5-3ebb-4c36-ac04-bc4e8578c147Post:69dda17b-802b-4850-9101-bc6ce3886b4f">Re: Marriage Counseling (semi-long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Marriage Counseling (semi-long) : Who is that book by?  I'm always up for some new reads. 
    Posted by jkh1182[/QUOTE]

    Willard F. Harley, Jr. It's such a good book. Might I suggest Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. Toward the end I felt like he was being a bit repetitive, but this book has a really good message for couples getting ready to be married or newleyweds... or even married for a while.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards