There are a couple of ways that you can learn how to do your job. You can familiarize yourself with the challenges before you start to work through practical education. Or, you can learn through on the job training. Both have their place.
If no one has shared this with you yet, allow me to break the news: marriage is hard work. In fact, you may find that it is the most challenging thing you ever do. Good marriages don’t just happen. They are good because two people have made their relationship a priority.
Making your relationship a priority means taking advantage of opportunities to learn and grow in your understanding of marriage and how to makes it successful. You have a great opportunity now, while your wedding is in the planning stages, to invest in its success by participating in some premarital preparation.
There will be a lot you have to learn after you are on the job. But that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from spending time now. There are a couple of ways you can spend this time wisely.
You and your intended spouse can work through a premarital study. There are many options available to you. I recommend the books and workbooks entitled Save Your Marriage Before It Starts: Seven Questions to Ask Before and After You Marryauthored by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott. There is a separate workbook for the bride and groom. The textbook can be shared.
If you know that you or your intended are not the type to complete such a study on your own, I would encourage you to enroll in premarital counseling. This will provide greater structure and accountability.
I provide premarital counseling whether or not I conduct your wedding ceremony. Counseling can be in conjunction with the materials recommended above, which allows for more independent study and fewer hours spent in the counseling sessions, or without such materials so that most of the process is handled within the context of the counseling sessions.
Counseling fees are on an hourly basis and are separate from those charged to perform a wedding ceremony.
There are times when married couples need to revisit the reasons that they entered into the relationship and develop essential skills that form the basis of a good marriage. I provide biblically based counseling as a pastoral counselor with the goal of maintaining and strengthening your marital relationship. This counseling may serve well in preparation for a renewal of your vows.
As with premarital counseling, you may decrease the costs by using published materials in conjunction with the counseling. Costs will be greater if most of the issues are covered within the context of the counseling sessions. Counseling fees are on an hourly basis and are separate from those charged to perform a reaffirmation ceremony.
Grief is the emotional, physical and spiritual suffering experience because of loss. The loss is often associated with death, where a relationship is severed. Loss may also be experienced as the result of divorce. Regardless of the source, the process is normal if not completely predictable. The stages of grief as defined by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross may not be experienced by each person going through the process and certainly not in the same order. However, there is a process, and reflecting on that process with someone who is objective can be very beneficial.
I provide grief counseling to help persons and families advance through the grief process. The counseling can be in conjunction with study materials, thereby decreasing the time and costs spent in counseling sessions. You can find recommendations for materials addressing grief associated with death on the Memorial and Funeral Services page.
Notice and Disclaimer:
I am not a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist or Associate. Counselors so designated are licensed, supervised and disciplined by the state. All counseling services are offered as an ordained clergy and based primarily on experience developed through pastoral counseling. In that experience, I have counseled individuals in preparation for marriage, married couples having difficulties or desiring a greater sense of intimacy, and individuals and families suffering grief over loss resulting from death or divorce.