Post # 1
Do you bees mind sharing some of the best advice that you’ve learned in pre-marriage counseling?
Fiance and I have faithfully endured over 10 months of marriage counseling. It’s been such a blessed experience and has helped us both to grow spiritually as a couple.
Our pastor told us from the beginning that he was going to teach us what was biblically correct not what was politically correct. The first thing we taught us was how to build our marriage on a firm foundation, the same way that Jesus told Paul to build his church on a rock meaning on Jesus. He also thought us how a three cord rope (God, Fiance and me) is stronger than a one cord rope or even a two cord rope. We’ve learned what the biblical roles of a wife and a husband are in a marriage. We talked about our finances and about raising children. He also gave us a couple of books and such.
The last piece of advice he left us with was this:
1. For each of us to read our bibles daily.
2. Eat our meals together
3. Get to as many church services as we can-Three to thrive (Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday night (bible study) which we love going to church we are both church goers)
4. Invest in our church-With our time helping with church ministry and doing evangelical work and our finances (10% of our income goes to tithing).
5. Never go to bed mad at each other.
Post # 3
Bump: Doesn’t have to be Christian marriage counseling. It could be any marriage counseling…
Post # 4
Our pastor said to be a student of each other. For instance, instead of just getting mad that something your SO does is different than how you would do it, recognize it’s coming from someone with a different perspective on life. When you look at your SO as someone to be studied and try to understand them instead of chalking it up to them being unintelligent or obstinate, it will really help.
He said as believers, how we conduct our marriage is a picture of how Christ loves the church, so try to keep that in mind– we’re a witness even when we are annoyed at each other.
Also, someone else told me to always uphold your husband, especially in the company of others. Don’t tear him down. In private, don’t be sarcastic and cut each other down–you are there to support each other, and joking in a negative way doesn’t help your relationship.
I’m a newlywed and I’m really thankful that we haven’t had any issues where these would come into play, but I try to keep them at the front of my mind for the future. 🙂
Post # 5
I haven’t been to counseling yet so I haven’t gotten advice from there… but the advice that is ALWAYS passed around my family from my grandparents to parents to aunts and uncles is (seriously): fight naked. They always say that when you’re young and you fight naked the fight doesn’t last too long because you end up ah’em distracted? 🙂 And when you’re old and you fight naked the fight doesn’t last too long because you end up laughing (at yourselves and each other). I don’t know how literally anyone takes it and Fiance and I certainly have never stripped down to argue… but its a funny piece of advice nevertheless!
Also, can you explain the rationale behind the tithing thing? i’ve heard that before but i don’t get it. what does the church do with your money?
Post # 6
@ Corgi – “fight naked”! Bwah ha ha ha ha!!!! If I was super-mad at my husband, and this was our motto, I’m afraid if I started pulling my clothes off to fight with him I’d just throw them at him!!! LOL!!!
Seriously though, the pastor really focused a lot on finances (since apparently that’s the biggest thing married couples fight over..?) and stressed the importance of having a savings account and retirement plans. Of course he talked about other things too, and the spiritual aspect of our relationship, but he started out talking about finances and spent half the time on that and the rest of it on other areas.
Post # 7
Our pastor told us that a priority in marrying someone isn’t whether they’ll be a good provider or a good mother, but whether they’ll be a good companion.
Post # 8
@ Corgitales Just curious have you taken that advice about “fighting naked” yet? Lol. That made me LOL.
Post # 9
Everything the pastor taught us in marriage counseling was straight out of the Bible. He would always start out our marriage counseling sessions with, “Let’s have a moment of prayer” than he would tell us the topic and tell us to open our Bibles to such and such. So in my notes I have bible verses and things such as that to show you were it says that in the bible…If you want me to.
Most churches teach that you should give (tithe) 10% of your monthly finances before taxes and spread it evenly every Sunday. God will take your 90% and stretch it. Gods body is the church so if you rob from God you’re causing him bodily harm. And if you rob from God your pretty much cursed. I don’t know if that’s literal but we are pretty much fundamental Christians.
That’s pretty much all.
I know with planning our wedding and all the expenses of the wedding it is really a huge sacrifice to tithe 10% of our income, but it’s well worth it because I know God will provide for us a beautiful wedding.. We’ve been in prayer that he would meet our financial needs for our wedding….
Post # 10
@Corgi – that’s some fun marriage advice! Though I think i would be like okqueenbee and start throwing my clothes at Mr. Pea!
One thing our priest kept telling us that still sticks out is to make sure you have God in your home. Being an Orthodox, we have icons (pictures of saints, Mary and Jesus). So we have icons all over the house. An icon of the last supper in our kitchen and a cross over our door that we walk through the most coming into the house. He said if you don’t have God in your home, He will whither from your heart.
My husband and I also don’t believe in the “don’t ever go to bed angry…” saying. We find that if we go to bed angry, in the morning, we usually have calmed down and forget the reason we were fighting to begin with. Either that, or we both realize why we were wrong and we talk about it in the morning much more calmly.
And finally, it was actually the Catholic Church that made us realize how strong our bond is. My husband is Catholic, and as i said above, I’m Orthodox. When you go to pre-marital counseling in the Catholic church, they have a piece of paper that they ask the person who is of Catholic faith to sign basically saying that they will do everything in their power to raise their children Catholic. My husband went into the counseling saying that he wouldn’t ever sign the piece of paper, b/c we knew we wanted to raise our kids Orthodox. Well, the priest told him that if he didn’t sign it, he would be considered in “poor” standing with the Catholic church, and wouldn’t be able to receive any of the sacraments. He was pretty saddened by this, and so we went to a separate room and talked about it. I told him that I would never want him to not be able to participate in the sacraments of his faith, and that it was a piece of paper required by the church, not something binding in the eyes of God, and just to sign it. It was one of the best talks we had, and he saw how supportive I was of his faith while I saw how he was willing to put his faith at risk for me and my faith. It just brought us closer together.
So…that last story wasn’t really advice, but more of a way to show how religion can bring a couple closer together, even if it didn’t mean to :o)
Post # 11
My fi and I went to our Engaged Encounter Catholic Retreat 2 weeks aog and we had a gret time! It truly was a bonding experience and got everything out on the table so to speak! But the one thing that stuck in my mind and still does, is the mentor said…”Don’t go to the ALTAR to ALTER!” Very clever, but true! I guess you figure some people will think things will change once their married or some might try to change their spouse.
Prime example…my cousin got married after 9 yrs of dating her then Boyfriend or Best Friend, they were really rocky, she didn’t like certain things about him and thought that that might change after getting married…WRONG! They ended up getting married anyway. Well 2 yrs later, they’re getting a divorce! I think this is a perfect example of what that means!
Post # 12
@thefuturemrsgibbs- no, I have not taken the advice yet 🙂 Honestly I don’t know how literally it is meant to be taken haha. It is something that comes up at every single family wedding and all the older people laugh and nod, but so far I have not decided to strip down when angry haha.
re: tithing– is that from the new or old testament, if you don’t mind my asking? i just find the whole concept very interesting. I am Christian but I am not super tied to any church. I grew up in a very liberal Lutheran church that did not preach tithing– at least not like that. Then I went to college and took some classes in the history of Christianity that I found fascinating, particularly in how the bible came into being.
Post # 13
I’ve seen tithing as a good thing, but I think it can turn into a legalistic task. I don’t think it states anywhere in the New Testament that if you don’t tithe, you are cursed. Tithing is not to be forced upon believers. We should be cheerful givers and choose to give money out of our love for Christ, not because we fear damnation. I believe tithing also shows that our hearts are not bound by money, that we can freely give it up.
I know the Old Testament requires it, but Jesus fulfilled the old law through his sacrifice.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m pro-tithing, but I don’t think it’s mandatory and I don’t think God curses his believers; he bestows grace upon them.
Post # 14
Don’t forget that your spouse comes before your children. If you put your children’s needs above your spouse’s, you lose the firm foundation you’ve set for them.
Post # 15
@ejs– that is really interesting advice…. i’m not quite sure how i feel about it though. I think you obviously can’t forget about your spouse’s needs or place them in a much lower position than your childrens, but your spouse is an adult who can fend for themselves.
Post # 16
Hey, Futuremrsgibbs – I don’t want to sound like a downer, but I don’t 100% agree with everything your pastor told you. I’ve always disagreed with the advice to not go to bed mad at each other, I’ve found that can cause things to get worse and actually after a good night’s sleep it’s much easier to be constructive.
Also, go to as many church services as possible and invest in the church? I’m going to argue that this one doesn’t 100% benefit you two as a couple and is more a benefit for the church financially. I get the reasoning behind it, so you are more involved in the church community, building healthy relationships that will support your marriage and I guess it shouldn’t come for free, but there are so many other ways you can build healthy relationships and be a part of communities, I just am surprised he put such an emphasis on that. And reading bibles daily, I think that’s just to get you more involved with the Church and there are other things you could read together that can bring you closer.
These are just my thoughts, I feel strongly about them obviously. And to answer your question the best advice our Reverend gave us was to learn good communication skills (which we already have), develop healthy relationships for support and avoid inappropriate relationships that can damage our union, learn from relationships that influence us (parents) either by repeating good behavior or avoiding bad and don’t use finances as a means to express frustration about other things (which a lot of couples do and is one of the biggest causes of divorce).