The excitement and appeal of a wedding and its plans bring excitement from family and friends. Loved ones join us in building anticipation for the promise of lifelong love and covenant for which we may have dreamed, prayed, and waited. These are joyful times, rightly met with the glee and giddiness that gladdens hearts and delights our Father. It is for good reason, as He is the generous One who gives every good and perfect gift.

When we consider the role that our future spouse may play in our lives as a friend, confidante, partner, and lover we may sense the pleasure of God as we prepare our hearts to be united in marriage’s holy covenant.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17, NIV

Planning a wedding, however, isn’t the same as preparing for marriage. While we may feel somewhat rapturous about the day when we envision seeing our loved one face to face at an altar, making vows requires more than repeated phrases echoed before teary-eyed witnesses.

What we offer to one another, in the presence of God and others, is a public announcement of what we intend to uphold from that day until our last. It may seem daunting, as it isn’t something for us to enter lightly or without thoughtful consideration. Yet, before the vows, there are both practical and spiritual preparations we can incorporate into our lives, both individually and jointly, as we move toward the altar and into our shared future.

While we often look to the wedding as the beginning of the journey together, it is a pivotal time, but the process of becoming one has already budded in distinct ways. Through the journey of nurturing a friendship, dating, or even courtship, we share parts of our souls with our future spouse. Here, few others, if anyone, gain access to the increasingly intimate spaces where a deeper connection is fostered with our beloved.

When we allow our engagement to grow and unite us beyond planning a wedding, it reinforces the bond that Ecclesiastes details while the Lord knits our hearts with Him at the center.

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:11-12, NIV


Commonly, we refer to the period between a marriage proposal and ceremony as an engagement. While often embraced as the time to plan for a wedding, engagement, at its core, involves how we prepare before the vows.

Engagement is intentional and invites us to further explore the relationship and cement its foundation in Christ. It further acquaints us with the one we have chosen to enter a marital covenant. It provides an opportunity for us to engage one another more intimately, by posing questions, gathering information, and revealing parts of ourselves that our partner hadn’t seen or been privy to in earlier phases of the relationship.


Premarital counseling during this period holds the potential to advance our commitment to its next level. Through this interpersonal forum, we embrace time with a trained counselor to explore topics, some of which may be generic while others may be specific to issues we have noticed while dating.

Premarital counseling sessions may vary in length and intensity, and like other types of counsel, centralize the needs of the people seeking support. Premarital counseling engages couples around issues they need to discuss and unpack. Love may endure all things, as the Bible informs, but it is through the experience of premarital counseling that we learn how to live that love in a practical sense through the vows we intend to take and uphold.

Loving one another doesn’t mean that we won’t have legitimate issues to explore and address. However, we can learn how to be more aware of our own areas for growth, even as we respond with intention and compassion to our future spouse. Communication is essential, and gathering those tools for effective connection can be practiced and refined over time.

Premarital counseling will help us to discover and make better use of our tools before the vows so we can enter the covenant with our eyes and our hearts open to give and receive, both from God and one another.


It is through this kind of emotional intimacy that premarital counseling exposes parts of us that our future spouse may not have seen. They may be familiar with our characteristic strengths, which enhances our connection. Furthermore, we may have also shared some inherently private areas.

The premarital counseling process may reveal vulnerabilities and areas where we need strength and support. In this manner, premarital counseling can be a gift to each individual and the couple as it invokes an opportunity for a deeper connection.

Before we say I do, premarital counseling gives us a safe space to process relationship issues in the presence and with the support of a trained counselor. In therapeutic settings, we learn how to engage one another without judgment and offer compassion, even as Jesus, our Bridegroom regards us, His Church (Ephesians 5:25-27). We learn each other’s needs and how to respond in ways that honor our partner in the context of what God intended for the covenant.

In many ways, it can confirm what we already sensed building as our relationship evolved. In this manner, our joint sessions have the potential to highlight areas for healing, growth, and change that we might not have seen until stepping into marriage.


While premarital counseling will draw out some of what we already knew about ourselves and our future mates, it may also unearth what we didn’t expect. Knowing now is better, so we can prepare with prayer and intentional practical steps to reset our perspective and reshape our hearts at this point in our shared journey.

It is impossible to know everything about a fiancé before the vows, but that is the core function of learning to grow in grace with one another. The Father delights in sharing divine revelation and wisdom to sustain us in each aspect of our faith journey. As with anything else in the realm of faith, trusting God with what we sense will enhance all that we see.

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” – Romans 1:17, NIV

When we partner with the Holy Spirit to enhance our discernment, we can grow more confident that we have chosen a suitable partner, even as God fit Eve for Adam. God is the Architect who has crafted our purpose, and unique personality fashioning our proclivities based on His design for a godly and fulfilling life.

Premarital counseling offers us a framework to approach God concerning our potential marriage, how to commune with our own hearts, and how to engage in communication with one another from a place of curiosity and humility. Premarital counseling positions us to remain teachable. It supports us with constructing a foundation that prepares us to be and receive God’s best in our partner, not only before the vows but ultimately, beyond our wedding day.

Next steps

As you consider the next steps for your relationship, explore the resources on this site. Building the firm foundation needed for future storms and celebrations occurs in what you do today. Search for a counselor that offers premarital counseling. You will find the support needed to prepare for your special day and all those that follow. Take the next step and schedule an appointment and invest in your marriage before the vows.

“Man and Wife”, Courtesy of Foto Pettine,, CC0 License; “Wedding Bands”, Courtesy of Sandy Millar,, CC0 License; “Just Married”, Courtesy of Wedding Dreamz,, CC0 License; “Just Married”, Courtesy of Jonathan Borba,, CC0 License


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