One of the responsibilities of the premarital counselor is to identify potential time bombs in a marriage. Those time bombs are identified by either, observation, direct questioning, or by the couple completing a questionnaire about their past, present circumstances and their expectations.
During one such premarital counseling session, an elderly lady discovered that the young man she was counseling was still married and had three children with his wife. Had she not asked the ridiculous question are you still married to someone else she may never have discovered this embarrassing truth. Ridiculous questions may reveal ridiculous positions that preclude marriage.
Even a child can ask as many questions that would precisely point to potential time bombs. It is premarital counseling that brings out such issues as the man who does not want to have children until after five years of marriage while the woman may be planning to have at three two kids by then. Premarital counseling not only alerts couples to avoidable danger, it also reinforces the right choices they have made when they have made such choices. In the right setting, premarital counseling helps to teach the couple the importance of the commitment they are about to make with respect to the lifetime covenant of marriage. But it may not teach them how to be committed. Premarital counselors serve a good purpose in helping couples evaluate each other at more objective levels. For more information on how to objectively evaluate yourself or other individuals at the 5 Foundations of life, you can read 1 ROOMMATE.
The premarital counselor must, during the process of counseling couples identify any of the 7 Divorce Creating Habits (DCH), any Risk factors for divorce as well as the sanity zones in either individual before joining them. The PMCor must also identify the presence or absence of the 7 Maturity C Factors. The DCH and maturity factors are listed in the appendix. They are described in greater detail in other books by the author. If any of the latter is absent, the premarital counseling should be halted and these findings discussed immediately with the couple. It proves that either one or both partners are not ready for marriage even if they seem to be perfect for each other.
Without being rigid, the premarital counselor has specific responsibilities that must be executed in disciplinary fashion. Being a minister is no excuse for negligence or incompetence. If you want to provide premarital counseling for couples, you must know what you are doing. Lives are at stake, sometimes generations. It is the PMCor’s job to warn couples of imminent dangers and dissuade them diplomatically from making costly mistakes that could endanger their children and even generations to come.