As more and more couples turn to premarital counseling because of our efforts to save marriages, there is a growing number of officiants who offer premarital counseling without education.
Maybe they are trying to make some money on the side? I don’t know. But it is a very dangerous proposition, if not entirely unethical.
The purpose of premarital counseling and education is utterly practical. It is as practical as learning how to sail before launching your new ocean going schooner. Yes, you would have to be a fool to even imagine your going to live long, much less enjoy your voyage if you try that. Just because so many couples get married without proper preparation does not mean it is intelligent to do so.
But, what do you mean premarital counseling without education? Aren’t they the same thing?
Premarital counseling is more like advice. When someone is counseled they are being told how to do something. Like, ‘if your wife wants to get new shoes, tell her how beautiful they look on her’. That’s counseling. Then there is also religous counseling, which helps those in a parish align their new marriage with the principles of their religion; very important. But education is different.
Premarital education is not a “do this, don’t do that” kind of thing. Premarital education is where you learn exactly what makes your marriage tick, so you can ascertain, using your own wisdom, exactly what you need to do in any given situation, and, how to create the most harmonious and happy situations in your new marriage. It focuses on the “physics” of marriage. So you can create your own happy outcomes.
For instance; most people get married because they found someone they love and with whom they want to create a family. Well, when you learn marriage, you learn that is not WHY you get married. That is why you chose the one you will marry, but its not the cause of you getting married. And, this is important because if you only get married for the satisfaction of fulfilling that one desire to be with that one person, it will not last.
On the other hand, when you understand the biological and spiritual drives that makes marriage amazing (when done right) your marriage will be absolutely safe and foolproof.
Premarital counseling without education gets people into trouble. It is the icing without a cake underneath. Be sure you get it right!