Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

What marriage resources have been helpful or encouraging to you?
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Job29Man
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Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby Job29Man » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:32 am

As a pastor one of my greatest frustrations is the modern North American process of how we choose and marry a spouse. The entire process has radically changed in just the last century and (IMHO) very much for the worse. Here are my frustrations.

1. The understanding of marriage is wrong to begin with. -- There is very poor education, and hence understanding, of what marriage is, and what is necessary to succeed at marriage.
2. Our expectations of marriage are unrealistic/wrong. -- Our expectations seem to be 90% shaped by romantic books, movies, songs, and entertainment culture, and only 10% shaped by serious discussions about and observations of real marriages, successful marriages.
3. Our understanding and expectations of the role of sex is wrong. -- How many times do we read the sad tales here of high sexual hopes shot down by bad sexual attitudes, and stingy spirits?
4. The dating and engagement process are deeply flawed. -- This whole process is designed to cover up flaws, not get "real" with each other, present ourselves in the most flattering light. You date and marry a "prince" or "princess" and wake up one morning after the honeymoon realizing that he/she was really a toad all along.

Recently I was asked to counsel a couple in their 50s, who wanted to get married. We knew him quite well, she was a newcomer. Sarah and I agreed to do this. They were in a hurry, I mean a BIG hurry to marry. They first met in June, were in my office by August all starry-eyed, we met several times over about a month. I couldn't nail down any big problems yet, but I had an "uneasy feeling" about her that I couldn't quite articulate. I had asked her about her past and she started to squirm, saying "I've been very hurt by others. It causes me a lot of pain to talk about it. I've dealt with it, and I'm OK now, but I'd rather not dredge up the past please." So I backed off, but felt uneasy. Then they surprised us all by eloping. They left the state to go meet his family, then went to a wedding chapel there and tied the knot.

It wasn't 3 weeks and they were back in my office with her complaining about how awful he was as a husband. She said slanderous awful things about him. It got ugly fast. After a few months she moved out. The husband did a background check on her and found that she had ... I'll just say, um ... a very devious past. I'd call it criminal, but just beyond the edges of prosecution. :evil: There were some straightforward questions I asked and she responded with out-and-out bold-faced lies. :evil: What was revealed was :shock: :shock:

Of course, when she left him she cleaned out a large bank account of his savings and before anyone could react she had already spent it.

Sarah and I are dumbfounded, and we feel really, really stupid. We seek your experiences, counsel and suggestions on how to really get down to the important details of people, and uncover and reveal the whole persons in the future. What are your suggestions to help couples to really see each other for who they REALLY are?

I don't just mean criminality. I've already resolved that anyone I don't know, I will do a complete personal history and background check on. Done deal. That's decided. Anyone who doesn't like that, I just won't counsel.

But what's a good process for revealing the flaws, the sins, weaknesses, even the darker side of people to each other?
I've told y'all on TMB about our personal process of courtship several times, and I generally get responses of "I've never heard of ANYONE doing that before. That's unrealistic." Hey, it worked very well for us. But ... OK for the rest of the world, if they are flat out unwilling to go through the intensive two year process of discovery that Sarah and I did, what's a better way?

One thing Sarah and I often discuss is "How can we put these two people into some really intense, pressure-filled situations that will force them to drop the masks and give them a chance to see how each other react to negativity, bad news, pressure, unpleasantness?
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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby JHB » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:48 am

I’d say that you missed one opportunity to create the circumstances you desire by backing off about her background. Not at all pointing a finger at you. Just saying there *are* generally ways during counseling to create what you’re looking for. It’s just painful for all involved, especially for the one forcing it to happen. But it’s like drawing blood for a test. Just has to happen. Get used to it.


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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby Mumof2cuteboys » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:07 am

Not a marriage situation, but I had a similar issue in gathering information during an assessment for someone to become a foster carer through me workplace. Almost every question in the assessment that was to do with how she managed stress, what impact any childhood memories had for her, etc... she answered "I just got/get over it." She wouldn't elaborate on any of the important issues.
She was approved, but not long afterwards she resigned as a carer in questionable circumstances.

Not sure how you crack the conversation about the important issues, especially when someone isn't very well known. Even if you push people into conversation, if they have something to hide, they generally will find away to be evasive in their responses. Background checks are a good place to start, but they really only show criminal history. There are people who haven't got a criminal history, only because they haven't been caught yet.
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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby The Twit » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:12 am

I will agree with you that marriage prep is lacking. I will state that it starts long before the sex talk in the homes, in the churches, and in the school groups (homeschool, private, and public). I will be bold here and say we are so concerned about sex education we completely ignore the whole concept of where sex is legitimate and the whole concept of what marriage is. When was the last time a pastor, or youth pastor got up and said, "date only those who would be a good mate." When was the last wedding in your church where the pastor/elders could have a series of sermons before the wedding speaking on the roles of the husband, the wife, the relatives, and the church community in the marriages. Where is the post wedding follow-up?

This is why so many in our home school groups are going back to the courtship approach or staying in our circle of friends for potential mates. The parents must approve of the young man or girl before anything begins. Part of the approval process is a background check and meetings with both families in a day long or weekend long event or multiple events. This means that the couple will be friends first, see that marriage is important, and any male-female contact better be brief or end in marriage.

How many times has a man and a woman met in college, fall "in love", make plans to marry, and the first time the parents or families really meet the special one and their family maybe at graduation, or a week or two before the wedding? No good background check.

Next is a serious pre wedding councilling with the pastor/elder and his wife, both sets of parents (if possible due to all of the divorce), and the big one other family members. A part of the councilling is discussions, honest forthright discussions of:
1. Our testimonies as Christians. Our whole past is brought up. This is where families can meet and the fathers talk and the mothers can talk. This is the first time the Bible is brought into the he pre-wedding meetings. You can see if your intended is squirming when the Bible is read about the roles of the husband and the wife and how you are to act as one body. We had a bible study with the elder and his wife about all of the couples in the Bible starting with Adam and Eve and ending with Mary and Joseph. We also discussed our roles as husband and wife.
2. Dreams, plans, and how God is leading you as an individual. With this is the discussion of how these are to merge and become one.
3. Financial planning. Set up a budget not just for the wedding but for your lives right then and there. Use that budget for our lives the next few months until the wedding. Then switch over to the joint budget. We used Crown Ministries and my current salary but you could use Dave Ramsey's program. The warning sign for the man is how much does the intended wife want to spend on the wedding and for the bride how much is being budgeted for the honeymoon - time and money.
3. Frank and open discussions of the blessings of children including potential birth control. Yes we did talk birth control and that we did not believe in any form of permanent birth control. I learned how to use condoms and get used to them. My wife had a complete check up by an OBGYN.
4. With the children discussion are open discussions of sex and its role in marriage. This was when we were given the book Intended for Pleasure by the Wheats, there are better books now but at that time this was very cutting edge for those of us who were were conservative Christians). We had to read certain sections of the book and have discussions in councilling sessions and on our own alone. We also took this time to discuss oral sex, anal sex, different sex positions, and what to expect from each other in terms of quantity and quality. We knew things would change once we were married but we had a good book and a solid foundation to work from.

We had about 4-6 months of counseling with the elder who was going to marry us and his wife. We met with the parents. We met each other's families not just once but several times. We also had hour long telephone calls and exchanges of letters with my grandparents who had been married for 50 years. We also said that if at anytime either one of us or both of us wanted out, this was the time, not after the wedding. Everyone knew that but they also flew out yellow flags of warnings not just in our lives but the lives of the people around us. We learned the good and the bad of marriage.

I know what I have stated is for young couples but many of these can be applied to all couples of all ages. Getting on a budget and sticking to it, getting to see the testimony of how God has and is changing you. Talking about sex and what is expected. Really getting to know each other and each other's back ground. And the biggest accepting the fact that engagement does not mean that you are married - you can put a pause or even call off everything at any time up too the day of the wedding.

The biggest thing is to get to know the person you are marrying and listen to those around you who are Sending up warning signals.

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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby JHB » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:35 am

Mumof2cuteboys wrote:Even if you push people into conversation, if they have something to hide, they generally will find away to be evasive in their responses.


Agreed. A corollary is that you can’t generally counsel people who aren’t interested in being counseled. Or help people who don’t want help.

This situation is even worse. You’ve got somebody who is good at lying and has every intention in doing so to cover up their past and future goals. Pushing her on her past would not likely have accomplished much besides anger and an attempt to turn the man against you, Job. The problem is that you don’t know ahead of time whether they are doing this, so the only option is to push and see what happens. For those who are sincerely looking for help, they will be helped by it. For those who aren’t, they will rarely be helped but might realize later that they need help and come back to you. For those that are being evil, they might be exposed a bit sooner.


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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby MayDayGirl » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:48 am

What do you mean when you say 'background check'? Are we talking about just checking what they post on social media or a true BCI? Can you even do that without getting someone's permission, social security number, etc.? Call me crazy, but if I was dating someone and his father or pastor said they'd need to do a background check on me, I'd run in the other direction.

Not to be a Negative Nellie, but honestly, I don't think there's a whole lot you can do. Look at the high percentage of couples who live together before marriage and still get divorced. Wouldn't you think they'd have a clue about their partner's flaws after seeing them 24/7? Maybe the real problem in society is that people are desperate to be loved and willingly turn a blind eye to others' faults.

If anything, I would focus counseling on how to deal with your spouse's faults, because reality is that we've all got them!

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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby MayDayGirl » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:58 am

Job, in regards to your last paragraph, maybe a practical suggestion is to start a TMB thread asking what are the hardest situations your marriage has endured and present them as scenarios to discuss with engaged couples.

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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby SeekingChange » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:03 am

First, we and the ones marrying need to be highly dependent on the Holy Spirit. Only God knows the heart of man and He is the One who can reveal it.

Sadly, we can counsel and warn all we want, but it's up to them on whether they take heed. We can teach and train all the right things, and yet they are still their own willful and sinful person.

For me personally, and this wasn't as a counselor but as a mother, I prayed for God to turn up the refining fire. I saw Him do it. I also knew it wouldn't just be for them two, but for the rest of the family as well. I experienced Him doing it. How did it end....I now have a new daughter and a grandson on the way. Often times God's ways are not our ways. What I am sure of, is the changing work the Lord did in me, and now I know the Lord has a specific purpose for that newlywed couple to be living in our home for a year. Now the very real life mentoring will happen.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby The Twit » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:33 am

I want to add the following thoughts:
Pre-marriage councilling happens long before the engagement period. It happens in the home, the church, and society all around a us. It is told to us and it is modeled for us. Marriage is modeled in our home by our parents, grand-parents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, and cousins, it is modeled by the neighbors, the parents of our friends, and our parents friends. It is modeled in the church on how we choose and accept elders/pastors, teachers, music leaders, light and sound men, custodians, and even members of our congregations. We also see it modeled in how we pick a church.

If we have a solid grounding knowing God and His will in our lives, we will surround ourselves with other who have similar knowledge. I can only use those around me as examples and testify about my own life. Before my wife and I started to date we had become friends. We were a part of a group of Christians on the UW Madison. We were surrounded by fellow followers of The Way. We discussed, the Bible, theology, politics, school, and life in general. We witnessed to our fellow students, in small Bible studies or having meals every now and then. Some of us worked with the international students and other worked wi those students from the USA. We were not isolated and insulated like many of our fellow students by living at home or living with relatives, by having part time and summer jobs not related to the UW and maybe our majors, many of us were second or third generation believers, etc. My wife and I found that we agreed on many subjects. We talked about what we felt God leading us to do in our lives and we found our leading to be more in tune with each other than anyone else in out group. We shares with each other our dreams of what we saw in our future spouses and we noticed that the other person exhibited many of those qualities. We became attracted to each other. When we started dating we immediately introduced ourselves to each other's families. In fact I met her father and mother along with her brother and sister-in-law that we are close about a year or so before dating. Her sister-in-law had met my dad at her job, my dad was the head computer guy and my future SIL was a newly graduated accountant at the accounting firm. Then later after the first date (with her family on a family outing) I brought my DW to meet my parents and church family. A while later she traveled over to Iowa to meet most of my Dad's family. She had already met my grandparents by phone and then letters. From our courtship developed some strong friendships with the elders nd his wife who married us along with my in-laws with my grandparents. I would not have asked my future wife out on a date without having to gotten to know her and her friends. Likewise my wife would not have gone out with me with out similar knowledge. We also started dating wiht the knowledge that this was to determine if we would make a good husband and wife or it would be dissolved before we got to emotionally attached. We relized within a few dates we were going to be husband and wife and everything we did from there was prepping for our future life together as husband and wife. We did go through many heated discussions and arguments but we always stopped, prayed together or seperate, and came back together and resolved the issue. Sometimes it was a compromise, sometimes it was a giving up our individual stance for the other person's point of view (accepting when we were wrong), but in the end we created a joint concept as a couple. We saw the couple's who ended up getting married around us were doing the same. They had not started dating without the understanding that they were going to date a future mate. And that divorce would not be an option nice married.

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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby poetess » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:36 am

Job, a two-year intensive doesn't work for everyone--ours was shorter, but it was intensive. But for sure if you treat choosing a mate as less important than hiring for a very significant position at work, you may end up with trouble. Part of that "research" for me was googling his name, and determining that his story matched what I found, even to details such as cities he had lived in. I didn't do a full background check simply because I got to know his community fully enough--a community in which he had spent most of his adult life--that I determined it was unnecessary. Had he been a recent transplant to the area, or had I felt any caution on meeting his family, I would have added that step.

In my experience, by the time people actually get engaged, they usually are so "set" on marriage that pretty much nothing will be big enough to encourage them to back off. Well, in reality engagements break up all the time, but not because someone warned them about something big. And yes, people do lie. I know a couple who married only because he lied and agreed with her that he wanted several children. Eventually they had several children, but it took several years of pain and childlessness for her, a miscarriage that only made him dig in his heels more about not wanting children and made her yearn for them more . . . and repentance on his part. But had God not broken his heart, they might have died childless and she would have been deeply hurt by his lie. But there were red flags in the relationship she actually did see (I'm one of at least two people who warned her about them) and she went ahead anyway. So it's possible she would have married him even if he had admitted he didn't want children, thinking she'd change his mind later. (In that case I actually knew he didn't want children, and that she wanted several, but couldn't figure out an honorable way to deal with the fact that I knew of such a grave "incompatibility." I finally asked her if they had talked about children, and she said yes, they had talked about it and they agreed. Maybe I should have pressed further, but it somehow didn't occur to me that he was lying to her to seal the deal.)

Having encouraged "Wait, and deal with this issue before you marry" or "You two are not a good match" to several couples in my life, no one has ever listened. I also know a couple who married exceedingly hastily (three months after the death of his first wife, to a woman he met online after his wife died, and who lived in another city that he then moved to) and I was in no position to say a word but would have put him in handcuffs if it would have done any good--she may well have been an excellent woman, but he was in no position to know if she was a good wife for him and thus it was an ill-advised match. And I know someone who was engaged or talking about marriage with at least ten different men before she finally married one of them (no idea if that marriage lasted). I came away from it all with the strong impression (1) people will not listen when you speak to them, no matter how gently, about their choice of a marriage partner after it has been already made and (2) I myself needed to let my community help vet my own choice when it was time to marry (and I did).

From my own knowledge and experience of human nature, I would make two or three observations/suggestions: (1) Premarital counseling is too little, too late. My own pastor was "known for" the thoroughness of his premarital counseling . . . yet he didn't cover sex at all, except to make sure we were not sleeping together, and overall he told us nothing we didn't already know. (Of course, we were middle-aged, my husband had already been married and I had had tons of life experience, and we had been exceedingly thorough in getting to know each other--to this day, six years into marriage, my only "surprise" about getting to know my husband after marriage is to discover that he has a favorite football team, that he wasn't totally uninterested in the sport but only mostly uninterested.) My suggestion: change the culture of your church to encourage pre-engagement counseling instead, or in addition to, premarital counseling. (2) Work to change the culture of your church (if it isn't) away from big, fancy weddings being the focus. By the time a couple is engaged, generally they are worried more about how the wedding invitation will be worded and whether it's OK to have a chocolate wedding cake than whether they are in agreement on such basics as how children will be raised. Engagement periods are times of great stress to most couples, and we simply expect that, but 90% of the preparation is on the wedding day itself, and not the marriage. (3) If you aren't already doing this, insist on being honest about their level of physical involvement; ask specific questions, and not just once. I specifically told two of my friends it was OK to ask questions about such matters, and they still didn't. We have a culture in which such prying is considered way too personal, so we leave couples to navigate such treacherous waters on their own. If you do not hold them accountable, probably no one will.

This one is getting its own paragraph: (4) More and more relationships are conducted long-distance: online dating, friends from school reconnecting after they live in other states, etc. I had a long-distance relationship myself, but I had read many horror stories and so I was very cautious. But the biggest threat of long-distance relationships was one that I didn't know until I entered one: Your risk is magnified simply because you are operating alone, as two separate individuals, and not as members of a community. My husband and I were very diligent in getting to know each other's communities (families, churches), including staying with someone from the other person's community when we visited the other person in his/her hometown. (I stayed with his parents, he stayed with my pastor.) So I would say this: however you meet, it is essential that you get to know the other person's community. Even people who meet locally may go to different churches and travel in different circles, and this is true for them as well. You find out a lot by getting to know his parents, and you learn a lot by getting to know her friends. If all of his friends are unemployed young men who drink too much, shouldn't that be a pretty serious red flag? On the other hand, if he is a manager at his workplace, and you meet his underlings and they clearly respect him highly, that tells you a lot in the other direction. Do not marry a person you know only as an individual. If this person is an only child, his parents are both dead, and he is new to the community, then do a formal background check. Call his workplace and make sure he is actually still employed. Run a financial report on her (and don't end up surprised that her school loan is twice what she led you to believe and she also has $20,000 in credit card debt).

Also, if they tell you that "God told me to marry him," I would ask more questions, not fewer--they likely skipped over "due diligence" in the assurance God did the work for them.

MDG, statistically, couples who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce than those who have not.
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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby MayDayGirl » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:10 am

Poetess, yes, that was my point. I try to make my posts short and succinct.

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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby Job29Man » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:18 am

poetess wrote:In my experience, by the time people actually get engaged, they usually are so "set" on marriage that pretty much nothing will be big enough to encourage them to back off. Well, in reality engagements break up all the time...


Yup, agreed. You'll notice that I titled this thread "Pre-Enagement Counseling" not "Pre-Marital Counseling." I tell my congregation "Don't wait to come for counseling until after you are engaged. I can't really do anything with you then; your mind is already made up. I want you to come for discussions long before anyone has popped the question. I want to see you when you think you are "starting to get serious," so that if we uncover something amiss there is still time to change course before you get too far towards engagement.

As to background checks. I don't see the need when the two parties are well known to the same community. It's mainly for when they come from two separate communities, especially when they are past their twenties and thirties. That's time enough to have a few marriages, divorces, children, maybe criminal convictions, that one just "neglects to mention." In the case of the couple I mentioned she had admitted to being married and divorced twice before, but then after he married her, and she stole his savings and ran off he did a $25 online background check (without a social security number or her permission) and found that he was not her third husband but her SEVENTH husband, and when she was in her 40s had married a disabled man in his 80s and tried to get him to sign over all his assets to her. :shock: He used that information to call that ex-husband who explained the whole thing from his nursing home bed.

Yeah, I think when you are in your 50s background checks rock! Same goes for prenups for seniors, to protect their children's inheritance after they die.
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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby MayDayGirl » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:30 pm

Honestly, people wouldn't need to do background checks if they acknowledged the red flags presented (divorced twice, in a hurry to get married, doesn't want to talk about the past). I suppose they met on the Internet as well? Job, if someone arrives at your door ignoring all of that, I'm not sure there's much you can do.

Maybe a pre-printed Red Flag List. Pull it out of your file cabinet so they know you are giving it to everyone!

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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby Barbarah-Hephizibah » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:24 pm

MayDayGirl wrote:if someone arrives at your door ignoring all of that, I'm not sure there's much you can do.

What about telling the guy (or gal) to run for the hills? Also, in my view, pastors ought to tell more couples to wait, and I think it's okay for a pastor to say, I'm not comfortable doing your wedding because I don't think you're ready. ~BH

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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby Leah » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:36 pm

Call me pragmatic, but when it's a second marriage and there are significant assets, I see nothing wrong with asking for a full credit report and background check.

Had a good friend who was widowed and married again. Dude turned out to have lied about his background. Had some criminal behavior and a few marriages he didn't share.

And there might be some discussion of a pre nup. I know what people say, but the Bible is very clear about inheritances and whatever. I do not think a person who has worked hard and built a legacy should lose it over a bad marriage. The courts in no-fault states do not care. If a marriage is on the books, the property is divided. My poor uncle was a widower and remarried late in life. He was ill and his wife left. They were separated when he died. She took everything and wouldn't even claim his body or arrange for burial.
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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby Job29Man » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:00 pm

Leah wrote:And there might be some discussion of a pre nup. I know what people say, but the Bible is very clear about inheritances and whatever. I do not think a person who has worked hard and built a legacy should lose it over a bad marriage.


Agree with this 100% !

I have seen too many cases of an older age remarriage by a lonely widower (or widow) and then getting cleaned out and the children getting nothing. I tell older remarriage candidates they should set up a pre-nup and spell it all out, so that both spouses are taken care of till they die, but that what they bring to the marriage mostly goes to their own separate children. If you sign a prenup my understanding is that trumps the state's default inheritance laws. If that doesn't work in any given state, I'd suggest that the spouses place the inheritance into revocable trusts for the children BEFORE the wedding.

My wife's grandfather was widowed in his 60s. He got lonely and married a wicked woman who appealed to his broken heart. She was married to him for maybe 5 years and he died and his farm which he built up over a lifetime went to her, and she gave it all to her own children. His children got nothing. She even invited her children to come into the house and take all the precious memory items (china, decorations, piano, artwork, momma's quilts) that they couldn't care less about. Grandad's kids got none of the memorabilia.
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

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Job29Man
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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby Job29Man » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:06 pm

What I'm kind of hoping people can suggest is materials that help to reveal the true nature, the good, bad, and ugly of each person to the other. Sarah and I had worked together in ministry for two years and took college courses together and did several intense science experiments together and wrote several papers together and took joint grades. Stress, co-writing, it reveals a lot. :lol:

Maybe I should have couples write a term paper together? :D
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

doug-h
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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby doug-h » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:24 pm

Job29Man wrote:
Maybe I should have couples write a term paper together? :D


Actually, if you could figure out how to implement that idea, and come up with the right assignment material, it could be quite beneficial. It might not be predictive, but may well reveal areas that need further examination.

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The Twit
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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby The Twit » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:05 pm

Job29Man wrote:Maybe I should have couples write a term paper together? :D

We used the Getting Ready for Marriage workbook.

We almost did write a term paper on ourselves and what we knew of each other. Also in The Art of Marriage seminar couples are to write letters to each other and write several short statements. So yes, if a couple is really serious of marriage they better be willing to write some sort of paper bases on several topics. Also they should be willing for a thorough check of each other's character. But the key is asking and honestly answering if any red card is shown then the couple is willing to stop and evaluate at anytime even up to the day of the wedding.

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Re: Your suggestions for pre-engagement counseling

Postby neilethere » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:12 pm

But in addition, Job, you are actually looking for people to live a more considered life, aren't you, thinking about what they want before they even head down the marriage path. You actually want to change Western culture as it is at the moment - or at least where it overlaps the Church because I assume you are talking about Christian marriage.


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