Premarital Counseling


1. Introduction and Goals of Marriage


2. Gender and Personality Differences


3. Resolving Conflict


4. Family of Origin


5. Marriage Roles

Before this session: Read Ephesians 5:21-33 and answer these questions

  • What do you think about the concept of leadership and submission in marriage? Any objections or questions?
  • What do you think it should look like in your marriage?


6. Sex

Before this session: Make sure you have shared your sexual past with each other. You don’t need to share every detail. Consider these guidelines for how much to share.

  1. Your future spouse should know the general extent of your premarital sexual involvement so they can understand some of the damage you might have to work through in your marriage. That keeps them from making assumptions (which will probably be wrong).
  2. You should share enough so that you don’t find yourself wondering “What would they think if they knew this about me?”
  3. Try to go into this conversation with sensitivity to the other person’s feelings and without expectations, remembering this is a vulnerable thing you are doing.


Other ideas

Since we don’t currently have anything on dealing with money, encourage the couple to schedule a session with the Xenos GIFT ministry to help them get a clear picture of their financial situation and set priorities for their future together.

Have the couple listen to and discuss this teaching from Ryan Lowery. This sets a cool vision for doing marriage and ministry together in the context of Christian community

Recommended Reading List

Gardner & Stanley, Sacred Sex – Theology of sex

Vernick, How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong – Practical, good for working through conflict

Wheat, Intended for Pleasure – A more practical book on sex

Crabb, The Marriage Builder

Wallerstein, The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce

Cloud, Boundaries and Marriage

Stone, Patton and Heen, Difficult Conversations

Sande, Peacemaker – We wish we would have read this book before getting married. Bestselling Christian book on working through conflict