A typical example of the misunderstanding about the admission of vital facts in order to plan for success in life is the denial, refusal, or disregard for premarital counselling by someone intending to marry, or by a prospective couple.
There are many people who do not see the need for any form of premarital counseling at all, and consider it a waste of time and effort. Some married people even claim that they did not receive any special counseling before they married, but have so far married successfully. I challenge the assertions of such people, and would wish to meet them and pose some vital questions to them, and see if they can provide us with the best answers. Will they give the same advice to everyone to emulate their example?
Unfortunately, some married people who received extensive marriage counseling and tons of guidance for working out a successful marriage, ended up having poor marriages, experiencing tragic marriage or family failures, or complete divorce.
These unfortunate examples have become the wrong basis of rejecting any pre-marital counseling by some of the family members and friends of such people with failed marriages or dysfunctional families.
But how many of us stop buying or owing vehicles, learning how to drive, or happily driving around, despite the many accidents and broken-down vehicles we see all over the place daily?
If your situation did not permit you or cause you to receive any pre-marital counseling and guidance, it does not mean you didn’t need the knowledge of people with the experience and know-how for relationships, home, marriage, and family life.
The truth is that no human being on earth has the complete knowledge for the effective handling of everything we need to do every day to make life complete. None of us possesses all the information and skills for all the tasks we need to undertake for total success, no matter our age or skills that we possess. Typically in the area of human relations, which of us has all the knowledge and every detail of the skills and wisdom we need to handle other human beings (typically the opposite sex) in courtship or the intimate, permanent, sacred, delicate, and challenging relationship of marriage and the accompanying parenting?
Some people believe that they can always learn for themselves without the assistance of anyone else. Others think no one can teach anyone how to marry, and it has to be learned only through experience. Yes, but you need to avoid pitfalls, crocodiles, snakes, and burning fires of ignorance along your path of experience.
You have to be taught how to avoid some dangers in life, instead of risking the tragedy of meeting and fighting through the danger with ignorance or partial knowledge, with ultimate result of broken or chopped-off hands and feet, or blind eyes and severe burns or deep wounds.
Remember that you may go through an experience and come out safe, but in relationships, you must consider the effects and trauma that your partner and associates can experience or suffer. The most severe sufferers of our marital and family blunders are our children. The heartache we give to our parents is incalculable!
Even if you come out of your mess with only little damage, your companion may not come out unharmed as he or she travels with you in the relationship vehicle. Besides, some experiences can end in physical or mental disability, or even death! When and where will your dead body have the chance to practice the lessons from your experience?
As a result of several misguided personal and traditional ideas we hold on to so tenaciously, it is sad to see people who believe they are secure enough, sure with themselves that they are fine with their state of affairs, and claim they are happy with what they have, ultimately ending in disaster!
After needlessly struggling with poor skills and untutored self-effort that has fruitless practical application towards any successful marriage, they finally drive their relationships, courtships, and marriages along dusty, untarred, pot-holed, and bumpy romantic roads that earn them grade D, when God originally destined them for grade A+ in marriage.
A number of people refuse to develop a teachable spirit for good counsel —- a bad habit which they carry into the marriage to frustrate their spouses by being impervious and arrogant towards any good and useful advice that you give them to build unity, cooperation, godliness, and mutual success.
As I mentioned earlier, they keep citing rocky or failed marriages that originally received extensive premarital counseling for the failed couple, as examples of the failure of premarital counseling to prevent or solve any marital problems.
They do not cite the overwhelming success of more marriages that have been very fruitful, peaceful, godly, successful, and happy because of good pre-marital counseling and wise guidance from experienced people.
“Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days. There are many plans in a man’s heart. Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel— that will stand” (Proverbs 19:20, 21).
“Without counsel, plans go awry (crooked, wrong), but in the multitude of counselors they are established” (Proverbs 15:22).
In my opinion, premarital counseling is necessary because:
10) It provides the essential facts embodied in marriage and family life, and
promotes an initial closer fellowship and bond between the prospective husband and wife.
11) It compels the two people to carefully and quietly listen to each other
regarding very important points that one does not allow the other person to fully express; or vital views that get drowned in levity or noisy arguments. Consequently, it affords the chances for deeper fellowship between a trusted outsider and the two people planning to marry.
12) It provides the man and his fiancée with an adult friend (Counselor,
Minister, Pastor, Elder, Experienced parent or family member) who will become a future mentor and watchdog for the success of the couple in their marriage. The counselor also becomes a trusted friend to them that they can always approach for confidential matters in their relationship — someone who can specifically pray to support them, provide a different wise opinion (or confirm a choice) when making crucial decisions, and for close fellowship with them as necessary.
“Through wisdom, a house is built, and by understanding, it is established; By knowledge, the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength. For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and IN A MULTITUDE OF COUNSELORS THERE IS SAFETY” (Proverbs 24: 3-6).
Tune in to Joy 99.7FM in Accra, Ghana, every Saturday morning at 5:30 am-6 am (Ghana Time) and learn from Dr Kisseadoo’s Weekly Broadcast “Hope For Your Family”. Access anywhere in the world with MYJOYONLINE.COM/Live Radio.
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