When I went to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. several years ago, I recall reading a story in a display…
During World War 2, times were uncertain, and strange and frightening things were happening. We now know that evil political forces were doing horrible things that resulted in widespread suffering, torture and loss of life.
At the time though, all that was known was that various people would be called by the officials and asked to report to the local office in the local village. A young woman was called to report into the officials in a few day’s time…she was told that they would be going on a short trip and expect to be away for a while.
Her father told her to wear her winter boots–the heavy, ultilitarian boots. It didn’t make any sense–if she was to be walking all day long in the sweltering weather of June, it seemed like she was asking for trouble.
However, it was a scary time, and she heeded her father’s advice and wore those clunkers when she reported. The group she was in walked, and walked and walked…all of June, through the summer and fall, and into the winter. Little food was given, and people walked until they dropped…literally. Many dropped out and were left to die at the side of the road (or were shot).
This woman made it to their final destination, the “labor camp”, and eventually made it out safely after the war.
She credited the boots for saving her life…many had light summer shoes that were walked to shreds long before they arrived, providing little protection against the brutal weather and difficult terrain.
Who would think to wear winter shoes in summer?
Her father knew something, and started getting her ready for challenges she would never have predicted or known about.
The foresight saved her life.
I do not mean to trivialize this woman’s struggle when I compare this to premarital counselling. I mean to highlight her father’s wisdom as something we all do well do capture.
I am passionate about the significance of preparing for a quality, enduring, loving, and mutually enriching life long marriage.
For couples starry-eyed with the new vibrancy of a life together, premarital counselling can feel like putting on winter boots in June to go for premarital counselling…if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
No relationship is perfect…all relationships have stress points and cracks. Good will, love, and the fresh start can hide these and have them seem insignificant while preparing for the wedding.
Add a decade, some major unexpected bills, a cranky teething baby, and years of processing disagreements in patterns which aren’t working so well, and the cracks can turn into fissures, and eventually, impassable chasms.
Premarital counselling allows a couple to notice the inevitable cracks and stress points even before the wedding…and the strengths of the relationship…and do some planning for addressing those challenges, using the strengths they have, and the awareness they’ve developed to do some preventative maintenance. Proactive strategies that allow for healthy communication strategies make a difference.
If premarital counselling seems to reduce the divorce rate and increase marital satisfaction (which research says it does)…then it’s significance is truly lifesaving for the family.
Married people live longer.
Children whose parents stay together in life-giving marriages have greater opportunities to know, deep in their bones, what a good relationship looks like and feels like…and that sets them up well for their own lifelong relationship.
People spend thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars on the wedding day…why is the budget to prepare for the marriage often non-existent?
Why not spend a few hundred bucks preparing for the marriage—for the years to come? Why not open yourself up to the opportunity to establish patterns that will strengthen the fibre of the most important relationship a person can have with another person?
We have a 5 session premarital counselling package, using the PREPARE tool, an effective instrument that is administered online between the first and second sessions. Give us a call, or talk to your wedding officiant about premarital counselling options that might be available.