Before “I Do”

Most of the time we are working with struggling marriages and I often blog about struggling marriages. It’s a welcome relief to do some premarital mentoring sometimes. One of our fellow mentors once said, “It’s nice to be able to help people who want to be together.”

A premarital program that we truly enjoy doing and believe is excellent is Before “I Do” by Jason Krafsky. The program is very Biblically-based but the scriptures are presented using the Message translation that someone who is new Christian or a Seeker won’t be overwhelmed. It’s also written in a style that 20-somethings are likely to enjoy.

The material is so good I think it would be great to use with couples who have been married awhile but didn’t have marriage mentoring or much pastoral teaching before they got married to give them a better foundation.

What premarital materials have you found that are particularly helpful? If you are married, did you get some premarital help? If you did, what was helpful? If you didn’t, what did you wish you had had?

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4 Responses to Before “I Do”

  1. jamie says:

    Our premarital counseling was the standard 3 or 4 sessions that I don’t even remember. And I can guarantee you that whatever it was, it didn’t make an impact on us. My husband and I have talked about doing premarital counseling for others. He is an ordained minister and we have been encouraged by our counselor that if we do premarital counseling to share our story. Nothing shows a couple a REAL marriage like a story of pornography addiction and infidelity! 🙂 I think that those responsible for premarital counseling need to be real and honest-if not their own story, someone else’s…especially with young couples. We were 19. We were stupid. And we needed someone to tell us that we needed to take every class, read every book, go to every available conference to keep our marriage strong. We needed more than what we got. That alone isn’t going to ensure that Satan doesn’t separate us, but it would have helped.

    • sewildman says:

      Thanks for sharing your story. It’s the story of so many couples, including us. Jason Krafsky’s curriculum is the best thing we’ve found out there that touches on just about every issue couples are going to struggle with. The other key is having a mentor couple willing to “be real” with the pre-marital couple. Richard and I are very real with ours – enough to give them a huge dose of reality, but not enough to scare them silly. Well, maybe the ones that shouldn’t be getting married at the time.

      The other thing we so much like about it is that the couple has 5 days of individual work to do themselves, then they have one “date” day where they go over their answers with each other. Then they meet with us the 7th day and we hit highlights, talk about trouble spots and encourage them. We also usually teach them three communication tools that we know. It’s a win!

  2. Adam's Eve says:

    We went through some premarital counseling. We spoke with couples who had been married with a list of questions we had compiled. We also did a Couples Inventory… I can’t remember who by because we’ve misplaced it, but it’s a list of questions designed to help you build intimacy and understand each other’s preferences, needs, desires, and expectations before the wedding. We read a bunch of books, but the two that stuck out to me were Captivating and Wild at Heart by John and Staci Eldredge. These books helped us to understand Biblical femininity and masculinity, and the basic needs/desires of a man and a woman. I’d think every young woman should read Captivating before getting married.

  3. Jack says:

    Good post Rich. We did not have pre marriage counseling, but we certainly could have used it. Our marriage builders class at church helped launch a pre- marriage class to help couples prepare for marriage. BTW, I also plan to write on this topic later in the week. Thanks Jack

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