Premarital Counseling

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1 Premarital Counseling Congratulations on your engagement! We are excited to partner with you in preparing for your marriage. At The Austin Stone Community Church, we are committed to supporting and providing you with the tools to prepare for and build a God-centered and honoring marriage. To do this, we (The Austin Stone Community Church) must adhere to Biblical principles and convictions as we walk with you through the pre-marital process. Each step in this process is required and weddings will not be performed if they are not met. PRE-MARITAL PROCESS CHECKLIST Mandatory: Complete and submit The Austin Stone Community Church Pre-Marital Mentoring Questionnaire. We would love the opportunity to serve you in the best way we can. Mandatory: After we have received your Pre-Marital Mentoring Questionnaire, we will match you with a Pre-Marital Mentor Couple. The counseling process will consist of 8 sessions with your mentor couple where you will read, listen to sermons, answer questions and discuss relevant marital issues as well as have a chance to ask questions of the mentor couple and observe them as they live out how a marriage looks. Cost: You are responsible for all books and materials which can be purchased online; lists will be provided for purchase after the questionnaire has been completed. Mandatory: Once we have received your Pre-Marital Mentoring Questionnaire, you will also be asked to take the PREPARE Inventory, which will cost $35 per couple. Once you have completed the assessment, your results will be sent to the counseling ministry at The Austin Stone Community Church and your mentor couple will discuss your results with you in one of your sessions together. Mandatory: At the end of the mentoring process, the pre-marital mentor couple will sign a form that states their approval or disapproval of the couple s readiness for marriage. Mandatory: To book a pastor to officiate your wedding, please fill out the Wedding Officiate Request form (this form along with instructions for the process can be found online). Mandatory: After you have finished the 8 sessions with your mentor couple, sign up online to take the Nearly/Newly Married class. This class is offered for both fall and spring semesters. The class meets for 8 weeks and consists of teaching, discussion, and fellowship time with other nearly/newly married couples. We highly recommend that mentoring is completed before you attend the class. TOTAL COSTS: $35.00 for Prepare/Enrich Assessment ~$50.00 for Curriculum and Books (Prices may vary online) Total: $85.00 page 1 15

2 PHILOSOPHY OF MARRIAGE At The Austin Stone Community Church we will provide your pre-marital mentoring and perform your wedding on the following conditions: Both people must be believers and committed to growing in their relationship with the Lord. Both people must be free to marry (never married or spouse is deceased). If either individual is divorced, we would like to discuss with you the details of your divorce. After our discussion, we will decide whether or not we feel free to perform your wedding. Our decision will be based on our prayerful study of God s word regarding Biblical principles for divorce and/or the freedom to remarry according to I Corinthians 7; Matthew 5:31-32, 19:9; Mark 10:11-12, and Luke 16: Both people agree to hold to a Biblical model of marriage. Marriage is a life-long, sacred-covenant formed by God and only breakable by God. The marriage relationship is the physical representation of our relationship with God and therefore we hold it in utmost honor. The couple agrees to abstain from sexual relations from this point on until after the wedding ceremony. Based on Hebrews 13:1, we believe God intended for sex to be expressed only in the context of the marriage relationship. I attest that I have read, understand, and will adhere to the stipulations laid out by the Bible and The Austin Stone Community Church in preparing for and living out a Biblical marriage. Signature (Groom) Signature (Bride) Printed Name (Groom) Printed Name (Bride) Date Date page 2 15

3 * QUESTIONNAIRE THIS FORM SHOULD BE FILLED OUT INDEPENDENTLY BY BOTH INDIVIDUALS NAME AGE ADDRESS CITY STATE ZIP PHONE COUPLE INFORMATION Fiancé s name: Wedding date: How long have you attended The Austin Stone Community Church? Are you a Partner? Yes No Involved in Missional Community? Yes No How have you been involved at The Austin Stone Community Church? If not a partner at The Austin Stone Community Church, where are you currently attending church? Are you a member of that church? Yes No What is your involvement there? Have you been married previously? Yes No If so, please give the important details of the termination of the marriage: page 3 15

4 Do you have any children? Yes No If so, what are their ages? How long have you dated your fiancé? Been engaged? Have you been engaged before? Yes No If so, how long ago? Describe your current relationship with Christ: EDUCATION & OCCUPATION Briefly describe your educational background: What is your occupation? Where are you employed? RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND Briefly describe what it means to be a Christian and your personal experience: page 4 15

5 PARENTS & IN-LAWS Are your parents excited about your upcoming marriage? Yes No If no, please explain: Are your future in-laws excited about your upcoming marriage? Yes No If no, please explain: How would you describe your parents marriage? Are your parents separated? Yes No Divorced? Yes No How Long? How many siblings do you have? MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS Is there a large difference in your families financial background? Yes No Who will handle the money matters in your family? Do you have any large debts? What, in your understanding, is the role of sex in marriage? Do you have any health problems or physical problems that might create difficulties in your marriage? If yes, please describe: page 5 15

6 HERITAGE CHECK-UP Describe your childhood and religious background. Did you feel accepted and loved by your parents? How were feelings of love, warmth and tenderness shown in your home as you were growing up? (between parents and between siblings) How would you describe your relationship with your brothers and/or sisters? What kinds of conflicts did you have with.» your father?» your mother?» your brother(s)?» your sister(s)? How were differences of opinion handled in your home growing up? (especially as a teenager) page 6 15

7 RELIGIOUS CHECK-UP Do you feel accepted, forgiven, and loved by God? Why or why not? Religious belief and practice in our lives will be: List two religious attitudes you like about your fiancé? List two religious attitudes you dislike about your fiancé? Responsibility for the religious education of our children will be: IN-LAW CHECK-UP List three things about your fiancé s parents you really like: List three things about your fiancé s parents you dislike: page 7 15

8 In our marriage, as far as I am concerned, my parents In our marriage, as far as I am concerned, my fiancé s parents As far as our marriage is concerned, our in-laws need to learn How do you plan to handle conflict with in-laws, after you are married? EMOTIONAL CHECK-UP The thing I like most about my fiancé is The thing I like least about my fiancé is My fiancé reminds me of when he/she page 8 15

9 I am embarrassed when my fiancé I am annoyed when my fiancé After we are married, I hope my fiancé will After we are married, I will RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION How would you describe your communication with your fiancé? Comments: What do you argue about (or discuss heatedly) most often? How do arguments (animated discussions) usually end? page 9 15

10 INTERPERSONAL CHECK-UP Recall two instances of how your fiancé demonstrated love toward you during the last month. How would you like feelings of love, warmth, and tenderness shown to you? List two situations in which you, intentionally or unintentionally, were hurtful to your fiancé in the last month. List two things your fiancé bugged you about recently which you could have corrected, but didn t. What is one strength you will bring to your marriage? What is one strength your fiancé will bring to your marriage? What is a weakness you will bring to your marriage? What is a weakness your fiancé will bring to your marriage? page 10 15

11 After we are married, I fear the following changes in our relationship: Two things my fiancé does which makes it difficult to share myself with him/her are: Two things my fiancé does which makes it easy to share myself with him/her are: PRE-MARITAL MENTORING INFORMATION What do you see as the biggest adjustment/problem the two of you will face in marriage? What have you done to prepare yourself for marriage? (Books, Seminars, Counsel) Check the areas that you feel you want or need help with: Debt Birth Control/Family Planning Finances/Budget Religion Role of Husband / Wife Fears Fiancé s Friends Help with In-Laws Working Wives Wedding night Communication Family Devotions Understanding what Love is Social Adjustments page 11 15

12 Are there any other details that you feel are important for the mentors to know? If you need additional space to complete any of your answers, please use the following pages. Include the question number with your response. page 12 15

13 page 13 15

14 page 14 15

15 SHOULD WE GET MARRIED? YOU SHOULD HAVE SOME SERIOUS SECOND THOUGHTS IF You have known each other less than 3 months. He/she has been really drunk 3 times in the last week or about 10 times in the last 3-4 months. He/she makes statements like, I owe a great deal to Mother. It s my duty to make her happy and if such statements are coupled with behavior which makes it apparent that he/she will do almost anything to keep parental approval. One party says things like, I can t live without you. My life has no meaning apart from you. If I ever lost you I would kill myself. and if such statements are joined to very obvious dependency behavior. This partner is bringing almost nothing to the relationship except deep needs. Being so needed may flatter the ego for awhile, but if that is all there is, it can soon get dull and very draining. The majority of time you have been together in the last 3 months you have developed a pattern of quarreling, of disappointing, seriously irritating, or hurting each other. Many of the significant, mature people in your life-parents, relatives, teachers, and especially good friends who love you-indicate that you are very likely making a mistake, this should give you pause. These days people tend not to comment on another s decision. If they call up the courage to tell you (in words or otherwise) that they are troubled, weigh their opinion. Some very serious problem has come up in the last few weeks, and if it is definitely troubling you and if you have not had an opportunity to work it through, then either confront it or think about a postponement. He has had more than 5 or 6 jobs in the past 2 years. Your chief reason for marrying is that everybody in your circle of friends is doing it, and you feel it is high time you did too, lest people think you cannot attract a mate. You have been sexually involved and now feel you have to marry each other even though the relationship is already a little boring and empty. You are both under 18. Your chance of divorce is 3.5 times higher than that of people over 21. You are marrying because you just have to get out of the house. You are a pregnant couple (it takes 2 to be pregnant), then slow down, think, talk, ponder, and pray. Pregnancy itself, nor the fear of any social stigma it may cause, is not a good reason to marry. Ask the key question, Would we really go through it if there were no pregnancy? page 15 15

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