Prov. 31:10

Here are six principles- six tests for a serious relationship- that will help the couple (man/woman) seek God’s will in the marriage plans.





  • TEST OF SPIRITUALITY (Matthew 6:33/ Matthew 22:37-40)
  • Does he/ she love God?
  • Does he/she seek the church’s approval before taking action?
  • Does he/she respect the church and her leadership?
  • Does he/she help you grow spiritually?
  • Are you a better person as a result of him/her in your life?
  • Does he/she help you love God more or is critical about the church?


  • TEST OF COMPATIBILITY ( 5:22-25, 33)
  • Natural friendship or are you under pressure?


  • TEST OF PURITY (2nd 1:7, 1st Thess. 4:3-8/ 1 Cor. 6:19-20, Matt. 5:27)
  • Does he pressurize you for sex?
  • Have both of you kissed?
  • There is nothing as beautiful for a couple (man/woman) who haven’t had sex before?
  • Are you both experiencing inner joy/inner fulfillment?


  • Time is a great test for many relationships.
  • Watch out for infatuation
  • Love at first sight need to be tested with time. Time will reveal if it’s real or not.


  • Do you relate well with each other in the presence of other people.


  • TEST OF ECONOMY (2nd 3:6-10)
  • Marriage and love are an experience of great mystery and romance, but must be practical.
  • Finance is key to making a marriage what it should be.


1ST MEETING (after they are engaged):



Genesis 24

  • God’s will must prevail.


What is marriage?

  1. Legally recognized personal union entered into by a man and a woman usually with the intention of living together and having sexual relations, and entailing property and inheritance rights; the condition of being a husband or wife; the relation between persons married to each other.
  2. The action or an act of getting married; the ceremony or procedure by which two persons are made husband and wife. This ceremony together with the accompanying festivities is known as a wedding.
  3. A dowry.


The criteria for marriage:

  • Door Knocking (How do you do it?)
  • The registry
  • The traditional marriage
  • Church/ White wedding (Checklist)




  • Registry or court marriage
  • Traditional marriage
  • Church or White wedding


The church recognises the three, but couples (man/woman) have a choice of which one they want to do and they need to inform the church of their intention during their pre- wedding counseling. Church or White wedding is optional. Traditional and Registry are top priority.



  • Have they thought about HIV blood screening?
  • Do they know their Genotype? Explain why it is important?

Ref: Proverbs 3:11-12; 10:1,5; 13:1,24; 14:26; 15:20; 17:6,21; 19:18,26-27; 20:20; 22:6,15; 23:13-16,22-25; 27:11; 29:15,17; 31:28



  • Read the scriptures a lot on different areas about marriage
  • Do a personal study on Gen 2 & 3,Eph 5 and 1st 7
  • Study out the books of Proverbs and Song of Solomon.
  • Pay particular attention to verses on relationships, romance, money and seeking and taking advice.
  • Share a lot from personal and real life experiences during counseling.
  • Be familiar with church wedding policies.



Do they have parental approval? Though not necessarily a biblical requirement for marriage but it is equally important.

Make effort to know about other tribes’ traditions and customs in Nigeria pertaining to marriage.












Proverbs 16:3-4, 9

Commit your plans to God. Only God can make wedding plans successful.

1st Thess. 5:17

Commit everything to God in Prayer.

Psalm 127:1-2

Phil 4:4-6

John 14:1- 2

Matthew 11:28-29


Use this session to go through their plans and the Church wedding checklist.



3RD MEETING: PURITY (we suggest the counselors meet with the engaged couple separately)

What is purity or what does it mean to be pure?

  • The state of being morally or spiritually clean; freedom from moral or ritual pollution; chastity; an instance of this.
  • The state of being physically pure; freedom from admixture or adulteration; cleanness; an instance of this


Purity: Talk about purity before marriage, Matt 1: 18-19, Matt 5:8, Eph. 5:1-3     (Deal with hint and lustful thoughts (Job 31:1)


  • Have you been sexually immoral?
  • Is she pregnant?
  • Acts 5—Heavy lying. Have you conspired to lie to the church?
  • Are they doing well as Christians?
  • Are they looking happy?
  • If they deal with lustful thoughts and hints at this stage, they will not fall into

Immorality – Matt 5:27-30


Homework for next class – “Covenant”

-Read Hosea chapters 1, 2 & 3






The marriage covenant is the strongest and most treasured relationship bond on earth.

We all desire to be loved unconditionally. In marriage, each spouse is committed to love

unconditionally. Covenant provides security and hope as it is a lifetime commitment.

What is a Covenant? In the Bible, it was a promise that was made before God by the Israelites never to worship any other gods but Jehovah. A covenant is a binding contract between two parties.


Genesis 2:20b-24

  • For Adam no suitable helper was found – There is nothing in God’s creation that can fulfil us the way that marriage can. God created us to be together.
  • That is why a man leaves his father and mother – For covenant to be formed, sacrifice is made. We leave our family of upbringing and form our own family.
  • They become one flesh – The marriage covenant binds us together in oneness. We become one relationally, spiritually, financially, etc.


Elements of the marriage covenant:

Vows – commitments made to love faithfully and unconditionally

Symbols – rings (unending love), white (purity), church (God-first)

Sacrifice – leave father and mother, commit to love spouse above self, career


2nd Corinthians 6:14-18

As a yoke joins two animals together a covenant is a binding agreement between two parties.

  • As a disciple you have a binding agreement with God first.
  • Your covenant with God is permanent.
  • Your covenant with God comes before your covenant of marriage.
  • You are a disciple before you are a spouse.
  • Love God more than the person you are getting married to.
  • A marriage will not work unless you serve out God’s purpose first.


Genesis 1:1-2, 27-30

What is the purpose of marriage?

  • More than just companionship it is to glorify God. It’s not for an individual happiness. Happiness comes as a by-product of bringing glory to God.
  • If God chooses marriage for our lives it should be a relationship that glorifies him more not less

God trusts us with His creation; you are responsible for one another as husband and wife.


Rom. 1:21-23 – For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened…

  • The beginning of the downfall of man was his inability to give thanks and glory to God. Created things (our spouses) must never become more important to us than God, therefore our marriages must give glory to God.


Psalm 23:3

  • God gives us His covenant for His name’s sake, therefore everything we do in our marriage relationships should be done for God.
  • We need to fulfil our part of the covenant with the mind-set that we will not break it.

The danger of breaking our own part of the Covenant: Genesis 2: 16-17: Covenant made with Adam (Eve had not yet been created); God comes looking for the man (Genesis 3: 9-10)… Adam reneged on his part of the Covenant…


Romans 8:31-39

  • We should have this attitude in our marriage. When God makes a promise, it is forever.
  • God has no intention of breaking His promise. The same is true with our marriage covenant, we should be able to say that nothing can separate us from our spouses.


Hosea 1:1-8

God commands Hosea to take an adulterous wife who is repeatedly unfaithful.

The name of the third child suggests that this child may not have belonged to Hosea.

Hosea 2:1-13, 14-24

God is angry because Israel cheated on Him.

However, God says He will romance Israel back to Him.

God would have been justified in severing the relationship, yet He chooses to reconcile the relationship.


Hosea 3:1-5

Hosea was told to go and buy back his wife.

God did not want Hosea to divorce his wife.  His will is for them to be reconciled.


So, what’s God’s attitude toward divorce?


Malachi 2: 10-16: “I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel.

  • Judah was the one who broke faith with God, He never breaks faith with anyone.
  • The Marriage Covenant must not be broken. We must not break faith.


Matthew 19:1-12

  • Divorce was a compromise allowed for hard hearts yet we see God’s will expressed in Hosea.
  • When joined together by God into a covenant, it is supposed to last forever.
  • Marriage is in direct proportion to our relationship with God. When people consider divorce, it is because they have stopped considering God and discipleship.
  • Deciding to get married and to whom is the second most important decision anyone will make in their life apart from the decision to become a disciple.



Homework for next class – “Roles”

  • Make a list of all the roles that you expect your spouse to fulfill.
  • Consider spiritual duties and character, household duties and responsibilities, or personal preferences.








God created men and women in his image and yet made them very different to complement each other. When we embrace our roles we experience order, freedom, and peace.


Men and women were created equally but play different roles

Genesis 1:27-28

  • In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them – Both men and women are created in the image of God. One is not superior or inferior to the other.
  • Fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over… Men and women are superior to the rest of God’s creation.

Genesis 2:18

  • It is not good – The first thing God recognized in creation that was not good was man’s loneliness.
  • I will make a helper suitable for him – When God created women, she was to be the perfect counterpart for man.


Roles of husband:


  • To be a leader.

The Scriptures provide a clear organizational structure for a marriage. Following are a couple of typical Scriptures:

1st Cor. 11:3

But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.

Ephesians 5:22-30

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.

  • God placed ultimate responsibility with respect to the household on the shoulders of the husband.
  • “Head” does not mean male dominance, where a man lords it over a woman and demands her total obedience to his every wish and command. God never viewed women as second-class citizens. His Word clearly states that we are all equally His children and are of equal value and worth before Him.

When husbands (men), particularly Christian husbands, do not treat their wives (women) as a precious gift from God and helpmate, they can cause those wives to search for a way to find significance and value as persons, often outside God’s will.



  • Love your wife unconditionally.

Ephesians 5:25 reads, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”

Your unconditional acceptance of your wife is not based upon her performance, but on her worth as God’s gift to you. If you want to love your wife unconditionally, always be sure her emotional tank is full. One of the best ways to do that is to affirm her constantly. Let her know verbally that you value her, respect her, and love her.

  • Serve your wife.

According to the New Testament, being head of your wife (woman) does not mean being her master, but her servant. Again, Christ is our model for this type of leadership. Jesus did not just talk about serving; He demonstrated it when he washed His disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17). Christ, the Head of the Church, took on the very nature of a servant when He was made in human likeness (Philippians 2:7).

One of the best ways to serve your wife is to understand her needs and try to meet them.

  • Do you know what your fiancée is worried about?
  • What troubles her?
  • What type of pressure does she feel?

Another way husband (man) is to serve his wife (woman) is to provide for her. This provision first involves assuming responsibility for meeting the material needs of the family. 1st Timothy 5:8 tells us, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.”

Providing for your wife (woman) also means taking the initiative in helping meet her spiritual needs. You do this by modelling godly character, by praying with her, by spending time together in God’s Word, and by looking for ways to encourage her spiritually.





  • Be (woman) a helper to your husband (man).

While all of us are called to be helpers to others, the Bible places a special emphasis on this responsibility for wives. Genesis tells us that God realized it wasn’t good for man to be alone, and that He decided to make a “helper suitable for him” (Gen. 2:18).

  • God has designed wives (women) to help their husbands (men) become all that God intends for them to be.


  • Respect your husband.

Ephesians 5:33, Paul says, “… the wife must respect her husband.” When you (woman) respect your husband (man) you reverence him, notice him, regard him, honor him, prefer him, and esteem him. It means valuing his opinion, admiring his wisdom and character, appreciating his commitment to you, and considering his needs and values.

Every husband (man) wants his wife (woman) to be on his team, to coach him, when necessary, but most of all to be his cheerleader. A husband (man) needs a wife (woman) who is behind him, believing in him, appreciating him, and cheering him on as he goes out into the world every day.


  • Love your husband.

Titus 2:4 calls for wives “to love their husbands.” A good description of the kind of love your husband needs is “unconditional acceptance.” In other words, accept your husband just as he is—an imperfect person.

Love also means being committed to a mutually fulfilling sexual relationship. I realize there is a whole lot more to love than sex, but we are looking at how to fulfil God’s command to love our husbands. Therefore, we must look at love from their perspective, not just our own.


  • “Submit” to the leadership of your husband.

Some husbands and wives actually believe submission indicates that women are inferior to men in some way. Another misconception is that submission means blind obedience on the part of the woman. She can give no input to her husband, or question anything.

Col. 3:18-19

Eph. 5:22-30


These Scriptures make it clear that a wife should submit voluntarily to her husband’s sensitive and loving leadership. Therefore, as you voluntarily submit to your husband, you are completing him. You are helping him fulfill his responsibilities, and you are helping him become the man, the husband, and the leader God intended him to be.

Building oneness in marriage works best when both partners choose to fulfill their responsibilities voluntarily, and with no pressure or coercion.







Communication is the exchange of feeling or information. Communication takes two people, one sending the other receiving. Statistics have shown that young couple don’t usually have problem with communication. 70% of cases of divorce in the US are as a result of breakdown in communication. Most failures in marriage are not cause by blowouts, but by slow leaks


Importance of communication


  • Marriage is intimate
  • No unresolved conflict

When BAD

  • Marriage is distant
  • Conflict does not get resolved


Methods of Communication

We also communicate with each other in a number of ways.

  • Words
  • Physical touch
  • Body language
  • Facial expressions
  • Technology (SMS, social networks)
  • Gifts
  • Acts of service
  • Silence


Ephesians 4:25-32

  • Put off falsehood / speak truthfully – We have to be honest, especially about our emotions, when we communicate. When we get hurt we need to talk about it to protect our relationship.
  • In your anger do not sin – We will get angry, especially with our spouse. We need boundaries that we refuse to cross (yelling, harsh words, physical outbursts, etc.)
  • Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry – We need to prioritize working out conflict in our marriage. Drop whatever you need to in order to resolve conflict at hand.
  • Do not give the devil a foothold – Satan is our common enemy. He desires for our marriage to become distant and disunited. We talk and resolve conflict to keep Satan out of the relationship.
  • Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth – We have to guard what we say to each other. Everything we say must be true but not everything true needs to be said.
  • Only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs – When we communicate, we are constantly making choices. We build up or tear down. Build up!
  • Get rid of… – God teaches us to rid ourselves of anything that hinders healthy communication.
  • Be kind and compassionate – We communicate much better when we are sensitive. We choose the right time and the right approach to talk.
  • Forgive each other – We sin against each other regularly in our marriage. We must love each other enough to forgive over and over again.


Song of Songs 2:14 – 15

Acts 5:1-11- Ananias & Sapphira

Acts 18:19-26- Priscilla & Aquila

  • What kind of discussion have they been having?
  • Communication should be at the feelings level.
  • Lack of communication breeds attitudes, anger, resentment, hatred.


Practical on how to improve communication

  • Keep no record of wrongs. Forgive and forget.  Don’t be impatient or cynical with the patterns you see in your spouse.  Believe that the other can change out of a love for God.  Have infinite patience.
  • Protect one another. Be sensitive and caring to each other.
  • Perception is reality. Feelings are real.  Do not ignore feelings, there is truth in them.  Instead ask how’s and why’s to understand spouse better and to change if it’s ungodly.
  • Go the extra mile for each other. Never make assumptions about each other.  For example, ask her what she likes, what could have been done differently, what is he interested in…
  • 1 Peter 3:1: wives (women) win over husbands (men) by their lives; a gentle and quiet spirit is worthy. Do not be critical of your spouse, but think first “what do I need to change?”
  • Fight fair. Do not fight dirty by staying quiet, shutting down or blowing up at each other. Find out how to bring about unity. Find out how to respond before the conflict starts.
  • Always find reconciliation. Do not give Satan a foothold in your marriage.  Sometimes you need to take a break and pick your battles.  In the heat of the moment, you may need to speak to a discipling partner first if you aren’t sure how to communicate in love and unity. (Ephesians 4: 26).
  • Do not get bitter with each other. Bitterness is hurt undisclosed and/or unresolved.  Bitterness will kill your marriage.  It needs to be eradicated and removed (Hebrews 12: 15). 
  • Do not patronize each other when upset. Respect each other’s thoughts and feelings.
  • Be a student of each other. Learn what spouse needs in the moment and give what spouse needs rather than what you need.
  • At the end of the night, talk about the day; communicate appreciation and discuss what could have been done better.
  • Communicate in love. There is no other way to communicate.  Jesus left us an example of how to treat one another in speech and action.
  • Communicate every day. Do not take one another for granted.
  • Do not communicate in anger or out of anger. (Proverbs 29:11)
  • Spend time together daily. For example, make sure having dinner is time together.
  • Praying together every day is a must for a spiritually healthy and happy marriage!




Conflict Management


Sources of Conflict

James 4:1 – What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?

  • Conflict begins in the heart and then comes out in our behaviour and words.

In many cases, both spouses have contributed to the arising conflict but not always. Sometimes one spouse provokes the other.


Most marital conflict revolves around the following issues:

Sin                          Opinions                Unmet Expectations                 Previous baggage

Selfishness             finances                          sex                                          past hurts

Pride/judgment      parenting                         romance                                  family

Fear                        household things            communication                       sin

Sexual sin              family matters                 consideration                          experiences


Irresponsibility/laziness                                lifestyle


Q: What are the main areas of conflict that may arise in your marriage?


How Not To Handle A Conflict

When a conflict is or has taken place between you and your partner, the following strategies will not help to get things resolved. They will only make things worse. Avoid them and stay focused on constructive strategies.

  • Criticism – This involves attacking your partner’s personality or character rather than talking about the particular behavior you do not like. For example, it is better to say “I do not like it when you leave your shoes and socks lying in the living room floor” than to say “You are dirty.”
  • Contempt – This involves intense and intentional negative thoughts about your partner. They may be thoughts you keep to yourself or that you actually say to your partner or others. They include things like put-downs, mean jokes, name calling, or belittling your partner in any way.
  • Defensiveness – This involves putting up emotional walls or barriers in an attempt to protect yourself. It is a common response to being put-down or attacked. It often includes excuses, denying responsibility, sarcasm, and attempts to return the insults and emotional injuries you feel you have received.
  • Stonewalling, Withdrawal, Or Avoidance – This involves shutting down emotionally, avoiding your partner, and refusing to speak or respond to them, even in self-defence. Research shows that couples who “never fight” or stop fighting are the most likely to divorce. That is because they are not facing their problems and are trying to deal with them by avoiding them and hoping they will disappear. This is similar to the ostriches’ hope that by burying his head in the sand his enemies will not be able to see him. It just does not work. The greatest predictor of divorce is the habitual avoidance of conflict.
  • Old Issues Are Brought Up – Bringing up past misdeeds, misunderstandings or arguments will generally not help you solve the current problem. Learn from your past but don’t hold it against your partner.
  • Only Negative Feelings Are Shared – Conflicts are not resolved by griping at your partner, putting them down, and telling them how mad or miserable you are. Affection, caring, and hope have to be expressed so that your partner feels like it is worth it to work through the problem and make potential changes.
  • The Focus Is On The Person – When there is a conflict or misunderstanding between couples, no one likes to feel like it was “all their fault” or like they are “dumb,” “stupid,” or “incompetent.” Rather than attacking each other, attack the problem. This will help you work together to achieve a common goal.
  • Differences Are Emphasized – When a conflict arises don’t look for all of the ways you disagree with each other. Look for issues and areas that you agree on. Finding acceptance with one another is more important to resolving conflict than emphasizing differences.
  • There’s a “Winner” and a “Loser” – If a conflict or argument ends with one person feeling like they “won” and the other person feeling like they “lost” then you have both lost. Bullying or manipulating your way to a “win” will not serve you well in a marriage. You must look for mutual acceptance and understanding, where both partners feel like winners. This is the only way the relationship will be strengthened and endure.

Rules for Fair Fighting


Couples who fight together stay together, provided they know how to fight fair. It is possible for couples to learn healthy ways to disagree and resolve problems together. Here are some ideas for rules that you and your partner may want to use to help you fight fairly.


  • Treat Each Other As Adults – Sometimes when couples are upset they treat their partner as though they were children. Even if your partner seems to be acting childish, don’t treat them as a child.
  • Avoid Ultimatum – Statements that begin “You better do this or else…” are not helpful in resolving conflict. They limit options and really back your partner into a corner, forcing them to make a choice neither of you may be happy with.
  • If One Loses, Both Lose – Work for solutions that will satisfy both of you.
  • Avoid Accusations and Attacks – “You” statements are attacking. When people feel they are being attacked they often get defensive. This doesn’t lead to solutions.
  • Own Your Own Feelings – Use “I” statements. Say how you feel without blaming your feelings on your partner.
  • Always Check Your Perceptions – Don’t assume you know what is going on or how your partner feels or thinks. Check and recheck for understanding.
  • State Wishes and Wants Clearly and Directly – Don’t beat around the bush and don’t make your partner guess what the problem is.
  • Don’t Use Sex to Smooth over an Argument – Sex can be a great part of making up after you have worked through a conflict with your partner, but it is a poor substitute for really understanding each other on a difficult issue. Also, don’t withhold sex as a threat or use it in a manipulative way.
  • Don’t Fight Dirty – Don’t be physically, emotionally, or verbally abusive or manipulative. Don’t intentionally “press buttons” that you know are upsetting to your partner. Of all the people in the world, you probably know how to hurt your partner most effectively. Respect your spouse enough to refrain from dirty fighting.
  • Don’t Give The Silent Treatment – The silent treatment is a form of psychological torture. It will not help you resolve anything and only prolongs the agony of the conflict for both of you.
  • Call “Time-Outs” And “Fouls” – Set up a system for taking a short break to cool down if things get heated. Be sure to come back to the issue though. Also, set up a way to call a “foul” if your partner begins fighting dirty or breaking your rules for fair fighting.
  • Use Humor – Humor can be a good way to deal with conflict as long as it’s not sarcastic and you and your partner have agreed upon it beforehand.
  • Go For Closure – You and your partner may not be able to completely resolve every disagreement you have, but you should be able to come to an acceptable level of understanding and acceptance. Don’t leave unsettled arguments hanging in the air between you.









Gen 2:24, 1Tim 6:6-10, Matt 6:25-33, Luke 12:13-21, matt 19:16-22

Find out about their giving to the church, tithe, special contribution, poor collection and thanksgiving


  • Becoming one in flesh include one financial purse. Finance together but couple must choose the best option or modus of operation
  • Talk about their salary and plan finances or budget together. It helps a lot
  • Study week II of Deep conviction (Money and marriage with them) – All counselors should have this materials.
  • Find out if any of the couple has any financial commitments either to a family or debt (loan)
  • Find out about their financial contribution to the church
  • Review budget with them to see if they have a realistic financial expectation.






Discuss Romance, Children, Family Planning

  1. Discuss children, birth control, and sexual activities.
  2. 1 Cor 7:1-7- Do not deprive each other sex.
  3. 1st 4:1-8- Sex is never a weapon to get back at each other.





The second part of the meeting will be split up, man with man, woman with woman. Don’t assume the couple has talked about the ‘the birds and the bees’ with anyone. Split up for private conversation

Talk about issues like birth control, the wedding night, sex after marriage etc. For some it is unnecessary, for others it is quite helpful.




For women:

It does not matter if you are entering into this marriage having had sex in the world.  As a disciple, you are a new creation. (2 Cor. 5:17)

The physical relationship is special in a marriage.  It is a bond that only you will have with your spouse (man).

A physical relationship was created for marriage by God to be experienced in a covenant with each other.


A physical relationship is important to the health of your marriage.  It is a way of communicating your love, desire, attraction and appreciation for each other.


Song of Songs 7:1-13

A biblical description of a physical relationship.

There is a lover and a beloved.  A husband (man) and a wife (woman).

There is a difference between men and women.  Men are “microwaves” and women are “ovens.”

Husbands (men) tend to act upon desire and wives (women) tend to act upon romance.  Communicate your desires to your spouse.

Communicate all of your likes and your dislikes to your spouse.

Enjoy what God has created especially for marriage with your spouse (men).


1st Corinthians 7:5

A physical relationship is important to the health of your marriage.


1 Corinthians 10:23-24

Not everything is beneficial.  As a single disciple you have a standard of purity.  As a wife, you have that same standard of purity.  Being married does not mean it’s ok to watch impure scenes on television or movies.  Maintain Jesus’ standard of righteousness in your marriage.  Protect your spouse.


Hebrews 13:4

Your marriage bed is to be kept pure.  Be open, confess temptations.  Before God a physical relationship is to be honored.


At this time answer any questions she may have or address any concerns.



For men:


It does not matter if you are entering into this marriage having had sex in the world.  As a disciple, you are a new creation. (2nd Cor. 5:17)

Your spouse is a new creation as well.  You have to get rid of the worldly double standard that says a man is worthy because of his experience but a woman is dirty or cheap if experienced.

The physical relationship is special in a marriage.  It is a bond that only you will have with your spouse.

A physical relationship was created for marriage by God.

A physical relationship is important to the health of your marriage.  It is a way of communicating your love, desire, attraction and appreciation for each other.


  • Get rid of preconceived notions

As disciples, we cannot base our ideas of the physical relationship in marriage on our previous experiences in the world, our fantasies, or what is portrayed on television.  God has created it to be something different from what the world portrays.


  • Have no expectations

– You must realize that expectations can lead to insecurity.  Go into your honeymoon with the expectation that nothing may happen.  Women can become frigid over time and the relationship may be difficult, uncomfortable, or painful at first.  Be patient, understanding, romantic, and let your spouse determine the pace.

Do not worry about pleasing yourself and what you want, but focus on pleasing your wife.  This is part of what makes the Godly physical relationship different.  Wanting to satisfy yourself is selfishness.


Philippians 2: 3-4


Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.


Physical relationship should be based on serving, loving and giving to each other.



  • Don’t be intimidated

Do not ask if you are as satisfying as previous partners.  Do not discuss the details of the past or make comparisons.

Remember that her satisfaction is based on who she is with.

Remember the importance of foreplay and romance.


Song of Songs 7:1-13

A biblical description of a physical relationship.

There is a lover and a beloved.  A husband and a wife.

There is a difference between men and women.  Men are “microwaves” and women are “ovens.”

Husbands tend to act upon desire and wives tend to act upon romance.  Communicate your desires to your spouse.

Communicate all of your likes and your dislikes to your spouse.

Enjoy what God has created especially for marriage with your spouse.


1st Corinthians 7:5

A physical relationship is important to the health of your marriage.


1st Corinthians 10:23-24

Not everything is beneficial.  As a single disciple you have a standard of purity.  As a husband, you have that same standard of purity.  Being married does not mean it’s ok to watch impure scenes on television or movies.  Maintain Jesus’ standard of righteousness in your marriage.  Protect your spouse.


Hebrews 13:4

Your marriage bed is to be kept pure.  Be open, confess temptations.  Before God a physical relationship is to be honored.


At this time answer any questions he may have or address any concerns.


Eph. 5:31

Not just the act of sex or the union of two bodies / but through the Holy Spirit this is a one flesh experience / two actually become one / God himself calls it a profound mystery


  • Christians will celebrate a one flesh experience / through power of the Holy spirit. A union that only married disciples will have.


God invented sex and He knew when the most satisfying/right time would be and that time is when the two would become one.






Take time to review and get update on their wedding plan.


  • Numbers 30:2
  • 23:21-23
  • Judges 11:29-40
  • Ps15:4, 76:11
  • Proverbs 20:25
  • Eccl 5:4 -5

All of you must get together and talk about everything

Find out if they have selected their wedding vows, and if you could read them

Bible text dealing with vows. Inquire how the wedding ceremony plans are coming along.


1st Timothy 4:7-8

If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

9This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.


Discuss tithe and special contribution. Giving generally

Emphasize that marital problems will be easily resolved by our spiritual thoughts, words and action. Non-Christians, in-laws, friends etc. are all watching.


Counsel them on the need to have realistic expectations for each other.


  • 1st 13:4-5
  • 5:21
  • 19:11
  • 24:29













Marriage and the Single Parent:

This segment would require more time and more detailed counseling because of the complexity of it. You are not dealing with just a potential husband and wife situation. There are children involved and their feelings and welfare must be brought into consideration. They are now an important part of this marriage covenant.


1ST Peter 2: 9-10:

1: We need to have the right perspective:

*Step- parenting is accepting a calling from God, not inheriting a dream-come-true. Do you feel “chosen”? Well, you should! It’s a great calling. God certainly has a special place in his heart for the fatherless or motherless (Psalm 68: 5-6). God sets the lonely in families.

God hates divorce (Malachi 2: 13-16) and sex outside of the marriage covenant. But, he has a heart for those innocently hurt by it.

He is calling you to be part of the healing.

*Remember: We were once “not a people”. We were adopted into God’s family.

Three dangerous myths to watch out for:


ü  Step families are equivalent to biological families: Yes and No. Yes, every set up has its own problems. But, step families tend to have more problems due to the nature of the relationships. It is very important that those doing the counseling do their best to modify unrealistic expectations. What works for biological families will not necessarily work for the reconstituted ones.

ü  Step family adjustment should be attained quickly: The course of potential problems fluctuates according to the ages of the children involved. For older children, problems are greater in the initial years after the marriage. For younger children, problems are usually more delayed, up to 5 or more years after the marriage. The ability of the non-biological parent to mature in his/her understanding of the issues would determine the extent of the problems.

ü  Step families should instantly love one another: Bonding and attachment are usually formed in the first 2 years of life. A parent and step parent’s love for each other is not necessarily shared by the children (Surprise! Surprise!). That love (as great as it is) may be viewed with suspicion as betrayal.

1 Corinthians 13: 4: Patience and kindness lead to change.

*The blended family is not a failure. It’s a great opportunity to show the world God’s love.

2: Examine your heart:


Galatians 6: 7-8:

God cannot be mocked: What comes out during the course of parenting in a blended/reconstituted family is who we really are. God would expose our motives and test our hearts. *SA.          .

*Discouragement, fear, anger, frustration, anxiety are just some of emotions that expose our hearts.

*Remember: The children are not the enemy. Instead, God is sifting, exposing and pruning our character.

*Please the Spirit, not yourself:

A: Wrong way to take rejection: “I don’t care how you feel about me”.

B: Right way to take it: Do not be enslave by the desire for acceptance/respect.

*Ephesians 6: 1-3: “Children obey your parents…honor your father and mother”: For the step parent: “Are your actions and attitudes deserving of obedience and honor”?

* What is it that you feel that you need from your step children? Why?

3: Cultivate the fruit of the Spirit:

Galatians 5: 22-23:

*The fruit of the Spirit is not weakness or lack of authority.

*Parental warmth (seen in the fruit of the Spirit) is crucial to a long term wellbeing of a child.

Food for thought:

Biological Parent: How sensitive are you to the major life transition that you are putting your children through? Where are your kids? Has your “new” life pushed them out?

The key elements are preparation and patience. *You probably want this more than they do, right?

*Step parent: “What is my role”?

*Unhealthy roles: Disciplinarian, primary parent, competitor for biological parent’s affections, protector of biological parent (from disrespect, disobedience of kids or from ex-spouse’s behavior). “If your father/mother let you get away with it, I will not”. This attitude will not get you any point.

*Healthy Role: Great example of a loving spouse, trusted, wiser, older friend or mentor.

You must keep your eyes focused on your key and most important role and don’t get side tracked.



4: Galatians 6: 9:

Build a positive relationship:

*Step parent: You must put some serious work into the relationship with the children. Don’t simply expect acceptance, compliance, respect, trust or love.

*Biological parent: Don’t simply get consumed with the newness of your relationship that you neglect the relationship with your kids that you neglect the considerable adjustment they are going through.

***Issue that was raised: “Shouldn’t the children come before the marriage”? The fact that this came up says clearly that something is inherently wrong with the foundation. Why must one feel like they have to choose? When you got married, you married the whole package. Enough said.


5: I Corinthians 13: 8:

Love never fails: 

*Never underestimate the power of example (good or bad).

*Trust the delayed effects of good example.

*Model the right attitudes and behaviors: respect, patience, self-control, listening…

*Remember the ultimate goal: To declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.


*Deuteronomy 6: 20-25: Our goal as disciples is to tell the story of what God has done for us. What story would your blended family tell?
















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