“Premarital counseling can be an entertaining exercise for an older couple offering guidance to a younger couple. Across from them sit two individuals eager to wed. Apart from occasional disagreements about planning the ceremony, the soon-to-be-newlyweds are prone to think all is well, and their excitement is reflected on their faces. While the mentors don’t mean to discourage the couple, they do mean to equip the couple with counsel that will carry them beyond the honeymoon to the anniversaries to come.”
I remember those days, when my wife-to-be and I sat with some much older, much more experienced, much more godly old saints and sought their counsel. In his article from this month’s Tabletalk, Eric Bancroft draws a useful comparison. “A church and its new pastor can be like that young couple — eager to get started in the ministry for which they have waited. The candidating process tempts them to believe all will be well. While their enthusiasm is encouraging, they also need some ‘premarital counseling.’”
He turns to Hebrews 13:17 which “provides a helpful template for understanding the roles and responsibilities of a local congregation and its leaders.” Read more in Congregational Counseling.