Malaysia: a wonderful, progressive country. A country filled with happy smiles. A country that takes pride in its people and their accomplishments.
But Malaysia is other things, too. Look beneath the prosperity, below the smiles, and you will find many broken hearts– bitter, angry, and dejected. Of course there are various reasons, but one of the most serious is the breakdown of marriages and homes.
Some counselors and pastors believe that premarital counseling is wasted, since the couple is caught up in the romance, excitement, and tension of the upcoming marriage. All the more reason to do it, and to do it at the right time.
Better preparation does lead to a better outcome. Here is just one comment, from a pastor that confirms this truth:
“Does it (premarital counseling) make any difference in the marriage? I can only answer in terms of the track record. I began requiring premarital counseling twenty years ago (no counseling; no wedding ceremony). Since that time, I have probably performed between 40 and 50 ceremonies and I know of only three couples who have divorced.” – Norman Bales
Premarital counseling is like pre-med for doctors, or basic training for soldiers. In every sphere of life, we know that training and preparation counts. Preparation is good stewardship. It is like counting the cost before you start the building. More than that, it’s evaluating who you are, what is important to you, and what you want your marriage to be.
Preparing to Succeed doesn’t address every possible challenge you might encounter on your journey together. Rather, it helps you to begin well so you will have a loving, lasting marriage. The topics you will discuss are the ones that cause the most conflicts in most marriages.
Preparing to Succeed is designed to be used with a pastor, counselor, or a mentor couple. A couple could do some of the series on their own, but the experience is greatly enhanced when you have someone to lead you through it.
As you begin Preparing to Succeed, promise yourselves that you will remain open, honest, and loving as you look at your lives and your future marriage together.
Some couples who go through this plan will decide to delay their marriage, or perhaps cancel it altogether. If you are one of those couples, be thankful that you discovered it before you married, not after. And know that this isn’t the end. There is a better person or a better time.
To the rest, have a great future together, knowing that you are preparing to succeed!