When I first heard the word counseling I thought to myself, "I don't need that. I don't need someone to tell me how to run my relationship." To be honest, I thought any type of relationship counseling was pointless and a waste of time.
BOY did things change haha. . .
My boyfriend and I have been going to Faith Fellowship Church for over a year and the pastors always encourage couples who are seriously dating to attend premarital counseling. By the way, counseling at Faith Fellowship is FREE. No money comes out of our pockets. I shared a few months ago that my man and I have been going to premarital counseling because we realized that we're getting older and we both would like to prepare ourselves for the next big step in our relationship.
Side note: due to my own personal beliefs, I didn't want to get counseled by any random counselor. I wanted to go to a person of faith and Godly wisdom which is how we ended up meeting with Pastor Vince. It also took A LOT of THOUGHT before attending premarital counseling but we are so glad we went. No regrets!
Misi and I both shared our insecurities, vulnerabilities, and fears. We got emotional when talking about our parents and we both smiled when sharing our high school sweetheart memories. We love how each session always started (and ended) with a prayer.
As I look over my notes from our premarital counseling sessions, we learned so many gems from Pastor Vince and we wanted to share it with you all. . . . Here we go!
Your future is closer than you think so you better get to work now. Every decision you make now will somehow affect you later. Pastor Vince gave an example of a guy named "Bob". Bob loves to party. He goes to clubs, hangs around the wrong crowd, he loves to get high daily, and he drinks every weekend. 5 years go by and where is Bob now? Bob is doing miserable and he's crawling through life paycheck to paycheck. NOW picture another scenario... Bob has a job. Everyday, Bob goes to work and saves his money. Bob hangs around smart people, reads books and goes to Church on Sundays. 5 years go by and where is Bob now? Bob is a homeowner, he drives his own truck, and he is happily married. Smart Bob is enjoying the fruit of his labor. The purpose of this story is to simply remind us to pay attention to the decisions we're making. Our future is a sum total of what we do now.
Pastor Vince told me this when I shared that I am self conscious with the way I look. This might sound weird but sometimes I feel like my boyfriend is the "good looking" one in this relationship LOL! This is why when I have the chance to go to the gym, I will take advantage of it. I feel like everything about me should be perfect for my man! Pastor Vince told me that I have to get rid of this mindset ASAP. I realized that when I focus too much on trying to be "perfect" for my man I'm planting bad seeds in myself....insecurity, jealousy, frustration...to name a few! I learned to love myself and I keep forgetting that my man had the hots for me first soooooo.... I rest my case hahaha! Seriously though, I'm just grateful that my boyfriend loves me just the way I am :)
Ephesians 5:28 says, "In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself." You might think this sounds selfish but it's actually not. Think about it.... a man who genuinely loves himself will take good care of himself AND his significant other. A man will treat his woman like his treasure because she is! Pastor Vince bought up how some men can be abusive and that's because they're not happy with themselves. It should HURT you to see your woman hurt because she's a big part of you. The love a man has for his woman should be like no other! Embrace your oneness.
In one of our sessions, we were reminded that "The highest level of learning is the knowledge of God". Understand that Satan is a robber, a liar, and a thief. Ok, some of you who stumbled across this blog post might think I sound crazy but you need to WAKE UP especially if you grew up in a Christian home or have a relationship with Christ. There are battles going on in the spiritual realm. There's evil plotting against you every single day. When two people come together as one, Satan's goal is to destroy that God fearing bond. This is why it's important for couples to develop positive things in the foundation of their relationship. Things like: honesty, fairness, trust, friendship, faith, kindness, LOVE, etc. We have to be spiritually mature and constantly fight for our relationship/ marriage (when that time comes). Be prepared BEFORE the attack happens.
Not everyday is going to feel like a honeymoon (of course, we don't know what that feels like but we're pretty sure it's an awesome feeling LOL!!). We are going to face unexpected trials, we are going to unintentionally annoy each other, and we are going to argue. We have to remember that we are on the same team. Stop, listen, communicate, and speak gently. It's not good to wake up with yesterday's hurt. Things happen, life happens and we have to work through everything together.
This is pretty straightforward but it's something that MUST be talked about when you're in a relationship. Sadly, 50% of married couples who say "I do" end up in divorce. One of the main reasons for divorce is...MONEY! Before getting married, couples have to learn how to manage their own personal finances. We have to teach ourselves how to budget, save, invest, and spend accordingly. We have to be smart with our money and honor God with our 10%. Come on people.... Don't let money ruin your (future) marriage, get your stuff together and learn how to handle your finances!
This is where we get sentimental...when we talk about working hard for mom and dad. I'm happy Pastor Vince reminded us that our parents expect us to do better than them. We owe it to our parents to do good for ourselves because all of their hard work and sacrifice they've made on us. Our prayer is that God will bless our parents with many days so they can witness us own a home, raise a family, and live out our dreams. We want to do good for ourselves so that we can take care of our parents/families. That's our goal.