Relational Growth


PASTORS: Helps for Bride & Groom


Carol Clemans

June is a traditional month for weddings.  Much preparation, time and effort will be put into the plans for this grand event. How much time is spent on equipping the Bride and Groom for their life-long marriage? I recommend six to eight pre-marital counseling sessions plus required reading listed below.

The euphoria of ‘being in love’ can dissipate very quickly if a newly married couple does not receive healthy God-based counsel and information on how to have a God-centered marriage.  A healthy marriage means laying down individual selfishness and becoming ‘one flesh’ in body, soul and spirit.

The pre-marital ‘baggage’ of divorce, sexual abuse aftermath, pre-marital sex, etc., all needs to be faced and processed through God’s healing before marriage takes place. Yes, we must deal with these issues today in the church. Rec. reading:  Healing for Damaged Emotions -David Seamands, The Door of Hope – Jan Frank and

Too Close Too Soon – Jim Talley & Robbie Reed.

Marriage is work-work-work! The key to a healthy marriage is Ephesians 5:21 “Submitting to one another in the fear of God.” When a husband loves his wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her, no godly woman can resist that kind of loving man! As we submit to Christ because of His love, a wife will arrange herself under the loving authority of her husband because of his kindness and consideration of her needs and desires.

The following books are ‘must reads’ for the Bride & Groom:

Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts – Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott

Hidden Keys to a Loving Lasting Marriage – Gary Smalley

Before You Say I Do – H. Norman Wright

The First Years of Forever – H. Norman Wright

Communication: Key to Your Marriage – H. Norman Wright

Intended for Pleasure – Dr. Ed Wheat

These books should be read within six months before the marriage. Counseling sessions should be planned around the issues of these books.  The decision for a marriage partner is the second most important decision of a lifetime after salvation.  Yet, very little preparation or knowledge is required which leads to marital conflict almost from the beginning of the marriage.

Pastors, as shepherds of your flock, please equip couples for a God-centered marriage and it will save much heartache in their future. (I teach pre-marital/marriage seminars for churches).


Carol Clemans is a Certified Pastoral Counselor/Christian Life Coach/inspirational Bible teacher for churches/conferences. She provides nationwide phone/webcam counseling (636) 448-0121. Go to: for CD’s. Pres. of LIFE ENRICHMENT MINISTRIES, INC. (501c3), 1437 N. Denver Ave. Ste. 251, Loveland, CO 80538