Pastoral Marriage Preparation – Part 5

The Pastor’s sixth meeting with the couple he is preparing for marriage will be the final one before the wedding rehearsal. At this meeting the pastor will engage the couple in light banter about their wedding day preparations. This meeting usually takes place one week or less prior to the wedding. At this stage of the couple’s preparation their stress levels could be higher than usual. It will be beneficial for the couple to find that the pastor is interested in what they are going through beyond the specifics of their marriage preparation.

As the couple shares about their stresses and challenges of preparing for their wedding, the pastor is inconspicuously modelling active and responsive listening. (This will be pointed out to the couple toward the end this session.) It may even be helpful for the pastor to specifically ask each person what their biggest challenge currently is. This should be noted by the pastor in his own words, to be repeated back to the couple later.

The pastor can then let the couple know what the objective of this meeting is – to learn what the final step in the progression to communication intimacy is; to understand the role of sexual intimacy in their marriage, how communication is linked to this sexual fulfilment; and to recap on all that they have learned.

The couple is informed that this particular session is left to last for several reasons which includes sexual purity, avoiding temptation, and avoiding over-familiarity. The couple then learns of the final  step in intimate communication. The previous four stages are recapped. The pastor explains how intimacy is developed through mutual understanding which demands deep listening. Deep listening results in ‘hearing’ what the other person is saying despite the words they use (or don’t use). By this time the couple has been shown how to ‘listen’ to the feelings of the other person. 

As the pastor shares these things with the couple he points out how he has been listening to each person by modelling the active and responsive listening he has been teaching. This involves hearing what each person has been expressing emotionally. This becomes a segue-way into discussing sexual intimacy.

Men and women find sexual fulfilment in different yet complementary ways. Marital intimacy provides the maximum potential for sexual fulfilment. The pastor explains to the couple why this is and how they can work toward achieving this.

The pastor then invites questions or feedback. Finally, he recommends medical checks if they have not already done so. It is recommended that they seek medical advise to consider their contraceptive options from a moral and biological point of view. 

The couple then submit their homework (a written prayer for each other) to the pastor who takes a copy of them. Arrangements are made for the wedding rehearsal time, venue and other details. Concluding this session with banter with the couple helps to finish on a lighter note for an already stressed couple. The session closes with each person praying.

 

 

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About Dr Andrew Corbett

Pastor, Teacher, Theologian, Writer, Speaker, Coach.
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