Tag Archives: Pre-Marital Counseling

How will your marriage be OR How is your marriage now?

Book Review:  Ready to Wed by Dr. Greg & Erin Smalley

The Good:

Marriage Counseling 101.  In the next year, I’m planning to add and revise some of my pre-marital material.  And guess what book will have a big part of that revision.  Yep, this one right here…excellent pre-marital counseling advice, material, and exercises.

I Got Homework.  Although this book is written for those preparing for marriage, I found myself completing many of the homework assignments on my own and with my wife.  So marriage veterans, don’t think for a minute this book will not benefit your marriage.

Who Wrote This Chapter?  Within the “12 Ways to Start a Marriage You’ll Love”, there is a new author for each chapter.  Why is this a good thing?  Well, it allows the book to have varied personalities and styles to make the book more enjoyable.

The Bad:

Didn’t I Hear This Before?  Although the different authors can be a good thing, the downside is there is opportunity for repetition and slight contradictions.  Some of the opinions of the authors may differ somewhat and can hurt the continuity of the book a little.  None of the contradictions are drastic, but there are small ones here and there.

Shameless Plugs.  One author seems to use their chapter as a platform to promote their book over and over.  It would be like if I mentioned my book “Bottom Line”, which is a devotional for teens & young adults, on this blog.  Or if I would put the reader to www.bottomlinedevotional.com for book information and purchase options in a book review blog.  But I would never do that.

Weak Sauce.  The majority of the book was Biblically sound.  However, there was at least one author who seemed to not like the word “sin”.  It’s OK to call it that!  Instead of calling the problem “pride”, words were used like “buttons pushed”.  Come on, don’t come at me with that weak sauce!

The Grade:  B+.  I really enjoyed this book for its variety, meaty advice & counsel material, along with solid Biblical principles.  Occasionally there would be some repetition or weak fluff marital direction, but that was rare.  It was a great read and encouragement for those preparing for marriage, and those that tied the knot years ago.

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Book Review: “The Complete Husband” by Lou Priolo

Book Review: The Complete Husband by Lou Priolo51DD8823XJL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Warning: As you read The Complete Husband, you will discover how incomplete you are as a husband. This book is not hazardous to your health, in fact may be quite essential to your spiritual growth as a husband.

The Good:

Counseling Gold. As a young pastor, this book is worth its weight in gold, so to speak. In terms of counseling, it is priceless. There are many “gold nuggets” of truth throughout the book. But the real counseling value is in the practical exercises given extensively.  You may even want to require this for pre-marital counseling.

Easy to Use. This book is not full of lofty, spiritual ideals that cannot never be grasped this side of heaven. On the contrary, Priolo provides practical steps to improve multiple facets of the role of the husband. These steps are clear, although I cannot say they are easy to follow since we, as husbands fail at times.

Brace for Impact. Priolo uses simple points with incredible insight that cause a great impact. The reader will find themselves having many “aha moments”. Insight into the role of the husband is found all throughout the book, providing life-changing behavioral, spiritual, and practical changes.

Homework? Yes Please. The worksheets or homework provided at the end of the chapters and the back of the book are worth the purchase of the book alone. It allows the reader to truly work through the issues on a more personal level.

The Bad:

Nit-Picky. The book is not nit-picky, but I will have to be if I were to find the bad in this book. If I had to pick sometime, it may be there may be some small doctrinal disagreements throughout the book, such as how God’s omniscience relating to “forgetting” the sin of a believer. But again, I’m nit-picking here.

The Grade: A

For lack of better terms, this book will kick your husband butt. The reader, in this case, the husband, will find themselves falling short often to the standard that is set in each chapter. Would you rather read a book about being a husband, and be able to say you have it all figured out? I’d rather read a challenging book to push me to be a better husband to my wife. So if you are ready for a challenge, pick this book up and follow the advice towards being a more complete husband.

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10 Quick Tips: How to Officiate a Wedding

This past weekend, I had the privilege of officiating/performing/conducting (what is the right word here?) my sister-in-law’s wedding.  The wedding was absolutely beautiful (and not just because it was on a golf course), but had a unique, rustic look.  But you’re not reading this for decoration tips, so I’ll get right to your wedding ceremony advice…wedding

  1. Pre-Marital Pre-vention.  Pre-marital counseling is a must for many reasons, but concerning the ceremony it does these 3 things: builds trust, allows you and the couple to become more familiar, & gives time to discuss the ceremony at your own pace.
  2. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel. When preparing your wedding template, save yourself some time and email every pastor you know that has done a wedding. Get their templates as a wedding ceremony smorgasbord, without the soft serve ice cream. Mmmmmm, soft serve…sprinkles…what was I talking about again?
  3. Research & Read. Start reading marriage books. Seriously, whether it is “Sacred Marriage”, “Real Marriage”, or “The Meaning of Marriage”…start reading and getting concepts and ideas you would like to have in the ceremony.
  4. In the multitude of counselors, there is safety. GET ADVICE! Make it simple.  What is one thing you wished you knew about doing weddings? What do I make sure to do, and what do I make sure I don’t do?
  5. Prayer. Make prayer an important part of the wedding day. Pray with the groomsmen, pray during the ceremony, and pray throughout that God would be glorified!
  6. Practice Makes Perfect. More on this next week, but the rehearsal is more than just a formality, it will eliminate a great deal of problems. Rehearsal practice is more important than you think.
  7. Don’t be Funny. OK, there may be some weddings that are less rigid and a laugh or two can happen. But whenever you’re tempted to say something funny, don’t! Stick to the script. When writing the script, if you think a joke would be good there, YOU ARE WRONG!
  8. Remember, no one will remember you (and that’s OK!). In talking to other pastors, this was a very common sentiment. What you say is important, but no one is there to listen to you and they won’t remember what you said. But that’s OK, it’s all about the celebration of two lives God has brought together, and the representation it is of Christ and His Bride! Let them remember Jesus.
  9. 3 Ring Binders are Your Friend (Especially Outdoors). I’ll make this quick. 3-ring, 5×8 binder, clear binder pockets, cut script paper into sleeves, place card stock paper in sleeves for easy turning of pages. This set up eliminates problems such as: rain, wind, and flipping of pages.
  10. Short & Sweet. The nice thing about doing weddings is everyone expects the pastor to read from a script. So do that, but time it and make sure it is not too long. Better to be a little short than a little long. Make sure to include the meaning of marriage, the Gospel, challenge to the couple…and then head straight to vows-town.

 

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