Christian marriage counseling may mean different things to different people -both counselors and those receiving counseling- but overall, it means receiving marriage counseling given through the lens of religion.
Religious parables, scripture, and thinking are used to approach the issues that the married couple is having and, hopefully, resolve them so that the couple has a long and happy life together.
This plan will include such things as spending time around family and close friends to enable each other to see how the other person builds and sustains all relationships. I do not suggest that the couple spend all their time together at this stage.
It is a temptation to do so, but I suggest that it is actually unhealthy for the Christian dating relationship.
(Note: As soon as I say Christian dating guide, every single Christian reading this will think they are an exception and the timing noted does not apply to them. One of the strangest phenomenons that I have observed is that singles dating behavior is more common than most of us think.
I encourage you to not look for the “exception” but where you can build the type of Christian dating relationship that will serve you and your partner well for years to come.) 1.
Further, when something is affecting the couple or marriage, it will likely affect any children or individuals from the family of origin.
Because most Christian counselors partner with one of those Christian denominations, that particular faith and its tenets also play a significant role in the counseling.
There is an attraction to each other and Christian singles immediately (or soon thereafter) think they have found their soul mate.
Candidly, there is really little more in the Christian dating relationship during this stage than “physical attraction”. There is a temptation for Christian singles to begin saying, “I love you” during this fantasy stage. The emphasis should be upon enjoying each other’s company and building a FRIENDSHIP and refraining from going any further. After 2 to 3 months of this type of dating and it is mutually agreed, the Christian dating relationship can move into an exclusive dating arrangement.
What the expression really is saying is – “I am in love with the idea of being in love” AND “I really think you are the answer for ME”! This should be mutually agreed to and clearly understood by both Christian singles. It is very important that each person have their own accountability group of their own gender.
The progress of the Christian dating relationship should be shared so that their objectivity and accountability can be a valuable resource to the couple. Once a couple is satisfied that there is something to take to the next level, the couple should develop a plan in how they can best get to know each other in “real settings” not just in Christian dating situations.