Church Weekly
09 Jun 2024



Dear Members in Christ,

The importance of pre-marital counselling (Part 3) – Biblical instruction about the role of the husband and wife

Pre-marital counselling is important for couples preparing themselves for holy matrimony. In previous articles, we have covered the grave importance of understanding the scriptural view of the marriage relationship. The Bible gives clear instruction of the role of the man and the wife, and the Bible presents the marriage union as a relationship which is symbolic of the union between The Lord Jesus Christ and His church.

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” Ephesians 5:22,23

So, the Bible teaches that there is a functional role for each member of the marriage partnership, and this is God’s will for His children. A part of pre-marital counselling also covers the biblical way of resolving issues and conflicts in the marriage relationship. As God’s children, we ought to conduct ourselves in accordance to God’s Word. This article deals (in brief summary) with two key aspects of pre-marital counselling, namely the biblical role of the husband and wife, and the biblical approach to resolving conflicts in a relationship. This is a short article - it gives a brief overview for premarital counselling session. The material described in this article is actually spread out over 3, one-hour lessons.

A. The theology of marriage – understanding the role of the Christian husband and wife

God’s Word gives a clear definition of the role of the husband and wife in the marriage relationship. The husband is to be the loving head of the household, and the wife the help-meet for him. The verse in Ephesians chapter 5 teaches,

Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” Ephesians 5:24,25

In the pre-marital counselling class, the couple is taught the biblical description of these verses. It is not meant to be a domineering relationship, but a representation of true love and sacrifice as it is demonstrated to us by the Lord Jesus Christ. Many years ago, I had the sad experience of seeing a marriage of a full-time worker in a church fall apart. The marriage relationship was topsy-turvy. The wife was overly domineering, and the husband stubborn and unyielding. Very sadly, as full-time workers in the Lord’s work, their lives did not exhibit obedience to God’s Word.

Dearly beloved, let us remember to pray for couples preparing for holy matrimony. Pray that they will take the instructions from the pre-marital counselling seriously, in order that God may bless their marriage. 

B. The biblical way to resolve conflict and to deal with familial issues

As we all know – life is never a bed of roses. When a couple is joined in holy matrimony, it is also a union of two families. Therefore, it is not surprising that issues may arise which may cause conflicts. These issues may be between the husband and wife, and sometimes between parents, and the extended family, and sometimes it may also arise when friends and distant relatives are brought into the picture. The Bible describes this in the words of the Lord Jesus when He said, 

“And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matthew 19:5,6

The Scripture teaches that the marital union is the most intimate relationship, the two are more closely bonded than any other family relationships. Also, the Bible teaches us that the marriage union is to be highly regarded, and it is not to be lightly discarded. The world views marriage with far less reverence and esteem. Therefore, if there is any issue of conflict e.g. with in-laws, relatives, etc., the marriage relationship must be foremost in the mind. Preservation of the marital relationship must be the prime consideration. Pre-marital counselling gives the couple some important scriptural teaching to manage conflicts within the circle of family (and friends). Very sadly, in this present world, when conflicts arise, divorce or separation often resorted to, almost frivolously. During the time of the Lord Jesus, He had to rebuke the Pharisees when He said, “He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.” Matthew 19:8

In the course of the pre-marital counselling, the couple will be taught the biblical way to deal with disagreements and conflicts. A large part of this is building spiritual maturity in the marriage relationship. Constant prayer within the marriage, studying the Bible, the Word of God as a couple and family devotion is encouraged. 

Beloved, let us honour Holy Matrimony, a union which God has instituted. The strength of the marriage relationship often runs parallel with the spiritual maturity of the partners in the marriage. That does not mean that pre-marital counselling can prevent conflicts and disagreements, but it is a “starter”, a way to point those entering holy matrimony to the Bible as their instruction as they journey together. We pray that the Lord Jesus strengthen His church, by building strong families in Calvary Jaya. Amen.

In His Service,
Rev. Lim Seh Beng, Pastor