College ministry isn’t just about college students. Our mission on campus is to teach people how to be disciples not just during college, but for the rest of their lives. We must learn to be, and teach others to be, disciples at work, in our marriages, with our families, and in every situation.
Pre-engagement counseling is a great tool to accomplish this goal. Many students choose to get married soon after graduation, just like Matt and I did. Pre-engagement counseling is a ten session curriculum that covers topics relevant to any Christian marriage, including money, sex, and getting along with your in-laws. Soon-to-be-engaged couples go through these ten lessons with another married couple. Matt and I went through pre-engagement counseling with Mandy and Andrew, and now we have been called upon to lead it with an engaged couple in Focus.
Over the past couple of months, we have been meeting with Laura and Taylor. It’s an honor to be a part of their preparations for marriage, and I am so excited for them. I’m also excited for the benefits that have come from pre-engagement counseling. In our sessions, we’ve talked about things like communication styles and servant love. These topics are relevant to marriage, but I think many of them have a lot to do with the lifestyle of a disciple. As followers of Jesus, we are called to live in the truth; that includes being honest and forthright in conversation, as well as holding one another accountable for the things we say and do. Communication skills are important for married couples, but they are also a part of the life of a disciple. As Christians, we are called to be servants of those around us. Remembering to serve our spouses and put their needs ahead of our own makes marriage easier, but those principles of servanthood should apply to our interactions with everyone.
Preparing people for marriage is preparing people for the life of a disciple. It’s a big responsibility, and we on staff with Focus are blessed to be a part of it.