Photo by: Will Gentry
Before walking down the aisle, engaged couples at Oklahoma Christian University are encouraged to strengthen their relationships.
For engaged couples looking for premarital counseling, they could end up paying anywhere from $75-150 per session. Since couples typically meet for 6-8 sessions for this type of counseling, this could end up being quite expensive.
Sheldon Adkins, Oklahoma Christian’s counseling services director, along with his wife Christi Adkins, are conducting free premarital counseling to engaged students on campus, as is staff counselor Brenda Gunter.
“Premarital counseling doesn’t prevent differences from occurring in marriage, but it provides the opportunity for couples to learn how to work together through those differences before they become problematic,” Adkins said. “It also teaches couples how to deal with these issues if they become problematic.”
Adkins said the most important thing in any marriage is to have a Christ-centered relationship.
“Because this principle is a lifelong practice, we work with couples on learning that a healthy Christ-centered marriage is not one that is free from conflict, but instead a healthy marriage is one where both husband and wife learn to let understanding or resolving these differences draw them closer to God and in turn to each other,” Adkins said.
Couples who want to take advantage of this opportunity for free premarital counseling must take a “PREPARE inventory” before attending counseling.
“We discuss many topics that are potential conflict areas for a couple based on the responses they give to the PREPARE assessment,” Adkins said. “A couple that doesn’t go through this process prior to marriage could find they only address these types of issues once a problem is already present, which can then make solving the conflict more difficult.”
Newly married senior, Kylee Kelly said premarital counseling is a good way to deepen your knowledge of your future spouse.
“I think you know a lot about the person you are getting married to, but you don’t know so much of their background that is necessary like finances and things like that,” Kelly said.
She is grateful for her premarital counseling and what it taught her and her husband about each other.
“In my premarital counseling we talked a lot about personalities and how your personalities work together,” Kelly said. “You are going to have a lot of fights in your marriage, but it’s how you work through them that matters.”
Adkins would advise all engaged students to go to premarital counseling here to save money.
“I know for most newly married couples money is usually tight, so not having the stress of paying for premarital counseling can be of help,” Adkins said. “I also believe we provide quality care to our clients and believe if couples us the time wisely, it will be of help to their marriage.”