You talk about “looking through a glass darkly” – that is a great description of pre-marriage counseling a.k.a “window shopping at the marriage store.”
After 30 years of helping people “say I do” at “the altar” I still use 25% of the same materials I did 25 years ago. That is because the Bible hasn’t changed. I think it is important to update resources. Certainly the internet has created wonderful resources for the Bride and Groom to be. I have attached a recently updated Inventory of Interest to help me individualize the counseling experience. I anticipate your feedback of topics you think might need to be included on the inventory. We’re up to 70 topics so far. My Monday night “Dad’s Care Group” added nearly 20 topics. Their desire to be dad’s and husband’s after the heart of God inspire me! Pre-Marriage Interest Inventory of Topics
The internet has a world of resources for the couple, their parents, and even ministers new to the idea of pre-marriage counseling. There is even a Christian Counseling online for couples that are working through a long distance relationship to prepare for marriage.
I recommend that parents refrain from spending money on the honeymoon and steer that money toward covering up to 50% of the pre-marriage counseling. If the groom can’t afford to pay for the honeymoon it may be worth the family’s efforts to point the couple to some online budgeting resources. Don’t forget to remind the couple how much it will cost when the first baby is added to the picture!