In my former pastorate, I gained a reputation for being rather anti-romantic among our young couples moving toward marriage. I became the “Dr. Depressing” of premarital counseling because I would plainly tell them how hard marriage was. I would clearly tell them to “not be surprised when fiery” trials came.

Now I could have played “Good Cop” with them. It would have been easier for me to tell them that marriage was only puppy dogs and rainbows—fun and sun! However, when their first real fight comes, when their first real betrayal comes (when it comes, not if it comes!), won’t they fear something is wrong with them—won’t they fear something is wrong with their relationship?