Josh and Jade
Josh: My fiancee and I started pre-marital counseling this January after completing the pre-engagement track. Heather and Eric did a fantastic job preparing us for our future life together. I am not sure what people normally cover in pre-marital counseling but we learned so much about each other and marriage that we never would have thought. There are so many things that can lead to conflict in marriage that we have already resolved.
Eric and Heather have used their wisdom to focus on some key aspects of marriage. We talked about family relationships, marital sanctification, rituals, celebrations, expectations, wedding planning, and much more. We also took some enlightening personality tests outlining some of our strengths and weaknesses as a couple.
I feel much more confident about marriage with this counseling. Not only did it help prepare both of us for marriage, it helped me grow closer to the Lord and deal with some bitterness that I’ve been holding as well. This counseling was immensely important to us and I would highly recommend it to any couple who is seriously seeking marriage.
Jade: The combination of pre-engagement and pre-marital counseling has been invaluable to Josh and I. We have learned so much about ourselves, our relationship and how to best honor the Lord through our marriage.
We read several books, all of which I found invaluable. Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas really changed my views on marriage. I learned a lot about the purpose of sanctification in marriage. In particular, my dedication to a covenant marriage was strengthened. Marriage as a sacred history mirroring Christ and His church is invaluable.
I found the books on parenting were especially good. I had thought I had some good general ideas about raising children, but I found out I was woefully ignorant. Sacred Parenting, like Sacred Marriage, taught me a lot about the why behind godly parenting and Shepherding Your Child’s Heart gave so much wisdom in raising your children in light of God’s law and Christ’s mercy.
Our time with the Viets has been invaluable. We are both so much more prepared for marriage and to glorify God in our vows to each other.
Justin and Amanda
Justin: Over the past year I have learned more about my fiancee, myself, and my father God than from any other single activity I have been a part of. I am so thankful that the Lord has brought our paths together. Our time spent with Eric & Heather in pre-engagement counseling was the single most beneficial thing that the Lord has used to reveal to us that we would be wise and blessed in getting married. We decided to be with Eric & Heather for [premarital] counseling as well and thought [that] decision proved to be equally as wise.
Being able to build on what we had built with them in pre-engagement counseling was very beneficial. Through the personality tests and examinations that we went through, every session provided unsurpassed value to us that we [now] in hindsight count as incalculable. My fiancee and I [now] are many years beyond our peers who are at a similar stage of life than us who did not have the counseling experience that we had. In the Lord’s grace and his providence I believe we have saved years of marital strife because of our time spent with the Viets. It was both a financial and time investment that has and will continue to reap dividends in our lives for the rest of our lives.
Thank you Eric & Heather for your investment in our lives. You truly are taking your calling to disciple those fellow believers deeper and closer in their walk with God seriously. We are eternally grateful. To God be the glory!
Amanda: Honestly, the time that I have spent with the Viets has greatly benefited and enriched my life. My fiancee and I have learned so much in the time that we have spent with Eric and Heather. I have learned an incredible amount about myself and how I think through things, how I communicate, how I relate to others and how I function as a person. I have been able to work through life events in my past that affected how I lived my life and how I communicate with other people. The Viets helped me realize and understand that people love me even when I make mistakes. Through my time with the Viets they have helped me work through lies that I believe about myself, other people & God. They have helped my fiancee and I better understand how to communiate in healthy ways, how to relate to one another, how to love one another, how to work through conflict, how to manage our finances, and how to build intimacy in our future marriage.
Also, I have learned so much about how Justin thinks, how he functions, and how to better serve and love him. Furthermore, the books that the Viets have had Justin and I read have greatly helped us in preparing for our marriage. Justin and I would not be in the place in our relationship that we are in currently – if we had not gone through counseling with the Viets. I have learned so much about my personality and giftings through the PAIR Test and I have learned so much about Justin through this test. I feel like Justin and I know more about communication, marriage, respect, love, and conflict [than] some married couples do. I say this because of God’s grace and because of what he has done in our relationship through our time with the Viets.
The aspect of counseling that helped me the most and that I respected greatly was how through everything the Viets pointed Justin and I to the cross. Everything we learned was centered around Jesus Christ and glorifying the Lord. The Viets taught me principles that I don’t think I would have ever been introduced to anywhere else. We learned about how important it was to have a purpose statement for our marriage, we learned the importance of building a family legacy, and about the importance of community. I could literally write a book about all that I have learned in my time with the Viets.
Two of the greatest things we learned, that have greatly helped our relationship, are the principles of love and respect and about how our (future) marriage is a direct reflection of how Christ loves the Church. The Viets have honestly equipped Justin and I with the tools necessary to have a healthy, fulfilling and God-honoring marriage. I know I will be a better wife and even a better mother because of what I have learned with the Viets. I know our (future) marriage is forever changed through what we have learned. Grace is what we want people to see when they observe our marriage. It is all because of his grace.
Susan: In my experience of the first 8 weeks of pre-marital counseling with Eric and Heather Viets, I have learned more about myself than I have about my fiancee. All of the tests and graphs that we have studied have shown me where Tony and I fall in areas of personality types, love languages, and areas of our lives as individuals that are more important than others. Being able to see where I fall in relation to what is considered “normal” or “average” has helped me realize how I can be a better wife to Tony.
I walk out of the counseling office every week completely drained and exhausted physically and mentally. Pre-marital counseling has not been especially eye-opening for me only because I went into this experience feeling like I already know Tony. While I have learned subtle details about him, there have been no major revelations so far. The hardest part of it has been digging inside myself and putting what we already knew about each other, into words.
Although I feel exhausted at the end of each session, I can always breathe a sigh of relief because I always feel like we’ve accomplished something. Eric and Heather are excellent listeners and are very professional in their manner of counseling. They have both made me feel extremely comfortable being myself and talking about issues that I would not normally voice to most strangers.
This experience, overall, has been nothing but positive and I am so excited to be continuing on to the next 8 weeks with them.