Not a big priority for most of us in india. Perhaps us we have always assumed our families would be okay, and till a little while ago, divorce was pretty uncommon.
Not any more.
I have two close friends and one distant relative who have been divorced, have had many patients coming in during the throes of their divorce, and I guess this would be so for most of us. We can no longer think our "family values" keep us immune to marital problems. On the contrary, our "family values" make life heell, specially for innocent victims going through break-ups, and we need to honestly think about whether that is always right.
But churches are still slow to do anything much about it. The Catholic church insists on pre-marital counselling, and so do some dioceses of the orthodox church (the Kerala diocese), but independant churches, and other mainline churches make do with the pastor/ priest giving the couple a few hours a day before the wedding. Not really enough.
Of course, the problem is that we don't have enough people able to do a good job of pre-marital counselling. I'm not talking about training, or degrees, merely of a change in mind-set, an acceptance of the changed cultural mileau which is required to talk relevantly to young couples.
So this was a good start by the Orthodox church diaspora in Delhi. The response was luke-warm, only twenty-five odd people turned up, but hopefully, they would carry good vibes about the idea back to their friends, and it will catch on.
There are huge areas of relevance to young people :
marraige as a contract between two people, or three? (Including God, or the church in His stead, or forgetting all that religious nonsense);
marraige as a contract between two families (the Asian notion) or between two persons (the more individualistic western idea, now increasingly held by urban young people);
marraige as an equal partnership, or as a company with one CEO, with women often having gone ahead of men in wanting a change of style to the former;
marraige as defined by sharp division of labour, or as a flexible swap-work-between-us model;
understanding the other and their family history;
love and romance, and methods of expressing and increasing them;
mutual deference, respect and love as a style of living;
handling conflict, anger, forgiveness;
children as choice, or compulsion;
how many, and of what gender, and of how they will be brought up;
care of families meaning his, hers, or both;
choice of tresidence being automatically his familyhome, or moving out into their own;
money as a shared asset, patterns of spending, or each to his/her own;
patterns ofdecision-making: following the partnership model with joint decision-making, or the big boss model, with a veto and the buck-stops-here idea;
physical issues, with review of knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and family planning, and the rather more important issue of attitudes to sex, specially attitudes to reciprocity, and a willingness to give joy as well as receiving it.
And thats just skimming the surface.