Marriage

An Evaluation of the Major Key Factors Contributing to Marital Satisfaction of Korean American Couples Raising a Special Needs Child

Author
Matthew B. Ahn D.Min.
Abstract
This research was designed to answer the question “What are the major key factors contributing to marital satisfaction of Korean American couples raising a special needs child?” by examining the shared experiences expressed by three couples who enjoy satisfactory marriages. A popular myth holds that the marriages of most couples raising a special needs child end in divorce. However, numerous studies show this is not always the case; in fact, in many instances, raising a special needs child makes a couple’s marriages stronger. This study focused on researching and identifying key factors contributing to marital satisfaction among couples raising a special needs child. Previously, there has been little research done on this topic, a fact which inspired the researcher to look into this phenomenon. The discovery of these major factors will be helpful to couples raising special needs children, pastors, and marriage counselors.

To gather the necessary data for this study, three different methods were used. First, descriptive surveys were administered to discover qualified couples who fulfilled the established criteria. Second, the quantitative research method was employed through surveys that were used to identify key factors contributing to the marital satisfaction of the volunteering couples. Third, the qualitative research method was used through personal interviews with the selected couples to identify the major factors that contributed to their satisfaction in their marriages.

The results of this research support the association between marital satisfaction among Korean American couples raising a special needs child and communication, spirituality, and commitment. This study and its discoveries should provide valuable resources to pastors, leaders, and marriage counselors who are in a position to assist couples who struggle in their marriage while raising a special needs child.

Establishing a Biblical Marriage Mentorship Program at First Baptist Church in Midlothian, TX

Author
Kevin Joseph Phillips D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to answer the question, “Would first-year married couples learn about and embrace a biblical foundation of marriage from a mentoring relationship built upon a curriculum focused on appropriate passages of Scripture?” The project will outline the biblical foundation of marriage and how first-year couples better can connect with that foundation through an intentional mentor relationship that leads them to a better understanding of four scriptural passages around marriage.
Chapter 1 introduces the problem, need, and purpose of the project. The thesis states that first-year married couples will show more commitment to the teachings of Scripture as a foundation to a lifetime of marriage after being mentored in a curriculum centered on those Scriptures.
Chapter 2 includes the biblical and theological foundations for developing a marriage mentor curriculum that will help first-year married couples understand why God established marriage. The theology of marriage, mentorship, and Christian education are treated in the chapter. This chapter also includes a review of related literature.
Chapter 3 details the writer’s goals, limitations, and plan for his project. The researcher will support the thesis statement and describe the process by which it was addressed through the project.
Chapter 4 explains in detail the writer’s formation of his workshop material. This chapter will give the reader an overview of the training material as well as the curriculum utilized in carrying out the couple-to-couple mentorship.
Chapter 5 provides a detailed evaluation demonstrating the results of the project implementation. The researcher related the research that supports the thesis statement through the results of the surveys taken by the newlywed couples.
Chapter 6 is a summary section. The researcher utilizes this chapter to give an overview of the project and gives examples of ways this project could be utilized in addition to the couple-to-couple mentorship.

An Evaluation of the Efficacy of E-Learning on Marital Conflict

Author
Ly Hai Tran D.Min.
Abstract
Despite the availability of quality evidence-based interventions like certain therapies and relationship-educational resources, marital strain and divorce continue to be problems in the U.S. and around the world today. Among the number of reasons couples seek dissolution or suffer through years of dissatisfaction, conflict and poor communication skills stand out as not only one of the main common denominators but the issue that prevents all the other problems from being addressed. Therapy and education are readily available, but several barriers prevent couples from taking advantage of such resources: financial limitations, accessibility or knowledge of the resources, or social stigma reasons.

Technology and the trending availability of online resources present an opportunity to bridge existing help resources for couples with e-learning platforms that may creatively overcome such barriers. Can e-learning and online marital education resources on critical issues like conflict resolution help to improve marriages?

This study, which followed eight individuals as they went through an online educational course on marital conflict, determined that, if left on their own without any additional help and with only the course to guide them, they could experience notable improvements in their marriage using e-learning marital resources. This finding opens the door to future research and numerous application questions as online delivery platforms are capable of dramatically outpacing the financial and scalability constraints of traditional in-person marriage therapy and relationship education.

The Dynamics of Spiritual Formation: Selected Case Studies on Christian Marital Health and its Contribution to Child Spiritual Formation

Author
John Henry Peterson Jr. D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
Baptist Minister, William Tiptaft coined this relevant declaration, “Children take more notice of what their parents do, than what they say.” Actions speak louder than words. Psychologist Albert Bandura would echo the same sentiment based upon his Bobo Doll experimentation. According to Bandura, people learn through observation, imitation, and modeling. The problem is more about what is not happening in the Christian home than what is happening in the Churches. Thus, the need to investigate the dynamic characteristics of healthy Christian marriages and the influence they have on the spiritual formation in children is a worthy study. This research will not examine the cause and effect of unhealthy marital relationships, but rather focus attention on healthy examples to extrapolate data promoting spiritual formation. The Christian husband and wife relationship plays a significant role in the spiritual formation in children. Children growing up in a family where parents consistently modeled a healthy Christian marriage are more likely to embrace a similar biblical worldview as their parents. Children who grew up in a home where a healthy Christian marriage exist will most likely take ownership of their own faith and spiritual growth as adults. Christian individuals who have parents who demonstrate healthy Christian marriages will be the participants in this study. The individuals interviewed will vary in how they perceive the influence of their parent’s marital relationship in their spiritual growth. The individuals interviewed will identify similarities between their view of life and their parents shared views. The individuals interviewed will exhibit an ongoing desire to maintain an intimate relationship with God and their spouse.

The Lived Experiences of Marital Therapy for Couples Who Have Achieved
Positive Relationship Outcomes

Author
Lambert Louise Lambert D.Min.
Abstract
Marriage is in a crisis in North America. The reported divorce rate ranges between 30-50%. Separation and divorce is disrupting the stability of the family and its members, including Christian homes. Many couples, finding the prospect of marriage to be risky, are opting to cohabitate to test their relationships, which increases the potential for divorce should they marry. However, research shows that healthy, satisfying marriages have positive benefits for those couples and their children.
Some couples that seek counseling for their marriage problems are able to adjust well and rebuild their marital relationships, while others are not. An interpretive phenomenological analysis examined the lived experiences of six couples, who were nominated by mental health professionals or self-referred, and confirmed by the Dyadic Adjustment Scale as couples who achieved positive relationship outcomes following marriage counseling. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted, and a conceptual mapping task was completed, for each participating couple. After a rigorous analysis of the data, four significant themes emerged. Achieving healthy relationship functioning for couples following marriage counseling involves: (a) improving their communication, (b) being willing to work on their relationship, (c) accepting their partners for who they are, and (d) relying on their faith as a resource. The results of this study may have important implications for couples in marriage counseling, as well as those working with couples: counselors, therapists, pastors, medical practitioners, community organizations, and faith-based organizations.

The Lived Experiences of Marital Therapy for Couples Who Have Achieved Positive Relationship Outcomes

Author
Lambert Louise Lambert D.Min.
Abstract
Marriage is in a crisis in North America. The reported divorce rate ranges between 30-50%. Separation and divorce is disrupting the stability of the family and its members, including Christian homes. Many couples, finding the prospect of marriage to be risky, are opting to cohabitate to test their relationships, which increases the potential for divorce should they marry. However, research shows that healthy, satisfying marriages have positive benefits for those couples and their children.
Some couples that seek counseling for their marriage problems are able to adjust well and rebuild their marital relationships, while others are not. An interpretive phenomenological analysis examined the lived experiences of six couples, who were nominated by mental health professionals and confirmed by the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, as couples who achieved positive relationship outcomes following marriage counseling. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted, and a conceptual mapping task was completed, for each participating couple. After a rigorous analysis of the data, four significant themes emerged. Achieving healthy relationship functioning for couples following marriage counseling involves: (a) improving their communication, (b) being willing to work on their relationship, (c) accepting their partners for who they are, and (d) relying on their faith as a resource. The results of this study may have important implications for couples in marriage counseling, as well as those working with couples: counselors, therapists, pastors, medical practitioners, community organizations, and faith-based organizations.

Preaching the Gospel with their Lives: A Call and Responsibility of Catholic Married Couples

Author
Karen Eileen Seaborn D.Min.
Abstract
Vatican Council II expands the theology of marriage beyond that of procreation and education of children to include bearing witness to Christ in the world. In professing and living their marriage vows, Christian married couples proclaim Christ’s love in word and action—for each other and the church and the world. This study provides the theological foundation for marriage as one of the seven ritualized sacraments in the Catholic Church. It draws on the Christ/church/sacrament model espoused by Vatican II theologians showing Christian husbands and wives to be the efficacious word of God spoken to each other and the church and world. It explores the church's evolving theology of marriage by surveying civil and liturgical rites of marriage from the church’s beginning to present time.
This thesis connects the married couple’s call to bear witness with the church’s preaching mission by attending to Scripture, church teaching, and preachers to show that husbands and wives who faithfully live their marriage vows through the entirety of their lives together, preach the kingdom of God in word and action from the pulpit of their everyday lives. It gathers wisdom from the discipline of marriage and family counseling, attends to practices that assist married couples to be more efficacious preachers of Christ’s love and notes destructive communication patterns that cause them to be countersign of Christ’s love. A description of the ministerial intervention is provided: a day of reflection, formation, and conversation for newly married couples based on the Rite of Marriage. It includes a compilation and analysis of data from three participant questionnaires: pre-workshop, end-of-workshop-day, and thirty days later. The thesis concludes by establishing why this study matters to the church and offers possible next steps for the future of this study.

Cultivating Healthy Marriages: The Juxtaposition of Preaching and Pastoral Care in a Retreat Setting

Author
Naomi Annetta Mitchell D.Min.
Abstract
This project focuses on the role of the delivery of pastoral care during the preaching moment as a means of cultivating, facilitating, and strengthening healthy marriages in the context of the Black church. The benefits of combining pastoral care, sermon preparation, and preaching in a retreat setting to several married couples are explored. Designed to help couples develop healthy relationship skills and competencies, the sermons provide biblical references, theological information, and practical tools of pastoral counselors. I show through contextual practice how couples learn skills and receive tools to assist them with cultivating a healthy marriage. I believe this type of pastoral care preaching is an essential homiletical practice to facilitate healthy marriages.

Preaching About Biblical Marriage: An Evaluation of Functional Elements in Martyn Lloyd-Jones's Sermons on Ephesians 5:22-33 as Contained in the Book Christian Marriage and Its Implications for Modern Preachers

Author
Keith Wayne Hamilton D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this historical and biographical analysis was to understand the life and ministry of Martyn Lloyd-Jones and to draw implications from this understanding for contemporary pastors more faithfully to preach biblically concerning marriage. The overall ministry philosophy and methodology of Lloyd-Jones have been considered along with his value for biblical authority, expository preaching, and biblical marriage. This purpose was accomplished through qualitative research using content analysis on primary and secondary sources by and about Martyn Lloyd-Jones to understand what he believed about Christian preaching and ministry and to know how he applied that understanding personally and in the pulpit.

The research design for this study followed a qualitative approach to studying data. The study also implemented content analysis when examining individual sermons Lloyd-Jones preached from Ephesians 5:22-33 contained in Christian Marriage: From Basic Principles to Transformed Relationships. These sermons were evaluated according to the functional elements of explanation, illustration, and application to derive implications for pastors today.

The research is developed into three parts. First, in chapters 1-2, the thesis and life of Lloyd-Jones is described. Second, in chapters 3-4, his value for biblical expository preaching is established. Third, chapters 5-6 set forth the evaluating methodology for the eleven sermons. Fourth, chapter 7 validated the thesis by offering the analysis of data and research conclusions, along with further suggestions.

THE DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF AN EIGHT-WEEK, SMALL GROUP-BASED BIBLE STUDY COURSE FOR MARRIED COUPLES SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO STRENGTHEN THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP

Author
David Alan Shaffer D.Min.
Abstract
This project seeks to answer the research question, “Does an eight-week, small group-based Bible study course for married couples strengthen the marriage relationships of its participants?” Today’s most effective marriage programs focus on important themes relevant to marriage and include transparency, a biblical foundation, and gentle accountability. Still, the question follows, “What comes next to further strengthen marriages?” This project answers this question with a process-based Bible study that, because of its design, strengthens the marriage relationship with improved communication, conflict resolution, and increased overall marital satisfaction (the three measures of this project). This methodology includes weekly individual study, couple discussion, and small group interaction.
Through the use of pre- and post-course surveys, the couples who participated in a study of Galatians provided ample quantitative research that yielded group, couples, and gender statistics. The couples’ data was measured by Positive Couple Agreement (PCA), which identifies couples’ responses as a relational strength when they choose the same response or are within one choice of each other (4 [agree] or 5 [strongly agree] on a positively worded statement, 2 [disagree] or 1 [strongly disagree] on a negatively worded statement).
The researcher designed Galatians: True Freedom – A Small Group Study for Couples to implement the new methodology to be evaluated. The quantitative data based on the pre- and post-course surveys provided the means to prove whether the three measures strengthened the marriages of the participating couples. The data supports the veracity of all three hypotheses (improved communication, improved conflict resolution, and increased overall marital satisfaction), showing strong growth in each measure, most notably with communication. These results led to the research conclusion: Yes, the methodology used in this eight-week, small group-based Bible study course for married couples developed for this applied research project did strengthen the marriage relationships of its participants.
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