Marriage

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.

CONTRASTING CONTRACTUAL AND COVENANT MARRIAGE IDEAS IN THE LIVES OF BELIEVERS FROM A MUSLIM BACKGROUND

Author
Nakhati Jon D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
Islamic marriage is a contract, and biblical marriage is a covenant. These two principles intersect and form a point of reestablishment in the marriages of believers from a Muslim background (BMBs).

Islamic contractual marriage ideas remain in marital relationships of BMBs. The intent of this study is to explore and understand the influence of Islamic contractual marriage on believers who now embrace the ideas of Christian covenant marriage.

The qualitative research will explore the believers’ understanding of their Islamic contractual marriage and their beliefs concerning biblical covenant marriage. BMBs retain a contractual view of marriage because they have not applied the ideas of covenant marriage, thereby affecting negatively their spousal relationships. Additionally, the use of certain cultural and religious terms reinforces their understanding of their marital relationship, often reflecting either a contractual or covenant perspective.

For BMBs and missionaries there is a deficiency of available literature that compares and explains the differences between the Islamic and biblical views of marriage. This study hopes to be a foundational resource to highlight areas which possibly are retained in these marriages.

Supporting interfaith marriage : tools for crossing boundaries and nurturing growth

Author
Bonni-Belle Fisackerly Pickard
Abstract
The prevalence of interfaith marriages has increased significantly following a radical social rethinking of marriage. Though faith communities have traditionally rejected those who ‘marry out’, such persons often have a deep respect for the sacred even as they push back against religious traditions which have lost touch with contemporary reality. This project addresses the low success rate of exogamous marriages by developing tools which enable interfaith marriages to succeed. It explores theologies of marriage derived from primary texts of Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, recognising the liminal potential of interfaith marriages to open new lines of communication between faith and society.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]
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