Marriage

Coping with divorce : effective program methods

Author
Stanley Hagemeyer
Abstract
This project is designed to provide the information local church leaders need to carry out ministries to assist those coping with divorce.

Chapter One presents a dynamic theoretical model for understanding the process of divorce to help shed light on the opportunities for ministry. The model ties together the events in divorce with the affective grief cycle. This synthesis shows how the emotional stages can be seen responding to specific losses involved.

Chapter Two provides components and strategies for effective programs addressed to the needs identified. These are drawn from research in thesocial sciences and illustrated by examples from selected programs in use across the country. The methods favored are also shown to be expressed in biblical models of ministry.

Chapter Three describes a variety of forms for this ministry that would be appropriate for different communities. Guidelines for selection and training of lay ministers are provided. Detailed learning objectives to guide the ministry are suggested.

This project shows that a specialized divorce ministry is, indeed, worth doing. Measurable results can be expected. Effective methods are available.

Seeking God's plan : a model for implementing biblical teachings on marriage, divorce, and remarriage in the Tyrone Covenant Presbyterian Church

Author
Robert Lee Berkey
Abstract
This book is a resource for pastors, ruling elders, and laypersons to aid in understanding biblical teaching s on marriage, divorce, and remarriage and in the application of these teachings. It includes an assessment of the church's ministry.

Part One, Marriage: A Life long Bond, reaffirms the biblical concept that marriage is an unbreakable bond.

Part Two, Let's Talk About It, is eleven brochures applying this concept.

Part Three, Compassion and Command, is a study of the ministry of the church to those who have struggled with this concept.

Marriage is a lifelong bond. In theory no less than liturgy Protestants attest the permanency of the marriage relationship. The marriage service has often included the familiar phrase "so long as we both shall live." Premarital counseling , at least premarital counseling rooted in the solid biblical tradition, stresses the indissolubility of this union. In practice, however, this principle has suffered.

Faithful conversations : same-sex relationships and the Christian faith

Author
Mara Joy Norden
Abstract
The evangelical Christian church’s collective heart is breaking over same-sex marriage; multiple congregations and denominations are splitting because they cannot live together with their differing convictions. In contrast, this project explores how a local congregation can grow in unity, purity, and peace while holding a variety of viewpoints on same-sex marriage. The project consisted of a congregation-wide event called <cite>Faithful Conversations: Same-Sex Relationships and the Christian Faith.</cite> First, the pastors complexified the conversation around same-sex marriage and the Christian faith beyond for and against by presenting five faithful Christian responses to same-sex marriage. Second, a licensed therapist facilitated a panel discussion where people holding different perspectives on same-sex marriage shared their stories, values, and viewpoints. Third, the facilitator invited the congregation to interact with panel members using an adaptation of the Restorative Circles process for people experiencing conflict. Data from the project reveal that this congregation defied the pattern of division over same-sex marriage. In fact, the congregation grew in authenticity of relationships, mutual understanding, and theological insight. Based on the results of this project, the researcher developed a model called Faithful Conversations: Same-Sex Relationships and the Christian Faith for use in other congregations.

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.
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