Adults: Engagement, Marriage, Parenting
Most churches don’t teach about marriage from ‘the pulpit’; they leave it until people have found their marriage partner, and then some might offer engagement/marriage courses. Perhaps that’s leaving it a bit too late?
The biblical view of marriage is so different from society’s worldview, that all young people and adults would benefit from regular teaching about Christian marriage, so that whatever their past experience, they can build firm foundations for potential marriage in the future. At the same time, all engaged and married couples can strengthen their relationship further through using the many resources available to help them do so. The resources below can be helpful for those who are single, dating, engaged or married.
Single Dating Engaged Married (Ben Stuart, 2017).
Includes ‘How to know you know’.
Ready for Marriage? (Nicky and Sila Lee, 2010)
7 tests of love designed to reveal whether your relationship has the foundations upon which to build a strong marriage.
101 Questions to ask Before You Get Engaged (H. Norman Wright, 2004)
“A series of soul-searching questions – even difficult ones that need to be addressed – to help you discern if you’ve met ‘the one’”.
Rules of Engagement (Katharine and Richard Hill, 2009)
How to How to Plan a Successful Wedding and How to Build a Marriage That Lasts
The Pre-Marriage Course (Alpha)
The Pre-Marriage Course is a series of five sessions, designed for couples considering marriage, whether engaged or not, and wishing to build a strong and lasting relationship.
See course information here
7 Reasons Your Church Needs More Men: How to lead a gender balanced church supporting healthy singleness, dating, marriage and youth (The Engage Network, 2018)
See Chapter 9 ‘Marriage: what would it look like if things were working well in the church?’
The Marriage Book (Nicky and Sila Lee, 2012)
The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God (Tim Keller)
Married for God: Making your marriage the best it can be (Christopher Ash, 2007)
Marriage: Sex in the Service of God (Christopher Ash, 2003)
The 60 Minute Marriage (Rob Parsons, 2016)
Just Sex: Is it ever just sex? (Guy Brandon, 2009)
“It is common for high levels of Christian commitment to flow down the generations…but…The biological replacement rate of committed Christians is only just over 50%” (Evangelical Alliance, 2012, How’s the Family?)
How is your church supporting ‘spiritually single’ parents, where one partner is a Christian and the other is not?
How is your church supporting young people who are ‘spiritually fatherless’ – how many older male Christian role models do they have in their lives?
Parenting can involve many joys and many challenges. Christian parents need to disciple their children to grow in all aspects of their lives, including how to do godly relationships well. Churches need to support parents to do this.
Courses and resources
The Marriage Courses: www.themarriagecourses.org
The Toucan app helps you make the most of those spare moments in your day to invest in your relationship. Use it to help build a happier, healthier life together today.
A number of churches in the New Wine Network (and other networks) run a programme called Circle of Security Parenting®. To find out more about this approach and how it's used in the UK please visit the Connected Lives website and to find out more about the approach in general visit the Circle of Security website here.
The Prepare-Enrich programme helps couples prepare for marriage, enrich their relationship, or review and improve their co-parenting by taking stock of their strengths and growth areas. It uses the world’s leading research-based tool for improving couple relationships.
Marriage Prep in-a-day: www.marriageprep.co.uk
Freedom In Christ: www.ficm.org.uk/marriage
Love After Marriage UK
Book: Love After Marriage (Barry and Lori Byrne, 2012)
Other Cloud-Townsend Resources
Free video advice from US Christian Psychologists Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend on issues relating to spiritual life, emotional struggles, singleness, dating, relationships, marriage, parenting, goals and successes, leadership.