To accomplish this goal, we meet with each couple on seven occasions for about two-hours at a time. Information collected and shared in these sessions is kept confidential to facilitate trust and gain the best result from the mentoring. The session subjects are Getting Acquainted, God’s Design for Marriage, Sexual Relationship in Marriage, The Husband’s Role in Marriage, The Wife’s Role in Marriage, Communication and Conflict, and Marriage & Money. One segment is added when a previous marriage is involved and another is added if either husband or wife has custody of children from a previous marriage.
During these sessions, we share in a practical way what God has to say about marriage. God’s word adds a stabilizing factor to the marriage and helps the couple sustain a relationship during the good and tough times. One question that is asked in each session is, “How will Jesus Christ in your life help you with…(current subject). Couples also are encouraged to pray together, and for each other.
Many pointed questions are asked, not to embarrass or intimidate but to provoke thought and conversation. The goal is to facilitate helping the couple understand as much as possible about each other’s values, priorities and requirements prior to the wedding. This approach is effective and generally will result in follow-up questions and discussions in future sessions. Also, the process provides a time for the mentors to share stories, sometimes intimate, from their personal lives to add credibility and trust.
An important outcome of the mentoring process is helping couples stay sexually pure prior to the wedding. To facilitate this goal, the couple, the mentors, and many times the officiating pastor, enter into a purity agreement. God’s direction in sexual relationships is provided and the couple is held accountable for keeping the agreement. The couples are given examples, and results, of people who followed and who did not follow God’s plan.
Approximately six hours of homework from two books is expected between each session. The first is a book, “Marriage on the Rock”, by Jimmy & Karen Evans. The second is a workbook entitled “Before We Say, ‘I Do’” by H. Norman Wright and Wes Roberts. The study time consists of working through one or more chapters of the text and two or three chapters of the workbook while comparing thoughts, beliefs, values and opinions with each other.
The service is provided through Broadway Christian Church. Therefore, its members are considered first. However, as a service to the community, all are welcomed. There is no cost for the mentoring, but the materials cost run approximately $40.00.
Broadway Christian Church provides a number of mentoring couples who are available for assignment. Mentors and engaged couples set their own schedules when assignments are made.
The mentoring process provides a safe atmosphere to discover what the Bible says about marriage – the responsibilities, the joy and excitement, as well as the challenges that are ahead. Additionally, it will promote the development of the strong relationship needed to help make the tough decisions both before and after the wedding.