God values marriage and asks Christians to cherish their spouse and selflessly love them as Christ loved the church. Marriage is one of the clearest illustrations of God’s love for His church. By supporting healthy marriages, you’re helping your congregation learn to unconditionally love their spouse and illustrate God’s love for His people.
From 2017 to 2021, couples have expressed that their concern for a fulfilling marriage and intimacy has increased by 20 percent. Their concern about conflict resolution or arguing too much has doubled, and their concern about divorce has risen by 50 percent. Many are troubled and are looking for answers. Below are several ways the church can help its congregation enter into and maintain healthy marriages:
Offer Premarital Counseling
By offering premarital counseling to engaged couples the church is laying the groundwork for a healthy marriage for its members. Requiring members to partake in counseling before marrying them is a great way to help them start their marriage on the right foot, allow them to be more connected, and help them have healthier expectations once they are together.
Encouraging Mentorship with Another Couple
Similar to an intimate small group, a mentorship with a more experienced couple can offer the space to connect with other Christians and for less experienced couples to seek answers they would otherwise avoid in a larger group setting. Showing them an example of a healthy marriage allows them to visualize how to address their current concerns in their own marriage.
Offer Childcare for Date Nights
By offering couples a break from caring for their little ones, and helping them reconnect with one another, the church can both foster healthy marriages and serve as a healthy community for their children to be a part of. Parents are afforded the rare night off and children connect with other kids their age and hopefully make lasting friendships.
Sermons and Messages Focused on Marriage
By offering examples of healthy marriages, interviewing healthy Christian couples before your sermon, or by presenting a sermon on the importance of a Christ-centered marriage allows couples to have a healthy example of what marriage should look like in the Church. By showing them examples of other couples who have addressed various challenges or maintained a healthy marriage through struggles, members of your church can gain a clearer understanding of what is required in a healthy marriage and lets them know they aren’t alone in their trials.
Offer Counseling for Struggling Couples
Offering couples the option to address issues in their marriage with a professional could be a life raft for couples who can’t afford counseling. Including a Christian perspective is priceless when working through challenges and growing closer through Christ. Offering counseling with a licensed MFT volunteer or pastor from your church is a great way to offer accessible help for couples liking for help in their marriage.
Host a Conference or a Retreat
Allowing couples to take a retreat helps them to grow closer and to become more equipped to deal with life’s challenges once they return to their routine. Their weekend away can be filled with time to grow closer and the ability to work through questions or pain points they may have in their marriage in a safe environment. Hosting these events through your church allows God to be the center of their focus and allows them to address issues from a Christian perspective and heal. Fun events outside their normal routine will also help them grow closer as a couple.
There are several ways to offer examples of healthy marriages based in Christ and to help couples not feel alone in their struggles. By incorporating some of these suggestions in your church’s regular programing you are helping members grow closer with their spouses and with God.
Andrew Esparza is the founder of Kingdom Analytics. This company has served over 300+ organizations doing good in the world by helping better connect them to their community, congregation, or customers using advanced demography research. He also has experience in the church world, working for the largest high school ministry in the country at North Point Community Church. Andrew graduated from Arizona State University with degrees in Design Management and Tourism Development and is CITI certified in Social and Behavioral Research.