An Invitation to congregations to consider supporting life-long marriages with this innovative and time-efficient video series.
Why support Marriage Preparation?
SUPPORTS HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS: If the church is interested in the health and peaceful well-being of couples and families, then it has an ethical obligation to contribute to the creation of a healthy marriage. Healthy marriages are good for us.
STUDIES SHOW: A number of studies indicate that couples who have taken part in marriage preparation classes divorce at a lower rate and stay married longer. There seems to be little consensus on what content is best. Some studies claim a methodology, using a combination of online and in-person classes is most effective. More Than Friends can support this methodology.
NURTURES SPIRITUALITY: Couples getting married in a church setting instead of by a Justice of the Peace have already made a choice to consider spirituality a part of their marriage. In an era of post-Christendom, this contact can be viewed as a vital opportunity for connection and learning.
BUILDS TRUST: Clergy who helpfully facilitate conversations with couples before marriage deepen a relationship and build trust, These couples may approach them for counselling later.
FUN: Marriage classes done well can be a fun and positive experience for clergy and make celebrating the Wedding Service more meaningful.
“I don’t feel comfortable talking about communication, sex or money and so on”
You don’t have to be an expert. None of us are. Some clergy also feel uncomfortable because they are single or newly single. This resource is designed to get couples to have conversations with each other about five critically important areas in their marriage.
The videos contain the “teaching” materials and you can support couples as much you need or want to. Some clergy may want to do more exploration. Other clergy may just want to refer couples to the entire resource and talk with them when they have worked through the material. Some churches may give this area of ministry to lay leaders to implement.
It is up to you and your community of faith to decide how you want to use the resource. It is flexible and adaptable. It is also available for the couples to refer to long after they have been married.
“What makes More Than Friends different?”
Besides all of the attributes described above, there are other unique aspects to More Than Friends. Most marriage preparation classes do not consider the recent great strides in marriage equality.
More Than Friends does not make assumptions about gender identity or sexual orientation. It attempts to honour and celebrate difference.
This helpful, inexpensive resource will contribute to the health and resiliency of couples and faith communities for a very long time.
Want to share this handout with your governing body? Download it here: Why Do Marriage Preparation?