As children of God, it may be a man and a woman’s hope for their marriage to strengthen and be built on Christ. After all, marriage is a covenant, a work of God that has taken its meaning also from God.
However, many married couples of today are seemingly losing the intention of growing their marriage with the strong foundation of God. We can name a whole lot of reasons why this happens, but right now, let’s focus on one: the lack of religious support in communities.
Apparently, only a few churches in the 21st century maintain a deliberate effort to keep married couples together in God. The attention of our churches, as it appears, has been skewed toward many other activities that doesn’t involve marriage. But the good news is that there are still a number of communities with churches where a marriage ministry exists.
What Is a Marriage Ministry?
A marriage ministry is a group or organization that imposes comprehensive and proactive strategies to help couples establish their marriages within the foundation of God. In a marriage ministry, married couples meet with mentors, who are often equipped with knowledge about marriage counseling and marriage itself.
The group is also a safe haven for men and women hungry for a practical, non-judgmental and authentic community of married couples who can relate to each other. It is an association where members can interact and engage in different activities so that couples can do more things together, which is obviously preferable to staying at home and whining about their marital miseries.
Having said all that, married couples who are walking with God with a desire to increase their faith together and those who are in dire need of support in strengthening their marriage shall find purpose and advantages in a marriage ministry. That’s why we’ve rounded up 5 ways that a marriage ministry benefits couples for you to see if a marriage ministry is what you and your spouse need.
A Marriage Ministry Helps Married Couples Build a Better Understanding of God’s Plan for Their Marriage.
As we mentioned earlier, marriage is a work of God. It is designed by God, and married couples walk in marriage with a plan that originally came from God. So what is this plan?
God’s plan is primarily seen in the book of Genesis.
“God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” [Genesis 1:25-28].
“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” [Genesis 2:24].
A marriage exists with a purpose and meaning surrounded by the firm foundations of God. But unfortunately, as couples run through the long marriage course, they often forget God’s plan for their union.
A marriage ministry helps you remember all these and anchors your marriage in the direction of God. Through the ministry, you can get help in building a better understanding of God’s desires and plans for your marriage by studying the Word of God.
A Marriage Ministry is a Vehicle for Married Couples to Meet Like-Minded Men and Women Who Also Work on Strengthening Their Marriages.
Professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro Rebecca G. Adams points out a fact that friendship plays a far more important role in our lives that is often overlooked. “There is just scads of stuff on families and marriage, but very little on friendship. It baffles me. Friendship has a bigger impact on our psychological well-being than family relationships,” the professor said in a report by The New York Times.
And her claims are actually on point. A study showed that social networks are crucial in lengthening the survival of the elderly. Apparently, social relationships displayed “significant protective effects” against mortality over a 10-year follow up period. Based on the findings, it is safe to say that friendship or social networks are beneficial to one’s survival, which brings us to our second point.
A marriage ministry unites like-minded couples. Through the organization, individuals are exposed to more people who they can connect with and make friends with. The bonds and friendships created within the group are actually valuable to the well-being of all the members, especially when their marriage is standing on a rough patch.
When you have a friend or someone who walks with you through a difficult time, you feel stronger. You have a support behind your back that makes you feel more confident, increasing your chances of surviving your battle.
Also, it feels good to have someone who can relate to you, listen to you, and understand you in this challenging journey called marriage. And that’s one of the many advantages you can gain in a marriage ministry.
A Marriage Ministry Hosts Events to Talk About Tough Marriage Topics.
Difficult conversations are inevitable in all marriages. At some point in your lives, you and your spouse would have to set the table for a tough marriage topic that none of you would want to talk about.
But such heavy conversations about sensitive marriage problems are “must-haves.” There is no moving forward without talking about them.
So, how do you go about it? How can you face each other in a conversation that you both know would make you angry, sad, or upset? This is another area in your relationship where a marriage ministry can help.
A marriage ministry usually hosts events such as seminars and retreats to talk about sensitive matters that spouses won’t dare discuss with each other. Through these seminars and retreats, married couples are given the opportunity to grasp a better recognition of tough topics and find resolutions to them without engaging in conflict with their spouses.
A Marriage Ministry Aids in Restoring Marriages in Crisis Through Counseling.
Apart from the retreats and seminars that are held through a marriage ministry, having a personal mentor is also one of the advantages. A strong marriage ministry has mentors or pastors who can counsel their members and encourage the restoration of failing marriages.It helps individuals by teaching them how to cope with marital distress and guiding them on how to respond to various marriage problems.
As it turns out, becoming part of a marriage ministry is not just about aligning yourself with people who share the same problems and faith. In this organization, you see an intentional focus on keeping marriages intact. That is why there are mentors and pastors who act as marriage counselors to the group members.
The method of mentoring in a ministry, however, is somehow different from a clinical psychologist counseling. The pastors make it a point to rebuild your marriage by keeping God at the center of it.
Therefore, you feel more connected as you share the same faith and goal. The counseling is also personal in approach, which makes you feel more comfortable in sharing your concerns and problems about your own marriage.
Because of a Marriage Ministry, Married Couples Won’t Have to Feel Alone in Their Marital Battles and Struggles.
It is painful and sad to face a marital crisis – even more so when you are doing it alone.
A marriage ministry assembles a community of married couples who are going through some sort of marital issues and those who have been through them successfully. In a ministry, you get to meet a lot of individuals who may be in the same situation as you or who have overcome a problem similar to yours. And this actually makes you less isolated and alone.
If there is a group in your church that works to save and preserve marriages, you feel like you have a safe place to turn when things get pretty dark at home. You feel the comfort that there are many people who are walking alongside you in this battle and realize that you never have to be in it alone again.
You gain new friends who’ll listen and give you meaningful pieces of advice that can help better your situation. You feel loved by the children of God because it is exactly what God desires, as written in the book of John.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” [John 13:34-35]
A marriage ministry benefits couples in many more ways than we mentioned in this post. It is not a simple platform where pastors preach the Word of God.
As a matter of fact, it is a huge channel where couples can learn who God is and how He can make a difference in our lives. It is a conduit where the transfer of learning about God and His plans for us is facilitated, which promotes a positive change among spouses and moves people toward God.