Consider Conducting a Restoration Marriage Ministry Training
A seminar for couples once in marital crisis, to learn how to help
other couples restore their relationship – a ministry of hope.
Every church has couples who have survived crises in their marriage.
Marital crisis can take many forms, whether it be poor conflict
resolution, financial woes, the death of a child, adultery, abuse or
addiction. Those couples walked up to the brink of divorce, and then
stepped back, healing their marriage through prayer and new selflessness
that replaced old selfishness. That wisdom is not being shared. It
remains private and untapped, an unused resource. These
“back-from-the-brink couples” have a valuable history of surviving
crises that destroyed other marriages. Yet clergy rarely think of them
as a resource to help those in a current crisis. Instead, clergy turn
them over to counselors. But what are their track records? Two recent
studies suggest that professional therapists save less than a fifth of
troubled marriages. By contrast, trained Mentor Couples, who share how
the Lord helped them to heal a marriage – can save four out of five
troubled marriages, the mirror opposite.
Why? First, a back-from-the-brink couple can speak with authority
about the restoration of their own marriage. They can be walking
parables of hope, a precious ingredient in a marital landscape of one
failed marriage out of every two since 1970. Recovered couples have the
same authority to speak that a leader of Alcoholics Anonymous has with
those plagued by an addiction to alcohol. Marriage Savers has endorsed a
similar Restoration Marriage Ministry with 17 Action Statements for how
to rebuild a marriage in crisis. Here are three of them:
- I realized the problem was with myself.
- I became aware that I needed to change, became willing to
change, learned what and how to change, and began to change with
- I have learned to put God and mate ahead of myself (became
humble before the Lord).
Over a weekend, Marriage Savers trains couples who have rebuilt their
marriages to tell their stories of recovery. We organize clusters of
four or five couples, who share a story on each of the 17 Action
Statements. Often couples have forgotten the details of their recovery,
but remember them, triggered by the Action Statements or by the stories
of other couples. This gives the couples a compelling testimony that
they can later share as a mentor couple, working with another couple, on
a couple-to-couple basis, who had experienced a similar problem.
In addition, Marriage Savers recommends two proven and effective
tools, which mentor couples can use with mentorees:
- Marriage 911 (formerly called Reconciling God's Way) is a 12-week workbook course which is
taken by a spouse whose partner is not interested in saving the
marriage. A friend of the same gender, uses a Support Partner
Handbook to serve as an encourager and an accountability partner.
The course is designed to help the person trying to save the
marriage to grow personally, professionally and spiritually. They
attract back their mate in more than half of the cases. Cost: $28
- Choosing Wisely…Before You Divorce is a five-part DVD series of
45 minutes each which outline the often unexpected consequences if a
couple divorces. A divorced man will live 10 years less than a
married man; a woman, four years less. The divorced are three times
as apt to suffer from depression. And the economic price of
providing two separate households form the same income is high. One
DVD focuses on the devastating impact of divorce on children. In
addition to the DVDs, Choosing Wisely includes a Leader’s Guide and
workbooks for both spouses. Mentors might schedule five sessions
with mentorees using this invaluable tool. Cost: $65.50 plus
For more information about fees and availability, call Mike McManus 301 469-5873
or click here for our info form.