How can marriage counseling for married couples reduce the divorce rate?
In a recent article, an Assemblies of God church leader announces that reducing the divorce rate will require providing married couples with continued marriage counseling. Before marriage, many singles seem to benefit from counseling before marriage. Marriage counseling for couples will have a minimal impact without couples understanding the original design for marriage.
According to the article, Rev. Nabegmado, who was speaking at a vows renewal ceremony in Tema, said much attention was given to counseling on courtship, but that ended right after the couples had taken their marriage vows. He also said limiting counseling to only courtship had contributed to the increased divorce cases in the church. Rev. Nabegmado did not give figures to support his assertion, but the Ghana Statistical Service is reported to have indicated that about 600,000 marriages contracted in the country in 2014 collapsed. The number of divorce cases was said to be three times the number of divorce cases which occurred in England and Wales in 2012. The programme, dubbed ‘Renewal of Marriage Vows’, was organized by the Tema Community Four Central Assemblies of God Church with the aim of encouraging couples to be committed to their spouses at all times.
Before couples decide to marry, they need to understand the original design for marriage which will offset the need for marriage counseling after marriage.
The Original Design for Marriage
We find the original design for marriage in Genesis. Genesis 2:7, records that …”the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”. God placed the man He created in the Garden of Eden. Then God created a habitable environment for him, which included trees that were pleasant to the sight and good for food. God placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden too. God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden “… to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15).
Dressing and keeping the Garden of Eden was Adams original purpose. The word ‘dress’ in the Hebrew is ‘abad, which means to work as a servant. The word ‘keep’ in the Hebrew is shamar, which means to protect. God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to work as a servant in the garden and to protect the garden. Protecting the garden required that Adam become the steward of the garden. God granted Adam stewardship over the Garden of Eden.
God provided Adam with the path that he was to follow (Genesis 2:16 – 17). God instructed Adam on what he could and could not do. At that point and time, Adam maintained his relationship with God by obeying his commands.
God decided to provide Adam with a helper. Genesis 2:18 records …”The Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet”. That word ‘meet’ in the Hebrew is ‘ezer. Ezer means to help. Eve’s primary responsibility was to help Adam who was to work as a servant and to protect the Garden of Eden. The original purpose for the union between Adam and Eve was to work together as a team to serve and protect the Garden of Eden. Hence, the original purpose for the marriage between a man and a woman is to serve and protect the resources that God gives to the husband and wife through teamwork. The key for the husband is to become a servant of God so that God will provide resources for the husband to protect which will enable the wife to help with the purpose that God gives to the husband.
It is not marriage counseling that married couples need, it is a commitment to God’s original design for marriage.
Even by design, men will avoid marriage counseling because they are servants.
The Servant Leader
- The servant leader is a voluntary servant, who submits themselves to a higher purpose, which is beyond their personal interests or the interests of others.
- A leader who uses the power that is entrusted to them to serve others.
- A leader who, out of love, serves others needs before their own.
- A transformation teacher who teaches their followers, in word and deed, how to become servant leaders themselves.
- A leader who solves the problems of others
Alternatively, women will gravitate towards marriage counseling because they are wired as individuals who help. Therefore, if they believe that help is necessary they will circumvent the husband’s leadership and look for that leadership through marriage counseling.
Dr. Derrick and Mrs. Sheila Campbell PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012 (856) 566-3267 www.advancedmarriagetraining.com
Published books – Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land -Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land (Workbook for husbands & Wives) – Advanced Marriage Training for Singles
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Samaritan Baptist Church
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