ADM's brand-new marriage course – Building A Safe & Strong Marriage – will be launched in 2018, created by our Mental Health & Pastoral Care Institute. Co-Directors of the MH&PCI, Keith and Sarah Condie, give a sneak peek into this home-grown course, which combines strong biblical content with significant insights from marriage research.
Why did you develop the marriage course?
We believe, both from our experience and from others approaching us, that there is a real need for such a course.
As we set out to design the course, our focus was particularly upon youngish couples. There just did not seem to be many resources to assist couples who wanted to strengthen their relationships. We had seen a number of marriages end and other couples struggling in their relationships. We continued to develop the material over many years.
As we get set to publish the course next year, we hope it will help couples to establish healthy patterns of relating, particularly in the early stages of marriage.
Who is the course designed for?
The course is for couples of any age or stage of marriage who experience the usual ups and downs in their relationship. It is not a substitute for professional counselling where serious difficulties exist. It is also not suitable when domestic abuse is present in a relationship – such couples need professional assistance.
How does it differ to other marriage courses?
The course is a home-grown Australian product. It stands out from other courses by combining strong biblical content with significant insights from marriage research. The sessions include input from us (Keith & Sarah Condie), interviews with a number of couples on a range of relevant topics, some role plays using professional actors, and activities for couples to work through together.
When and how will it be released?
We hope to launch the course in the first half of 2018, after running a few trials early in the year. It is designed to be user-friendly and easy to run in a variety of contexts – in a large setting with numerous couples; in a home with a small group of couples; or even just one couple working through the course in their own home. It will be available as a DVD or online resource. There will a facilitators’ guide and a workbook for participants.
What do you hope that participants will get out of the course?
The title of this course was carefully chosen. We hope each couple completing the course will come away with the sense that their marriage is stronger and healthier. We hope the information and activities in the course will draw a couple closer to each other in a way that enables them to feel safe, to share openly and honestly, and to support each other through the challenges of life that we all face. Ultimately, we hope the legacy of the course will extend beyond the participants and bring blessing to all who are influenced by these safe and strong marriages.