Marriage is being attacked more than ever before in America, with more counts of single parent households, cohabitation, and high rates of divorce. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average divorce rate is currently sitting at 51.2% in American households. Broken down by region, divorce rates are highest in the South, sitting at approximately 54.8%; Midwest at 52.1%; Northeast 48.4%; and in the West 47%. One thing to remember with these stats is the South also has the highest rate of marriage and the Northeast has the lowest.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 62% of children in America currently live with both parents. It is equally astonishing that the percentage of 25-26 year-old married couples attending church has dropped from 40% in the 1970s to only 28% in the 2000s. Another aspect that seems to lead to lower rates of marriage and higher divorces is poverty. Other factors that influence the stability of marriage are finances, education, infertility, parenting, and extended family relationships.
As Christian life coaches, we know the importance of marriage to God, so we need to be the ones on the front lines to help focus these couples to not only want to marry, but also want to stay married forever. As the ones who are working with these couples on an everyday, every week, every month basis, what is it that we need to do?
- We need to work with them get their focus off this world and on to God.
- We should give them Scripture verses that show the various aspects of marriage and how God views how husband should Love their wife as Christ loved the church, and how a wife should honor their husband.
Scripture on the marriage relationship:
- Song of Solomon
- 1 Corinthians 7:2-4
- Ephesians 5:21-33
- Genesis 2:21-25
- They need be able to take arguments and turn them into discussions.
Discussions = both sides being heard = understanding = both sides win.
The more communication both husband and wife have with each other, the stronger they become as parents. The more they pray and attend church together, the stronger their relationship with God becomes, which helps them be more committed to each other and any children they may have.
As coaches, it is a blessing when we are able to work with couples looking to become married. We have the tools be able to put them on the right path to a strong, abundant life. Scripture is the greatest gift we can give any couple. We can be the ones who come alongside couples already married and help them put a plan in place that will effectively let them know where their marriages need to go, how they want to serve the Lord, how they want to parent their children, and how they want to grow old together.
Questions we can ask couples in sessions:
How do you see an ideal relationship?
What expectations do you have from your husband/wife?
How much do you want to know about the finances in your marriage?
How much time would you like to devote to Scripture and prayer?
What differences do you have in parenting?
Is there any more education you believe you need to build a better marriage?
Resources we can give married couples to help them along the way:
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Movies, such as Fireproof, What if… and Facing the Giants, that you can watch together
Each couple will have different needs; and it will be important to allow them to set their own personal goals for the marriage. Just like in other coaching types, we can set a plan of action in place to make each growth step possible. The ultimate result should be that the couple becomes one in everything they do.
All in all, as Christian life coaches, we can be the catalyst to help married couples by bringing them together to build their marriages as God wants. I pray that God grows in each of your hearts to help couples, and that He sends them to you. Don’t forget that you have been given a special calling by God to be a Christian life coach, and I believe in you.
Michael Gage, BCACLC, is a Board Certified Christian Life Coach and the Founder of Narrow Path Seekers Coaching (www.narrowpathseekers.com). Call him at 804-869-0218 for more information.