The state of Christian marriage.Questions are answered in relationship to Tim Clinton's work in professional leadership and marriage education. Sociocultural so·ci·o·cul·tur·al
Of or involving both social and cultural factors.
soci·o·cul factors concerning the condition and treatment of marriage issues in contemporary society are discussed. Dr. Clinton's approach to marital interventions and integration are presented. In addition, recommendations are made for marital interventions to local community and church leaders as well as marital therapists.
Can you briefly describe what kind of work you are currently doing in support of Christian marriages?
Few things in life are as rich and meaningful as a good marriage. I smile when I think of Julie, my wife of 22 years and when I read Ecclesiastes 9:9: "Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which he has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life and in the labor which you perform under the sun" (NKJV NKJV New King James Version ). Yet through the years I have learned that living a good marriage is one tough assignment, especially when so much tears at love and commitment. As a result, God has deeply burdened me about marriage, especially the marriages of Christian leaders. Consequently, marriage has become a central aspect of my ministry and a significant focus of the American Association American Association refers to one of the following professional baseball leagues:
1. Clinical Practice: The majority of my clinical practice today focuses on work with ministry leaders and professional couples in marriage therapy, as I've shifted to a reduced caseload case·load
The number of cases handled in a given period, as by an attorney or by a clinic or social services agency.
Noun now due to other ministry and professional responsibilities.
2. Seminars and Conferences: At AACC AACC American Association of Community Colleges (formerly American Association of Junior Colleges)
AACC American Association for Clinical Chemistry
AACC American Association of Cereal Chemists
AACC Anne Arundel Community College we have moved to theme-based super-conferences in 2002, in order to give more concentrated attention to issues such as marriage and family life. Nearly 25,000 counselors, pastors, and educators have attended our training conferences over the past ten years.
3. Resource Production: Relatedly, at AACC, we produce and I teach in education and training videos on marriage, family, and human sexuality This article is about human sexual perceptions. For information about sexual activities and practices, see Human sexual behavior.
Generally speaking, human sexuality is how people experience and express themselves as sexual beings. for the world-wide church through our Light Learning Institute. Over 60,000 individuals and churches participate in our various LLI LLI Liberty League International (Scottsdale, Arizona)
LLI Lower Layer Interface
LLI Lifelong Learning Institutes
LLI Low Latent Inhibition
LLI Long Lead Item
LLI Lake Lanier Islands (Georgia) programs.
4. Graduate Teaching: Teaching is a wonderful opportunity to stay centered and up-to-date, and I've always enjoyed interacting with students and teaching at the graduate level. Currently I teach M.A., D.Min., and Ph.D. students in marriage and family issues as Professor of Counseling and Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University, and recently served as a Distinguished Visiting Professor Distinguished Visiting Professor is an academic title bestowed by American Universities on prominent scholars who have been invited to teach a course in their area of expertise for one semester or more to enrolled undergraduate and graduate students. at the Regent University Notable faculty
Name Position Known For
John Ashcroft Distinguished Professor of Law and Government Former Attorney General of the United States and Politician
Admiral Vern Clark Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies Former Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. School of Psychology and Counseling.
5. Marriage and Family Journal: As part of AACC's commitment to scholarship and clinical excellence, Gary Collins and I helped cofound co·found
tr.v. co·found·ed, co·found·ing, co·founds
To establish or found in concert with another or others.
co·found , with Everett Worthington, Jr. as the Founding Editor, Marriage and Family: A Christian Journal. Now under the editorial direction of Gary Oliver, we continue to publish this peer-reviewed journal peer-reviewed journal Refereed journal Academia A professional journal that only publishes articles subjected to a rigorous peer validity review process. Cf Throwaway journal. which has a current circulation of over 10,000.
6. Writing: Believing we were made for and flourish in relationships, most of my recent writing has focused on Christian marriage and family life. For example, the following works include this support for Christian marriage:
* Attachments: Unlocking the Secret to Loving and Being Loved (Clinton & Sibcy, 2002). This just released work focuses on attachment bonds and relationship rules, and how that works out in our closest love relationships. Co-author Gary Sibcy and I used much marital case material and include a chapter solely devoted to marriage.
* Competent Christian Counseling Christian counseling is counseling done by a professional counselor who upholds the Christian value system, beliefs and philosophy. The unifying factor is the therapist, him or herself, who has integrated Christianity (Christ-centered and Bible-based), the research of psychology, : Foundations and Practice of Compassionate Soul Care (Clinton & Ohlschlager, 2002). In this 33-chapter, 800-page work co-author George Ohlschlager and I feature chapters by leading Christian counselors and teachers on marriage, family, and sexuality.
* The Soul Care Bible (Clinton, 2001). This thematic, NKJV Bible project embedded 116 issues-in-living, many of which focused on marriage and family themes. Our goal is to present material that is biblically-centered, clinically excellent, and able to help everyone more confidently use the Bible in their helping ministry.
* Christian Counseling and Pastoral Care (Clinton & Ohlschlager, in press). In a forthcoming book on advanced practice, we will include chapters on working with distressed couples, blended families, divorce and remarriage Re`mar´riage
n. 1. A second or repeated marriage.
Noun 1. remarriage - the act of marrying again , and sexual problems.
* The Marriage You've Always Wanted (Clinton & Clinton, 2000). This interactive couples guide developed with my wife Julie focuses on how to grow a stronger, more intimate marriage relationship.
* Before a Bad Good-bye (Clinton, 1999). This work deals with the cycle of marital disaffection, and I present a plan for intervention with distressed couples in order to avoid divorce and move toward marital renewal.
7. 'New Century Marriage Initiative': Imagine a global 'safety-net' of marriage mentors who are able to intervene with and walk alongside distressed couples and those who simply want to grow a healthy love. At the 2001 AACC World Conference, we launched the Initiative with the Smalley Relationship Center and many other sponsors. This campaign is a primary expression of my commitment to marriage renewal worldwide. More than 5,000 individuals and churches have already joined with us.
A number of dangers to the institution of marriage have been proposed including cohabitation A living arrangement in which an unmarried couple lives together in a long-term relationship that resembles a marriage.
Couples cohabit, rather than marry, for a variety of reasons. They may want to test their compatibility before they commit to a legal union. , increased religious heterogeneity, dual career issues, modern mobility, increases in the length of life and others. Over the next decade, what do you believe will be the greatest risks to the institution of marriage?
Each of the issues noted are certainly making a profound impact on marriage as we know it. What concerns me the most is our increasingly unbiblical beliefs about marriage--the way that marriage is valued so differently in this modern day. The sacredness of marriage and family life is being replaced by an idolatry Idolatry
responsible for the golden calf. [O.T.: Exodus 32]
Canaanite deities worshiped profanely by Israelites. [O.T. of selfism Self´ism
n. 1. Concentration of one's interests on one's self; self-love; selfishness.
the obsessive concentration on one’s self-interests. — selfist, n.
See also: Self that is quickly overtaking our culture in virtually one generation. "Me-firstism" and the 'cult of the next new thing' are indicative of how selfishness and materialism have leeched away at the centrality of relationships in living.
Remember the moniker (1) A name, title or alias. See alias.
(2) A COM object that is used to create instances of other objects. Monikers save programmers time when coding various types of COM-based functions such as linking one document to another (OLE). See COM and OLE. of the 1980s--described often in the media as the 'me' decade? And now we are beginning to look back and see the 1990s--especially in light of the current corporate scandals--as the decade of 'greed.' When "geed is good," and piling up ever larger piles of toys and things becomes our way, when "looking out for #1" is the idolatry of the day, we can easily conclude that selfishness is rampant in the world.
George Barna George Barna is the founder of The Barna Group, a market research firm specializing in studying the religious beliefs and behavior of Americans, and the intersection of faith and culture. and Mark Hatch (2001), in Boiling Point boiling point, temperature at which a substance changes its state from liquid to gas. A stricter definition of boiling point is the temperature at which the liquid and vapor (gas) phases of a substance can exist in equilibrium. , note the impact of this selfishness on marriage. They assert that "Marriage is not dead but is losing ground. Americans' infamous independence and individuality, combined with our revised values and the deterioration of key interpersonal skills "Interpersonal skills" refers to mental and communicative algorithms applied during social communications and interactions in order to reach certain effects or results. The term "interpersonal skills" is used often in business contexts to refer to the measure of a person's ability (e.g., communication, conflict resolution) have contributed mightily might·i·ly
1. In a mighty manner; powerfully.
2. To a great degree; greatly.
Adv. 1. mightily - powerfully or vigorously; "he strove mightily to achieve a better position in life"
2. to the decline in marriage among adults." (p. 42)
These values are not merely marriage and family Neutral--they are hostile to marriage. The exaltation of the self roars at and tears away the fabric of healthy marriage and family life. I would argue--even in spite of 9-11 and the spiritual and character benefits that some are experiencing as a result-that selfishness is not a declining value. I hope I'm wrong. But more, God speaks of a day when "the mystery of lawlessness law·less
1. Unrestrained by law; unruly: a lawless mob.
2. Contrary to the law; unlawful: the lawless slaughter of protected species.
3. " is at work, when a "strong delusion delusion, false belief based upon a misinterpretation of reality. It is not, like a hallucination, a false sensory perception, or like an illusion, a distorted perception. " will deceive a majority of people "who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness un·right·eous
1. Not righteous; wicked.
2. Not right or fair; unjust.
un·righteous·ly adv. " (2 Thess. 2: 7, 11-12). Are we now living in that day?
As Gary Sibcy and I worked through our recent book on attachments (Clinton & Sibcy, 2002), 1 began to understand more fully how a self-focused life impacts all sorts of attachment troubles and relationship problems. A me-first mentality ultimately leads to Godlessness god·less
1. Recognizing or worshiping no god.
2. Wicked, impious, or immoral.
godless·ly adv. , aloneness, even bitterness about life. It destroys our capacity to commit to others, and quells our natural empathy to care for and be cared-for by others.
In the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of our marital journey, we can also easily be overtaken by the everyday stresses of life. There never seems to be enough time to connect with others, never enough money to get things done. Old scripts and false expectations about marriage rise up to sabotage us, and the speed of life never allows us to slow down to evaluate our sin and misdirection MISDIRECTION, practice. An error made by a judge in charging the jury in a special case.
2. Such misdirection is either in relation to matters of law or matters of fact.
3.-1. . It becomes increasingly difficult to listen to the still, small voice of God that would help us understand Him and turn things around.
The social consequences and national trends indicate significant risk as well. Fatherlessness, drug abuse, high divorce rates, marital affairs, child abuse and abduction Abduction
expecting inheritance, kidnapped by uncle. [Br. Lit.: Kidnapped]
kidnapped at age five; taken from Scotland. [Br. Lit. , abandonment of the family, discord and violence at major levels in the home and in society profoundly impacts the next generation. These risks can be directly tied to our failure to embrace God and let him have his redemptive, curative curative /cur·a·tive/ (kur´ah-tiv) tending to overcome disease and promote recovery.
1. Serving or tending to cure.
2. , and life-giving way with us.
Whether or not these are the end times, they are surely times of increased apostasy apostasy, in religion: see heresy.
See also Sacrilege.
Aholah and Aholibah
symbolize Samaria’s and Jerusalem’s abandonment to idols. [O.T. that is resulting in great distress upon the things of God-distress in the church, and especially distress in marriage and family life.
Follow up: What do you believe is the cause of high levels of divorce in the Christian community today?
George Barna's research (2001, August 6) has shown that divorce rates are far too high in the church--rates that are comparable to the society-at-large. That is very sobering to me.
Yet I think we have to interpret that research very carefully--and not draw the blanket conclusion that faith makes little or no difference in marriage (for the difference that faith makes in health and living, see Koenig, 2000; Larson, Sawyers, & McCullough, 1998). Does that data discriminate between dedicated believers and those who merely attend church out of historical habit? Does it tease out those divorced persons who are returning to church in large numbers and seeking God for a new start in life? Does the data control for the variables that likely influence this equation? One thing is sure: we need to support more refined and discriminative dis·crim·i·na·tive
1. Drawing distinctions.
2. Marked by or showing prejudice: discriminative hiring practices. research on marriage and divorce in the church.
Certainly the data we do have reflect the fact that Christians are as susceptible to the contrary forces of the world as anyone else. Modern day pressures combined with the crisis in belief about marriage are piling up divorces at record rates historically. Lest we forget Lest We Forget is a phrase popularised in 1887, by Rudyard Kipling; it formed the refrain of his poem Recessional.
As a title, it may refer to any of:
Therefore, added to all of the things discussed in the previous questions, we could probably add this statement about church life at the beginning of the 21st century: The non-Christian world and its values may have affected--some would say, corrupted--the church more than the church has influenced the world for Christ (see Barna & Hatch, 2001; McDowell, 2002).
We have bought into the world's view World's View, Zimbabwe: see Malindidzimu Hill. of marriage in a major way--believing all sorts of lies that follow the false and seductive belief that marriage and my partner exist primarily to make me happy. Hence, when we end up "losing at love"--and when we become incurably unhappy as a result--we then blame marriage and our spouse for it and divorce becomes an alluring lie that promises a way out and a fresh start. If, instead, we would recognize marital problems as a call to deepen our marital love and better learn the behavior of good talk, true fidelity, and tender touch, we could spark a marital revolution.
In Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas Gary Thomas (born June 6, 1961) is an American jazz saxophonist from Baltimore, Maryland. He is a member of Special Edition and has worked with Cassandra Wilson, Wallace Roney, Miles Davis and Steve Coleman. (2000) develops the thesis that God's primary intent in marriage may not be to make us happy, but holy. Seeing marriage as sacred takes you beyond a self-absorbed life. Marriage should lead to transformed living, for in it we should also taste what it means to be in relationship with God. We are not called to grovel 1. grovel - To work interminably and without apparent progress. Often used transitively with "over" or "through". "The file scavenger has been groveling through the /usr directories for 10 minutes now." Compare grind and crunch. Emphatic form: "grovel obscenely".
2. in guilt because of our marital sins, or to despair over the sad state of modern marriage and divorce. We are called to an honest evaluation of ourselves in partnership, to humility and repentance, and to a Spiritled revival of marital love which points us ultimately to our constant need to know God more fully and intimately. May God open the eyes of our hearts.
David Blankenhorn recently suggested that a shift in how partners see marriage has occurred. He noted that couples today often see the partners as bigger than the marriage. In the past, partners saw the marriage, and faith or community-based commitments to marriage, as bigger than themselves. What are the consequences of this shift in values away from faith or community-based covenants?
The consequences of this shift in values are clearly implied in the previous two questions--and suggested in my answers. Furthermore, they were clearly 'prophesied' by Francis Schaeffer Francis August Schaeffer (30 January 1912 – 15 May 1984) was an American Evangelical Christian theologian, philosopher, and Presbyterian pastor. He is most famous for his writings and his establishment of the L'Abri community in Switzerland. nearly a half-century ago when he talked about the consequences of a culture that abandons God and adopts personal peace and comfort as its guiding values.
I'm reminded of a recent story about Bill Doherty (1998), a well-respected clinician and researcher. At a marriage conference Doherty presented a databased moral defense of traditional marriage, but he was challenged as being out-dated and inherently prejudicial prej·u·di·cial
1. Detrimental; injurious.
2. Causing or tending to preconceived judgment or convictions: to "alternative family forms," especially gay unions. This is what we should expect if we advocate too strongly for biblical marriage, violating the world's dedication to the autonomous self and the primacy of the personal rights over marriage. Biblically, a shift from the 'one-flesh' marital relationship Noun 1. marital relationship - the relationship between wife and husband
family relationship, kinship, relationship - (anthropology) relatedness or connection by blood or marriage or adoption (Genesis 2:2425) to 'looking out for #1' predicts a coarsening of the culture and the loss of marriage and family stability.
This coarsening process, as Romans 1 connotes, also shows a degenerative de·gen·er·a·tive
Of, relating to, causing, or characterized by degeneration.
Degenerative disorders involve progressive impairment of both the structure and function of part of the body. corollary when applied to marriage--a parallel process 1 (1999) have called the 'cycle of disaffection' (in Before a Bad Good-bye). When a person no longer feels safe, secure, or significant in marriage, movement away from or even against marriage can take over. The yearning for personal peace and comfort, while not bad things in themselves, yields a distancing and self-preservation in a pained marriage--subtly shifting the focus from the marriage to the self.
In a sense, this downward spiral is a reasonable response to an unreasonable situation. If not managed by God's help, though, it will corrode cor·rode
v. cor·rod·ed, cor·rod·ing, cor·rodes
1. To destroy a metal or alloy gradually, especially by oxidation or chemical action: acid corroding metal. to an intense self-absorbed attitude that often sabotages marital intimacy. Selfishness will degenerate to a defensive arrogance that demands the partner fulfill the human need for purpose, meaning, and value. Unless changed, this me-first "demandingness" will devolve devolve v. when property is automatically transferred from one party to another by operation of law, without any act required of either past or present owner. The most common example is passing of title to the natural heir of a person upon his death. to a place of avarice av·a·rice
Immoderate desire for wealth; cupidity.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin av and hostility toward the things of God--including hostility toward one's marital partner.
At its worst, violence can be unleashed--a raging war in the soul and a 'fist-in-your-face' hostility that can spark a fire that destroys marriage and envelopes an entire society. Obviously, marriage and family life are among the first and the most vulnerable casualties of this hard-heartedness as a mass phenomenon.
The Bush administration, under Wade Horn, is searching for ways to support marriages in America today. Marriage interventionists have tried to assist marriages in a variety of ways including church-based marriage enrichment, pastoral counseling Pastoral counseling is a branch of counseling in which ordained ministers, rabbis, priests and others provide therapy services. Practitioners in the United States are subject to the standards of the American Association of Pastoral Counseling and many are either licensed as a LPC , professional counseling, marriage mentoring, and pre-marital counseling. If you could make a recommendation to Wade Horn today, what would you recommend his office attempt to make a difference in marriages?
It is increasingly clear that growing numbers of lawmakers are being convinced that divorce is costly at many levels in society--that long and stable marriages are a social, economic, and policy benefit to the commonwealth.
As I understand, action to strengthen marriage seems to be most prominent at the state level in the form of DOMA DOMA Defense of Marriage Act (Defense of Marriage Act) legislation and use of the amendment/initiative process. Nearly 40 states have taken action to defend/define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, blocking the conferral of marital rights marital rights n. an old-fashioned expression for the rights of a husband (not rights of a wife) to sexual relations with his wife and to control her operation of the household. (See: consortium, loss of consortium) upon same-sex unions. Such legislative and citizen action seeks to block end-around judicial action for same-sex marriage Noun 1. same-sex marriage - two people of the same sex who live together as a family; "the legal status of same-sex marriages has been hotly debated"
couple, twosome, duet, duo - a pair who associate with one another; "the engaged couple"; "an inseparable and civil unions (as has been passed in Vermont) that could be pressed by litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. for recognition in states that would otherwise decline such acceptance.
At the federal level, the most ambitious and possibly effective action is the Federal Marriage Amendment The Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) (also known as the Marriage Protection Amendment) is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution which would define marriage in the United States as a union of one man and one woman. now before Congress, which simply states: "Marriage in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this constitution nor the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status marital status,
n the legal standing of a person in regard to his or her marriage state. or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."
Numerous states are also seeking to reduce divorce rates and strengthen marriage by passing 'Covenant Marriage' laws, which make it very difficult to obtain divorce for those choosing this option. Other states are experimenting with and considering bills to mandate pre-marital counseling. Even minimally, many states are extending the time period between filing for divorce and receiving one, in hopes that counseling and reconciliation might take place. While more research is needed to prove the efficacy of these efforts, I certainly applaud governmental moves in all of these directions.
Finally, I would encourage President Bush and the governors of the various states to consider and support the concepts George Ohlschlager and I presented in the 'New Century Marriage Initiative', which is excerpted below (Clinton & Ohlschlager, 2002):
Love soars no higher and tastes no sweeter than in the embrace of a good and godly god·ly
adj. god·li·er, god·li·est
1. Having great reverence for God; pious.
god marriage. On the other hand, there may be no greater suffering--save the death of a child--than in the death or betrayal of a marriage. Marriage is very close to the heart of God--he created it and ordains it. When marital love goes bad, the heartache--the heart's cry--pierces the very heart of God with grief immeasurable ...
Marriage is Under Multiple Assaults
Despite all we've learned about the benefits of love and marriage today, at the cusp of the 21st century, marriage is under attack. Christian counselors and pastors are daily on the 'front lines' of a war that is tearing at the fabric of marriage and family life, piercing the very soul of society ...
The Case for Marriage in the (Post)Modern World
The message on marriage of the secular elites is an increasingly indifferent, even hostile one. Even the National Council of Churches recently rescinded its support for a marriage strengthening resolution when gay-rights organizations Here is a list of gay-rights organizations around the world. Note that some organizations support certain gay rights while opposing others. International
So, is there any evidence for the value of one man/one woman marriage in this modern world? There is plenty! Consider the following notes on the benefits, which we developed from the work of the late David Larson and his colleagues at the National Institute for Healthcare Research (Larson et al., 1998), the University of Chicago National Sex Survey (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, & Michaels, 1994), and from The Case for Marriage (Waite & Gallagher, 2000):
* Married people live longer. Mortality rates among unmarried women are 50% higher, and unmarried men 250% higher, than comparable married persons.
* For men, being unmarried is more lethal than heart disease. Heart disease reduces the average man's life span by 6 years; singlehood sin·gle·hood
The state of being unmarried. does so by 10 years.
* Marriage is a major health benefit in avoiding early death by diseases influenced by behavior--suicide, alcoholism, drug abuse, smoking, and various cancers that are strongly lifestyle influenced.
* Married people are healthier. A strong positive correlation Noun 1. positive correlation - a correlation in which large values of one variable are associated with large values of the other and small with small; the correlation coefficient is between 0 and +1
direct correlation exists between the level of marital satisfaction and immune response immune response
An integrated bodily response to an antigen, especially one mediated by lymphocytes and involving recognition of antigens by specific antibodies or previously sensitized lymphocytes. functioning. The greater the satisfaction, the healthier the couple; the more tension and unresolved conflict, the more susceptible the couple to colds, Plus, and other communicable diseases communicable diseases, illnesses caused by microorganisms and transmitted from an infected person or animal to another person or animal. Some diseases are passed on by direct or indirect contact with infected persons or with their excretions. .
* Marriage means happiness. Married couples consistently report the highest levels of happiness and well-being. Single and widowed people report much lower levels, and separated and divorced couples the lowest.
* If you want great sex, get married. Married couples have more sex and report greater enjoyment from it than do single people.
* Sexual satisfaction increases with greater marital satisfaction, sexual fidelity, emotional commitment, and mutual trust.
* If you want to make more money in life, get married. The median income of the American couple (from 1997 data) was $47,000; for single men, it was $26,000, and just under $16,000 for single women.
* If you want to keep your money through life, get and stay married. Couples married 15-20 years had, on average, a net worth of $125,000. Couples married over 30 years had a net worth of almost $160,000. People divorced for 2 years had an average net worth of $41,000; after 15 years of divorce it fell to $21,000. Those who stayed single for 20+ years were worth just $7,000.
* Parents who stay married (vis-a-vis divorced parents) produce healthier, happier, less abused, less delinquent, better educated, and more emotionally adjusted children.
The 'New Century Marriage Initiative'
We at AACC are joining forces with Gary Smalley This article or section needs sources or references that appear in reliable, third-party publications. Alone, primary sources and sources affiliated with the subject of this article are not sufficient for an accurate encyclopedia article. and the Smalley Relationship Center, Les and Leslie Parrott and the Seattle Pacific University External links
• • Center for Relationship Development, Gary Oliver and John Brown University Center for Marriage and Family Studies, Norm Wright and his Christian Marriage Enrichment program, David and Claudia Arp and their Marriage Alive program, and others to make a bold new commitment to build strong marriages and healthy families, built on the divinely revealed principles of the Bible.
Offering the Hand of Marriage: The 'Five Fingers' of the Initiative
We are and will be investing considerable resources into the 'new century marriage initiative' across five arenas:
1. Marriage Mentoring: Training 100,000 Marital Mentors Throughout the World by and with programs like our distance learning "Marriage Works" program
We intend to train 100,000 marital mentors to live in longterm, invested relationships with other couples. These marriage mentors will be enabled to assist couples to resolve basic problems and attain improved levels of communication, conflict resolution, and mutually satisfying marital planning and living in the 21st century.
Over the next few years, we want to partner with 10,000 churches, para-church organizations, and Christian counseling clinics and agencies around the country to assist in this training. Already over 5,000 people have completed our training and are serving in their local churches as better skilled marital mentors. Well-trained mentors will be a potent marital 'safety-net' and have a significant impact for marital good in this country.
2. Marriage Resources & Advocacy: Supporting Marriage with High Quality Resources and a Strong and Compassionate Voice
We need to develop advocates for the cause of marriage, covenant marriage A legal union of Husband and Wife that requires premarital counseling, marital counseling if problems occur, and limited grounds for Divorce.
The declining stability of U.S. marriages has been dramatic. , for delivery of marital training and resources to those in need. We want marital advocacy--a common voice for marriage and family life--to become as strong and stronger than are the voices against marriage and family currently.
3. Marriage Education: Partnering with Marital Experts to Deliver High Quality Seminars and Super-conferences on Marriage, Sexuality, and Family
We intend to continue the Super-conference format on various marriage-related themes into the foreseeable future and concentrate marital and family ministry.
4. Marital Intervention: Delivering Healing and Restoration to Christian Marriages, Especially Pastor/Counselor Couples
We must offer and encourage counselors everywhere to deliver a variety of interventional, psycho-educational, and spiritual services. Geared for rest, renewal, and restoration to ministry or alternative career paths, we will offer both one and two week residential retreats around the country, with aftercare af·ter·care
Follow-up care provided after a medical procedure or treatment program.
the care and treatment of a convalescent patient, especially one that has undergone surgery. and outpatient services outpatient services Hospital-based services Managed care Medical and other services provided, to a nonadmitted Pt, by a hospital or other qualified facility–eg, mental health clinic, rural health clinic, mobile X-ray unit, free-standing dialysis unit Examples on an ongoing basis with specially trained helpers and AACC staff.
5. Marital Research: A National Longitudinal Study longitudinal study
a chronological study in epidemiology which attempts to establish a relationship between an antecedent cause and a subsequent effect. See also cohort study. on Marriage & Civil Unions
We intend to commission our best researchers and social scientists to launch and complete a first-class longitudinal study on marriage/union success and failure.
We hope to explicate the factors that make for the best and the broken unions across a wide range of variables--compatibility, commitment levels, communication, sexual behavior sexual behavior A person's sexual practices–ie, whether he/she engages in heterosexual or homosexual activity. See Sex life, Sexual life. , conflict resolution, values and goals, child-rearing, divorce attitudes/behavior, etc. We envision a comparative analysis of four groups, including: (a) hetero-couples making a Christian covenant marriage commitment; (b) hetero-couples marrying under God, but without a covenant commitment; (c) hetero-couples marrying without God, in civil contract ceremonies; and (d) same-sex couples uniting under Vermont's 'civil union' statute.
Follow up: What should churches be doing to support marriages in their congregation and community?
We need to pray that the Church will continue its awakening toward marital ministry and support for marriage and family at many levels as the culture devolves and abandons these values. Para-church organizations can 'fill-the-gap' just temporarily, and ultimately must partner with and serve the Church.
Again, our intent with the 'New Century Marriage Initiative' is to do everything we can to support the church in its effort to shelter, grow, and maintain marriage and family life as a core part of its mission. I would love to see the church supporting:
1. The training of dedicated marriage mentors-done in tens of thousands of churches in America and around the world to help turn the tide.
2. The 'Marriage Covenant' movement and the binding together to support rigorous premarital education and counseling in every community.
3. Compassionate couples and healthy families to adopt abandoned and abused children, to mentor broken families, to model the love of God to orphans--to the fatherless and parentless millions in the world.
4. Ongoing education, training, and resource provision in the areas of marriage enrichment, covenant marriage, and marital renewal and counseling.
5. The designation of a special Sunday for Marriage Renewal' or recommitment re·com·mit
tr.v. re·com·mit·ted, re·com·mit·ting, re·com·mits
1. To commit again.
2. To refer (proposed legislation, for example) to a committee again. by couples.
John Gottman John Gottman, Ph.D. is known for his work on marital stability and relationship analysis through direct observations. The lessons learned from this work represent a partial basis for the relationship counseling movement which is based on specific training and education of behaviors has proposed that training couples in communication skills is not as effective as marriage interventionists have believed. For example, he found that "master" couples who have demonstrated the ability to create a strong marriage only use the skill 4% of the time. Consequently, there is a debate among marriage interventionists about the utility and efficacy of communication skills training. Where do you fall on the current issue?
Marriage is a primary vehicle affected by the paradox of communication we all learned in graduate school. Remember how systems theory taught us that we "cannot not communicate" in marriage (or any relationship, for that matter). Everything we do and don't do, say or keep quiet about, communicates some message to our spouse. Our non-verbal, contextual behavior and emotional cues gives meaning to and expresses something all the time to those around us.
Therefore I think the question needs to be reshaped--this is a both/and, not either/or issue--to more accurately reflect the role that communication does play in marriage. That is not should we teach communication skills, but how should we teach couples, respecting their level of readiness and ability to use what we teach, to give and receive clear and honest messages--to better and more accurately learn the process and content of good marital interaction? And then I think we need to respect the fact--to humble ourselves and learn--that even this is not as effectual ef·fec·tu·al
Producing or sufficient to produce a desired effect; fully adequate. See Synonyms at effective.
[Middle English effectuel, from Old French, from Late Latin or important as we once thought it was.
To the degree that communication skills are overrated Overrated was a Horde World of Warcraft guild, based on the US Black Dragonflight Realm. On November 2 2006, the majority of the guild members were indefinitely banned from the game for use of (or directly benefiting from) a third-party "wall-hack", used to bypass content in marriage reflects, in part, the unfinished work An unfinished work is a creative work that has not been completed. Its creator might have chosen never to finish it, or have been prevented by circumstances outside of his or her control (including death). or redemption in the hearts of marital partners. To the degree that God's work remains undone in us--and I'm talking I'm Talking was a 1980s Australian funk-pop rock band, noted for launching vocalist Kate Ceberano. History
After the break-up of the Melbourne-based experimental funk band Essendon Airport in 1983, members Robert Goodge (guitar), Ian Cox (saxophone) and Barbara Hogarth here of sanctification sanc·ti·fy
tr.v. sanc·ti·fied, sanc·ti·fy·ing, sanc·ti·fies
1. To set apart for sacred use; consecrate.
2. To make holy; purify.
3. , not salvation--we continue to walk in self-serving, not marital-Loving, ways (see Ephesians 4:29-32; 1 Peter 3:712). This refers back to the crisis of values and beliefs about marriage that I talked about earlier. When a person's schema, or core beliefs on relationships remain polluted pol·lute
tr.v. pol·lut·ed, pol·lut·ing, pol·lutes
1. To make unfit for or harmful to living things, especially by the addition of waste matter. See Synonyms at contaminate.
2. with the ways of a selfish world, a consistent struggle will remain over learning to be intimate Verb 1. be intimate - have sexual intercourse with; "This student sleeps with everyone in her dorm"; "Adam knew Eve"; "Were you ever intimate with this man?" with others.
One could argue that communication skills training may, in fact, exacerbate marital conflict. If I am getting better at clarifying my wants and needs, getting more precise in communicating my criticisms, getting better at owning my desires, then to what degree am I really contributing to marital problem solving problem solving
Process involved in finding a solution to a problem. Many animals routinely solve problems of locomotion, food finding, and shelter through trial and error. ? As long as 'I-me-mine' remains ascendant in the heart, marital trouble will follow.
I'm not criticizing marital communication per se, but am pointing to the need for the redemptive work of Christ to penetrate deeply into our hearts. This way His love can be realized in our most precious relationships and our messages, tempered with grace, can be better given and received (Galatians 6:6-10; Colossians 3:1-17).
Explain to the readers how you integrate your faith/theology with your approach to marital intervention. How do you approach marital interventions and marital research in respect to your faith?
Faith should always inform and shape one's practice, since what one believes influences what one sees and does in therapy. Long gone is the myth of values-free counseling. Since I practice openly in a Christian counseling center, there is an expectation by nearly all of my clients that I will incorporate my faith directly and substantially into my work. This is also a primary value I bring to all of my professional work, so I do this without apology-with zest and anticipation, in fact. I love to see God come alive and have His way in therapy.
It is critical, however, to do this very carefully-to query my clients about the details of their expectation and win their consent. An explicitly spiritual practice and incorporation into counseling has (sometimes very) different meanings for different clients. For example, prayer can mean something quite different to a dispensational Baptist and a charismatic Episcopalian. Explicit prayer, which I do with most clients, is nearly always welcome and is experienced as a real blessing by myself and my clients. However, it can be uncomfortable, even unwanted by some. Depending on venue and circumstance, there may be times when a counselor must pray silently and out-of-session out of respect for the clients limitations (AACC, 2001; see sections 1-310 ff.).
I explain with George Ohlschlager (Clinton & Ohlschlager, 2002) in Competent Christian Counseling what we call a "paracentric" approach to Christian counseling:
Christian counseling melds together
(1) the foundations and teachings of Scripture, salted with the writings of the giants of church history on spiritual formation and pastoral care, and
(2) some of the very latest research, theory, and practice in Christian counseling, in the broader fields of counseling and psychotherapy, and the bio-psycho-social sciences, to produce
(3) a Spirit-directed, twenty-first century understanding of Christian counseling that is counselor-friendly, effective in facilitating client change, and geared to helping people mature in the ways and wisdom of Jesus Christ Jesus Christ: see Jesus.
40 days after Resurrection, ascended into heaven. [N.T.: Acts 1:1–11]
See : Ascension
kind to the poor, forgiving to the sinful. [N.T. ...
Christian counseling must be a biblical-clinical process that facilitates case-wise client sanctification ... It concentrates the relational encounter between at least three persons: God, the therapist as God's healing agent, and the client. Its goal is to skillfully skill·ful
1. Possessing or exercising skill; expert. See Synonyms at proficient.
2. Characterized by, exhibiting, or requiring skill. assist the client by delivering timely knowledge, wisdom, guidance, and support. These resources are aimed at encouraging the client to grow in grace and maturity in Jesus Christ, to find joy in the midst of trouble, and to escape the snares of sin, shame, and despair.
[Above all else in Christian counseling is] the person of Jesus Christ ... He is the invisible person who sits with us and our clients, charging our hearts with hope, drawing out the truth, enlightening our eyes, and anchoring our walks with his promise. He is the source of life-changing soul care ... Furthermore, Christ is the One who holds Christian counseling together, like a sun that holds otherwise chaotic planets in a firm and stable gravitational grav·i·ta·tion
a. The natural phenomenon of attraction between physical objects with mass or energy.
b. The act or process of moving under the influence of this attraction.
2. grip. Christ is the head of the practice and profession of Christian counseling ... [and He] will bring Christian counseling to maturity ... (pp. xiv, 51-52, 88-89)
The massive database on marriage-intervention, enrichment, ministry, policy, research-can and does illuminate our pursuit of healthy and holy living. However this must always be guided and shaped by the biblical revelation of Christ Jesus, and especially God's design for marriage and family life.
One of the more fascinating things I'm increasingly hearing from practitioners throughout our worldwide membership is that, over time, they are becoming more spiritual and Christ-centered and less clinical or psychological in their work with people. The message is not that clinical expertise is being forsaken-far from it, as most tell me they are becoming better clinicians-but that the invitation of Christ to supernaturally join in the clinical process is having a profound effect for good in the lives of those open to His intervention.
I believe that the proper balance of the bio-psychosocial and spiritual dimensions of living is coming into clearer view (see Clinton & Ohlschlager, 2002). God is moving mightily here as this truly seems to be a global trend in the same direction. I'm convinced that Christian counseling is coming to a place where Christ is being exalted first and foremost, and our movement is becoming a powerful force, fit for life-changing use by the One who redeems us all.
Empirical study of Christian marriage and religious marital interventions is seriously lacking. In your opinion, what are the most important studies that need to be conducted to advance our understanding of Christian marriages and Christian marriage interventions?
One of the most important tasks-describing in detail a normative picture of healthy vs. unhealthy marriage-must be accomplished. Besides comparing covenant marriage with 'normal' Christian marriage, with secular marriage, with same-sex unions-as in the longitudinal proposal we make in the Initiative above-I would also like to see research on:
1. Improving outcomes of all kinds toward the development of empirically-supported, prescriptive counseling manuals in marriage and family therapy.
2. Describing the behavior, attitudes, and emotions of mature Christian marriages and showing people how to get there.
3. The numerous ways and styles of conflict resolution and decision-making by couples in healthy Christian marriages.
4. Describing the 'normal marital life-span' that arcs across 50+ years of marriage and is applicable in different cultures.
5. How marriage survives and thrives in the face of great loss-death of a child, life-threatening illness, permanent disability, loss of sexual interaction, loss of income or assets, and the onset of Alzheimer's and other dementias.
If you were to give advice to someone who is training to work with marriages, what is the key piece of advice you would like to share?
I would affirm the choice to pursue a noble calling and encourage dedicated perseverance as it is a long and sometimes difficult road to became a skilled and trusted marriage and family practitioner family practitioner
n. Abbr. FP
See family physician. . More specifically, I would counsel a new trainee:
1. To embrace the 'sacredness' of marriage and to evaluate any graduate or training programs and faculty by firm, sacred values.
2. To ensure that any training is 'content rich' in marriage and family instruction. It is not necessary to become an entitled 'marriage and family therapist to do good work or even to specialize in this arena. However, carefully consider the curricula of any counseling, psychology, or social work program for its marriage and family content.
3. To be 'mentored' or supervised by someone with real passion and an obvious wisdom about work and ministry in this arena. It can be the most frustrating and discouraging work at times, and it is the most delightful and satisfying as well.
4. Most of all, don't quit. Stick with it and persevere per·se·vere
intr.v. per·se·vered, per·se·ver·ing, per·se·veres
To persist in or remain constant to a purpose, idea, or task in the face of obstacles or discouragement. through the hard times, and you will be rewarded with great and good times on the other side.
American Association of Christian Counselors, (2001). AACC Christian Counseling Code o/ Ethics. Forest, VA: AACC.
Barna, G. (2001, August 6). Born again adults less likely to co-habit, just as likely to divorce. From http://www.barna.org/cgi-bin/MainTrends.asp
Barna, G., & Hatch, M. (2001). Boiling point: Monitoring cultural shifts in the 21st century. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
Clinton, T. (Ed.). (2001). The Soul Care Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Thomas Nelson may refer to:
Clinton, T. (1999). Before a bad good-bye: How to turn your marriage around. Nashville: Word Publishing.
Clinton, T. & Clinton, J. (2000). The marriage you've always wanted: An interactive couples guide. Nashville: Word Publishing.
Clinton, T. & Ohlschlager, G. (2002). Competent Christian counseling: Foundations and practice of compassionate soul care (Vol. 1). Colorado Springs Colorado Springs, city (1990 pop. 281,140), seat of El Paso co., central Colo., on Monument and Fountain creeks, at the foot of Pikes Peak; inc. 1886. It is a year-round resort and a booming military, technological, and commercial city. : WaterBrook Press.
Clinton, T & Ohlschlager, G. (2002, August). Why we launched the 'New Century Marriage Initiative,' AACC eNews Pr cNotes.
Clinton, T & Ohlschlager, G. (in press). Christian counseling and pastoral care: Biblical wisdom and clinical excellence with advanced practice issues (Vol. 2). Nashville: Integrity Press.
Clinton, T. & Sibcy, G. (2002). Attachments: Unlocking the secrets to loving and being loved. Nashville: Integrity Press. Doherty, W. (1998). From hedgehog to fox. Family Therapy Networker, 22,50-S7.
Koenig, H. (2000). The healing connection. Nashville: Word.
Larson, D. B., Sawyers, J. P., & McCullough, M. E. (1998). Scientific research on spirituality and health: A consensus report. Rockville, MD: National Institute for Healthcare Research.
Laumann, E., Gagnon, J., Michael, R., & Michaels, S. (1994). The social organization of sexuality: Sexual practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press The University of Chicago Press is the largest university press in the United States. It is operated by the University of Chicago and publishes a wide variety of academic titles, including The Chicago Manual of Style, dozens of academic journals, including .
McDowell, J., & Hostetler, B. (2002). Beyond belief to convictions. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House
Tyndale House is a publisher founded in 1962 by Kenneth N. .
Thomas, G.L. (2000). Sacred marriage. Grand Rapids Grand Rapids, city (1990 pop. 189,126), seat of Kent co., SW central Mich., on the Grand River; inc. 1850. The second largest city in the state, it is a distribution, wholesale, and industrial center for an area that yields fruit, dairy products, farm produce, , MI: Zondervan. Waite, L., & Gallagher, M. (2000). The case for marriage. New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : Doubleday.
Dr. Tim Clinton is President of the 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors. He is Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care and Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University, and was Distinguished Visiting Professor of Counseling at Regent University. Licensed as both a Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist, he practices and is President of Light Counseling in Lynchburg, Virginia Lynchburg is an independent city located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2006 census, the city had a total population of 67,720, but is at about 70,000 residents as of 2007. , and is a member of the Virginia Board of Counseling. Tim hosts the national radio program Live the Life, and is a featured guest expert on the nationally syndicated Al Denson For the football player of the same name see Al Denson (football player).
Albert Wray Denson (born May 13, 1960 to William John Denson and Linda Wray Denson, in Starkville, Mississippi), more commonly known as Al Denson Television Show. An MA counseling graduate of Liberty University, he earned EdS and EdD degrees from the College of William and Mary Noun 1. William and Mary - joint monarchs of England; William III and Mary II in Virginia.
Correspondence concerning this article may be addressed to Tim Clinton, EdD, President American Association of Christian Counselors, PO Box 739, Forest, VA 24551. Email: email@example.com