Originally posted on the Faith Formation Learning Exchange blog.
Marriage, family, faith formation at home… there is simply a mountain of evidence that tells us why we should be putting more effort into this arena of ministry. A key reason why families are so important for faith formation is because emotions are so important for long-term learning. Research continues to confirm that emotions are the glue of learning. People need to be in the right emotional disposition in order to learn and retain what they have learned. Emotional bonds are strongest in families. This is why the home is the ideal learning environment and it is also why kids from healthy families learn healthy habits and kids from unhealthy families learn unhealthy habits.
While efforts to help parents with parenting skills are important and need to continue, the core of a healthy two-parent family is a healthy marriage. Assess your ministry efforts. How much time is your ministry team putting into helping married couples? Assess your budget. How much money are you putting into helping married couples? For most churches, both of those numbers need to increase.Here are some simple truth messages you can be sending to married couples on a regular and rotating basis. Get these messages out there and support them with programs and resources that teach the skills to make these twenty-five things happen:
One final note. When you work with married couples, start by teaching proven skills for marriage rather than starting with doctrines or moral teachings. Good theology grows from thoughtful and inspired reflection on human experience. Use the social sciences to learn about these skills. Here are two websites where you can learn much about marriage skill building:
by Jim Merhaut