DBS PACO 603-Spring 2017


Discussion Board Topic 1. 1

Discussion Board Topic 2. 3

Discussion Board Topic 3. 6

Discussion Board Topic 4. 8



Discussion Board Topic 1

What is the status of premarital counseling in your church/community? What level of importance does your church place on the institution of marriage, and are they doing anything creative to support young marriages?

What is the status of premarital counseling in your church/community?

Faith Ridgeland Baptist Church (also known as Faith Ridgeland) utilizes the following protocols for premarital counseling. Pastor Henry Criss iterated that the church does not have an established protocol for premarital counseling; however, Faith Ridgeland has a developed a letter that each premarital couple receives who is interested in their marriage ceremony conducted at Faith Ridgeland.[1] Pastor Henry declared that the practice of the fellowship deems it inappropriate to marry individuals who are non-believers.[2]Pastor Henry iterated that the letter explains the Southern Baptist Convention Article XVIII position on marriage and the sanctity of marriage on the couple’s insistence that they are believers and still wish to be married by Pastor Henry, Pastor Henry then sets up an appointment to meet with them.[4]  At that point, the contents of Article XVII: subsection marriage is discussed at length with the couple.[5]

Steps taken to support premarital counseling.

The next step requires the couple to procure premarital counseling from a licensed pre-marital counselor. Due to the location of the church, and the fact that licensed counselors are forty or more miles away from this small town, Pastor Henry mentioned that an alternative methodology for counseling requires the couple to meet with him for several sessions.[6] During the sessions, the counseling model uses the book “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married” by Dr. Gary Chapman. Pastor Henry uses the Leader’s Guide to facilitate the sessions.[7] A letter of referral from the couple’s pastor is required before the ceremony is performed to ensure that they are indeed baptized members of the community of faith. The other Baptist churches in the county follows a similar process, but may utilize a different book.

Ongoing support for young couples.

An essential component of a strong marriage is posited in the inerrant Word of God.[8] Hawkins declared that the key concepts of entailed in a strong healthy marriage include “ intimacy, commitment, wisdom’s directives, reality, God’s sovereignty, the person, sexuality, communication, and companionship.”[9] The pivotal ingredient for strong Christian marriages is the realization that marital intimacy and strong successful marriages do not occur outside of God’s sovereignty. Understanding one’s future mate’s personality style, coping mechanisms, and also how they handle stress – prior to marriage eliminates the leap of faith that couples take when they do not participate in pre-marital counseling that discusses these traits.[10] Pastor Henry supports young couples by utilizing resource books that support relationship building.


[1] Henry Criss, interviewed by Joyce Gerald, Faith Ridgeland e-mail interview, Hardeeville, South Carolina, March 20, 2017.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Southern Baptist Convention, “Report of the Baptist Faith and Message Study Committee: Article XVIII The Family,” The Baptist Faith and Message, 2000, Marriage, accessed March 20, 2017, http://www.sbc.net/bfm2000/bfm2000.asp.

[4] Henry Criss, interviewed by Joyce Gerald.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Gary D. Chapman, Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married (Chicago: Northfield Pub., 2010), Facilitator’s Guide-Introduction. Some of the chapters in this book are very short; therefore the introduction to the facilitator’s guide proffers methods for combining the chapters “Some of the chapters of Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married are short, especially the first few. You might have your group be prepared to discuss two or three chapters per meeting at first and see how it goes. Be flexible.”

[8] Ronald E. Hawkins, Strengthening Marital Intimacy (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991, MBS Direct), 9.

[9] Ibid., 10.

[10] PREPARE ENRICH, Facilitator’s Manual (Roseville: PREPARE/ENRICH, LLC., 2015), 6-7, accessed March 20, 2017, https://www.prepare-enrich.com/prepare_enrich_content/training/facilitators_manual.pdf.



Chapman, Gary D. Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married. Chicago: Northfield Pub., 2010.

Hawkins, Ronald E. Strengthening Marital Intimacy. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991, MBS Direct.

PREPARE ENRICH. Facilitator’s Manual. Roseville: PREPARE/ENRICH, LLC., 2015. Accessed March 20, 2017. https://www.prepare-enrich.com/prepare_enrich_content/training/facilitators_manual.pdf.

Southern Baptist Convention. “Report of the Baptist Faith and Message Study Committee: Article XVIII The Family.” The Baptist Faith and Message. 2000. Accessed March 20, 2017. http://www.sbc.net/bfm2000/bfm2000.asp.


Discussion Board Topic 2

There are many ideas about why people should get married; Scripture even mentions more than one reason. Some recent publications suggest that marrying for love is a bad idea. Explore this idea using Internet resources and the Bible to articulate your point of view on this subject.

Today the presentation of the idea of marriage does not match the Biblical model declared by God’s word. Hartwell-Walker, a psychologist and marriage and family counselor, proposed five reasons why individuals should not marry the one they love. Hartwell-Walker lists  “(1) To escape the family of origin” as a logical reason why love should not enter the matrix of the decision to marry one’s, partner.[1] PREPARE/ENRICH provides research that supports the impact of the family of origin on couples and marriage; however,  PREPARE/ENRICH posits solutions that ameliorate the adverse impact that family of origin dynamics has on young couples.[2]  Hartwell-Walker posits another reason why couples considering marriage should not do so (2) Because it’s the next logical thing in a dating relationship or because parental expectations require them to conclude the relationship with marriage.[3]The construct of marrying because it is the “next logical thing” does not appear to fit the author’s original title neither does topics three to five offered as evidence as to why couples should not marry because they love each other.[4] Reasons three to five are as follows; (3) To fix the other person, (4) To legitimize sex and lastly (5) To avoid being alone.[5]

According to Gadoua “love is a luxury, ” and the main three reasons why couples should not marry for love are (1) Love is a changeable emotion and falling out of love occurs as rapidly as falling in love.[6] Gadoua continues, (2) Love does not make for a strong enough foundation and (3) Love is far from “all you need.”[7] Gadoua concludes the article with her recipe for  “strong, healthy relationships” as “1 Cup respect; “1 Cup shared goals; 3 Cups compatibility, 1 Tablespoon love, 1 teaspoon attraction (optional!).”[8] Note the exclusion of love admiration, friendship, and or companionship from Gadoua’s recipe. Additionally, Grant chose the wisdom and thoughts of Tacitus on why marrying for love “is a bad idea” to articulate why the current concept of marriage should be updated to meet the needs of society.[9]

Grant utilized circular reasoning to conclude that if love is the defining factor in the marriage decision them all forms of marriage that are outcroppings of love must be allowable.[10]Grant extended that frame of reference by declaring that gay marriages, polygamy and other societal configurations of marriage are worthy of consideration if love is the key that unlocks the door to the wedding.[11] Scripture declares that the thoughts that pervade the mind of humanity are incongruous with God’s thoughts (Isa 55:8-9).  God’s instruction manual for marriage is the same instruction manual for life. God declares that it is not acceptable for the man to be alone – the exact words “it is not good that the man should be alone” connotes the immensity of God’s perception of Adam’s need (Genesis 2:18 KJV).

God creates Eve not just for the physical companionship that Adam needed but for the permanent emotional relationship cited in Malachi 2:14 and Proverbs 2:17. Genesis 2:18-25 details that God creates Eve to be Adam’s companion and vice as versa.  Scripture also presents a picture that the covenant of marriage a reflects the type of relationship that God has for part of creation that He made in His image (Eph 5:32; Eph 5:22-33; Is 54:5; Jer 31:32; Hos 2:16; I Cor 11:11). Scripture declares that God loves the world (Jo 3:16).  Deuteronomy 7:9 speaks of the covenant of love that God has His covenantal people. 1 John 4:9-11 declares “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (NKJV).

Any marriage union consummated on anything other than love violates I John 4:16 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” For a Christian, marriage outside of love demonstrates that the individuals do not love God  Scripture details that “If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:19-20 NKJV).

Although this Scripture speaks to general relationships among humanity, it applies to the marriage relationship because Agape love ensures that Eros is not self-motivated. Love begins with friendship and what better way to start a marital relation than with an understanding of the value of your mate before Eros develops.

It goes without saying that for a Christian to be in step with God and His intention for marriage marrying for anything other than love goes against God’s will for that individual’s life. God orders the steps of  His people. There is no problem for which He does not have a solution. So, when persons who do marry for love experience marital challenges, and they have them, there are resources to support them such as people like yourselves who are becoming God ordained Christian marriage and pre-marital counselors.


[1] Marie Hartwell-Walker, “5 Reasons Not To Marry the One You Love,” Psych Central, July 17, 2016, para. 2, accessed March 24, 2017, https://psychcentral.com/lib/5-reasons-not-to-marry-the-one-you-love/.

[2] PREPARE/ENRICH, Couple and Family Maps, PDF, Roseville: PREPARE/ENRICH, October 25, 2015.

[3]Hartwell-Walker, “5 Reasons, para. 2.

[4] Ibid.,  para. 3.

[5] Ibid., paras 4-5.

[6] Susan P. Gadoua, “3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Marry for Love Alone,” Contemplating Divorce, November 17, 2013, accessed March 24, 2017,https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/contemplating-divorce/201311/3-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-marry-love-alone, para. 8.

[7] Ibid., paras 9-11.

[8] Ibid., para.11.

[9] David Grant, “Tacitus On Why Marriage For Love Is A Bad Idea,” Hestia Society, August 19, 2015, conclusion, accessed March 24, 2017,http://www.socialmatter.net/2015/04/11/1990/.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.



Gadoua, Susan P. “3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Marry for Love Alone.” Contemplating Divorce. November 17, 2013. Accessed March 24, 2017. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/contemplating-divorce/201311/3-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-marry-love-alone.

Grant, David. “Tacitus On Why Marriage For Love Is A Bad Idea.” Hestia Society. August 19, 2015. Accessed March 24, 2017. http://www.socialmatter.net/2015/04/11/1990/.

Hartwell-Walker, Marie. “5 Reasons Not To Marry the One You Love.” Psych Central. July 17, 2016. Accessed March 24, 2017. https://psychcentral.com/lib/5-reasons-not-to-marry-the-one-you-love/.

PREPARE/ENRICH. Couple and Family Maps. Roseville: PREPARE/ENRICH, LLC., 2015. Accessed March 20, 2017. https://www.prepare-enrich.com.



Discussion Board Topic 3

In the PREPARE/ENRICH training, Dr. Olson discusses couple strengths. There are a number of theories/ideas about what constitutes a couple’s strength(s). Some texts recommend that couples should be similar so that they have their likenesses to lean on in stressful times. Others contend that couple differences diminish the weaknesses of the other spouse. How do you approach this idea? Is there evidence in Scripture that supports your position?

Opposites do attract, but without commitment, the attraction can become a fatal and destructive one.[1] Hawkins posits that “Husbands and wives who recognize they are on the same team, striving for the success of their marriage, make an unbeatable combination.”[2] Intentionality within a team where opposites and differences in personality exist does not hinder the team from accomplishing its intended goal. Each member of the team intentionally develops the understanding that “togetherness” requires thoughtful, intentional efforts of understanding the other person’s differences thus resulting in understanding their needs.[3] Hawkins discusses the creation of Adam and Eve and the mere fact that God created each of them with different or “unique” strengths and attributes. [4] Each person brought the team their unique strengths and attributes without which humanity would have been impoverished and with which humanity was significantly enriched to serve as a fuller revelation of God’s image.  It appears that Hawkins is suggesting that God created the differences; therefore, are these differences also considered opposites? Hawkins suggests that the antagonism that developed between the differences/opposites in personalities occurred after the fall of man.[5] Therefore, the enemy has made differences a challenge rather than an enhancement between couples. These personality differences complement pairs rather than separate them or create friction.

Personality types indicate the opposites attract conundrum more than anything else.  Moreover, an introvert and an extrovert are attracted to each other – they complement each other and are helpmates in social gatherings and brings balance to the relationship.[6] Deuteronomy 24:5 demonstrates God’s desire for men to stay at home with their new wives to “cheer” them up! Could this be an example of an extroverted husband going off to war to leave his young introverted wife at home alone and with people whom she did not know? Although opposites do attract, the attraction does not have to result in a disastrous relationship.  Ephesians 5:25 directs husbands to love their wives in the same manner that Christ loves the church.  Hawkins proposes that companionship, not an automatic thing that occurs in marriages where opposites are intermingled-it takes commitment.[7]

The book Song of Solomon provides us with graphics pictures of how each person in the relationship describes the concept of love and their love for each other.  However, the bond was strong and heartfelt; the dominant character in this book is the beloved. The Shulamite expressed with poetic beauty the intensity of her love and commitment for her “beloved” even though they appear to be social opposites.[8]  1 Samuel 25:2-42 speaks of biblical opposites. Nabal, Abigail, and David. Nabal was brutish, displayed no social graces and demonstrated an attitude of ungratefulness. Abigail signified a woman of compassion, generosity and quick witnesses. In this instance, David was determined to require vengeance after being rejected by Nabal even though he protected Nabal’s property.  Three separate personalities met during the perfect storm of Nabal’s unthankfulness.  Abigail’s quick witness prevented David from committing an atrocity that God would have handled.  David, on the other hand, was attracted to her because she was wise and committed in her relationship with her husband.


[1] Dr. Olson states that although opposites do attract “They will need to remember to work with their differences rather than attempting to change or criticize the other person. It is helpful to look at the positives, even in very diverse approaches to the same issue.“ PREPARE/ENRICH, Facilitator’s Manual: Social, 71, PDF, Roseville: PREPARE/ENRICH, October 25, 2015;  I Corinthians 13 (KJV)declares “ 4 Love is patient, love is kind. . . . . 5 It does not dishonor; it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” This scripture suggests that love will encounter differences, but it also offers suggestions that enables couples to maintain relationships with individuals who are one’s opposite.

[2] Ronald E. Hawkins, Strengthening Marital Intimacy (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991, Vital Source), 13.

[3] Ibid., 123.

[4] Ibid., 15

[5] Ibid., 15; Gen. 2:18.

[6] Ibid., 80; 124-126.

[7] Ibid., 132 “Attraction must culminate in exclusive commitment to the other individual if intimacy is to be achieved.”

[8] Song of Sol. 8:13-14. He is outside socializing with his friends while he is at home waiting for him.  However, she does not resent his absence. She declares her need for him and demands a commitment to their time together.


Hawkins, Ronald E. Strengthening Marital Intimacy. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991.

PREPARE/ENRICH. Facilitator’s Manual: Social, 71. PDF. Roseville: PREPARE/ENRICH, October 25, 2015.



Discussion Board Topic 4

What do you see as some of the most impactful challenges involved in a blended family coming together under one roof? What areas would you seek to address in counseling a couple thinking about remarrying to form a blended family?

What do you see as some of the most impactful challenges involved in a blended family coming together under one roof?

Deal implores couples who are considering marriage with a blended family construct to take the time to wait and weight the challenges that they will face, not just as individuals, but as a blended family.[1] Deal iterated that using wisdom in the decision-making process fosters an understanding of creating a blended family with eternity in mind and not just as a stop-gap measure.[2] Christian couples who are considering blending their families or adding an individual into the family matrix who was not there at the birth of the children must bring every decision under the direction of God.[3]

Not only should couples consider the wisdom of their actions, but they should also both become actively engaged in educating themselves about the challenges of “familyness” and “coupleness” bring to the blended family and the emotional and psychological obstacles that occur when blending a couple attempts to blend a family.[4] Formulating and articulating a personal, relational, dating, family, and new partner silhouette creates an environment that eliminates the challenge of dating a partner who does not have a healthy sense of self, a strong relationship with the Lord, and understanding the impact of family of origin and its impact on the person’s knowledge of how to parent.[5] Deal proposes that the dating process determines how well a family blends in the future. Deal identifies several yellow and red light cautions that impact blended families.[6] Just a few of the yellow and relight cautions are listed below.

Dating Is Inconsistent With Actual Blended Family Living. A person who is quietly dating but is not prepared for a blended family experience is not ready for the rigors of a blended family.

A Quick Turnaround. A person who is looking for a relationship to heal past hurts is not prepared for a blended family.

Pressured to Marry and Willing to Accommodate. The impact of “church family” on the couple to create a new family result in a disaster for the couple who are not prepared for “blendedness.”

Caution: Character Issues. An individual with personality deficits tears apart relationships

A Difficult or Unbelieving Ex-Spouse. This scenario is one that the blended family will live with for a long period.  You are marrying a person and all of their life experiences as well as family experiences.

Someone Who Can’t on Occasion Sit in the Backseat. A person who must remain in control of all situation and who must be the “center of attention” leaves no room for joint decision making or collaborative discussions.  All members of the blended family will experience isolation and a sense on non-importance in this relationship.

Extreme Differences in Parenting. The inability to come to a consensus on how to parent will disintegrate and or prevent the blending of two families into a cohesive group where both parents are speaking the same thing. [7]

What areas would you seek to address in counseling a couple thinking about remarrying to form a blended family?


After completing The SYMBIS Assessment with the pair, and addressing their strengths and weaknesses, the areas of significant weakness that will derail the marriage will be addressed. The Dynamics sections will facilitate many of the yellow and red light cautions mentioned above.[8] Following the questioning style and protocol of SYMBIS will foster an understanding of the red and yellow cautions involved with remarrying. Also, exclusively utilizing the “Remarriage & Blending A Family” resource that addresses all of the areas above will heighten the awareness of the pitfalls of remarrying for the wrong reasons.[9]  Finally, utilizing the Biblical guide to direct the couple toward the importance of the presence of the Holy Spirit in their remarriage decision is crucial to the success of their marriage.[10]


[1] Ron L. Deal, Dating and the Single Parent (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2012), 4.

[2] Ibid., 8.

[3] Ibid., 13.

[4] Ibid., 20,

[5] Ibid., Chapters 2 and 3.

[6] Ibid., 161-182.

[7] Ibid., 182

[8] Parrott, Les, and Leslie Parrott. ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PRE-MARRIAGE MINISTRY. PDF. Bothell: SYMBIS, 2017.


[10] Ibid., SYMBIS Biblical Guide.


Deal, Ron L. Dating and the Single Parent. Grand Rapids: Bethany House Publishers, 2012, Google Books.

Parrott, Les, and Leslie Parrott. REMARRIAGE & BLENDING A FAMILY. PDF. Bothell: SYMBIS, 2017.

Parrott, Les, and Leslie Parrott. ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PRE-MARRIAGE MINISTRY. PDF. Bothell: SYMBIS, 2017.

Parrott, Les, and Leslie Parrott. BIBLICAL GUIDE: Integrating Scripture into every page of the report. PDF. Bothell: SYMBIS, 2017.


Comments are closed.

© You Are Not The Only One Ministries & Consulting Services Inc.,  All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise cited Written devotionals and posts on this page are the property of this ministry. You-Tube Videos are not the property of this ministry.

%d bloggers like this: