Prepare for a gospel-transformed marriage
We believe it is God’s desire that our community allow the gospel to transform every aspect of our lives—particularly marriages, producing great joy and demonstrating what God is like to those around us.
Our culture (even within churches) tends to view marriage more as a means of self-gratification than a covenant relationship for the sake of God’s kingdom. It is tempting to make good things, such as love, romance and marriage into ultimate things in our lives, settling for less than the true satisfaction that is ours in Jesus.
Knowing the marriages in our community are vital in being effective ambassadors of the gospel, we take preparing for marriage very seriously. So seriously that we ask those of you interested in pursuing marriage to complete this pre-engagement process even before you set a wedding date. This is so preparing for a wedding doesn’t divert resources (time, money, emotional energy , etc.) from preparing for a marriage. One is for a few hours, the other is for a life-time.
Main Aspects of the Pre-Engagement Process
Information: Do we understand and believe what the Bible says about marriage?
Skills: Do we know how to put Biblical teaching on communication, conflict resolution, budgeting, parenting, sexuality, etc. into practice in everyday life motivated by the gospel?
Accountability: Do we have close relationships with peers and leaders that provide a context for growth toward maturity during the pre-engagement process and after the wedding?
Please don’t see this as a bunch of hoops to jump through so you are guaranteed you will have the perfect marriage or to please some leader in the church. It really is to love you well by preparing you for marriage. It is possible the elders and counselors leading you may ask for you to add or change something in this process.
Couple Living in Community
The couple is an active part of the covenant community, a missional community, and a DNA group.
- The couple attends/listens to Biblical Marriage Class
- The couple completes Biblical Theology of Marriage and Family Worksheet (Word doc) and submits it to preengagement [at] somacommunities.org
- The couple reads The Marriage Builder by Larry Crabb.
- The couple talks with their MC leaders to determine if they are ready to begin pre-engagement counseling.
- The couple notifies Abe Meysenburg of desire to begin pre-engagement counseling.
- The couple takes the Prepare/Enrich assessment and submits the results to Abe.
- The couple then meets with either Abe or a mentor couple to talk through their Prepare/Enrich results and the Pre-engagement Questionnaire (Word doc). Please plan for
- If the couple is ready to proceed, then they complete 8 sessions of counseling, dealing with communication, conflict resolution, financial management, family of origin issues, sex, roles and responsibilities, parenting, etc.
- Abe and/or Marriage Mentors will recommend the couple for engagement.
- DNA partners and MCLs will recommend the couple for engagement.
- Local Elder / Expression Leader will recommend the couple for engagement.
- The couple gets engaged!
Wedding details arranged with the person conducting the ceremony.
The couple participates in a 6 month and 1-year check up with Abe or marriage mentors.
The couple lives in grace ever after…
If this process seems a bit long and involved… you are correct… it absolutely is! The elders and other leaders conducting wedding ceremonies and responsible before God to care for you, want to be certain you are well prepared for this weighty commitment and that, as a community, our marriages are vibrant and bring glory to God—a marriage that brings glory to God is also a marriage that will bring you lasting joy because that joy is found only in God.