Full Project – THE ROLE OF PREMARITAL COUNSELING AND ITS EFFECTS ON CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE

Full Project – THE ROLE OF PREMARITAL COUNSELING AND ITS EFFECTS ON CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE

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ABSTRACT

Premarital counseling is usually a requirement for marriage when a couple chooses to marry in a religious institution. The research method includes both library and fieldwork. Information was gathered from Books, Journals, Bible Commentaries, internet, Encyclopedia, interviews and the Dictionaries. In addition, questionnaire was administered and oral interview were conducted. The researcher therefore recommends that pastors should make the premarital counseling program compulsory for the Christians intending couples to reduce the rate of marriage divorce that is rampant in some Christian marriages today and in the society. The researcher also recommended that churches should provide a marriage committee in their churches to make necessary investigation about the intending couples before joining them together.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

Marriage is noted as the oldest institution on the planet earth. It was divinely established and instituted in the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:24) by God Himself, and affirmed by Jesus to be a long life union between a man and a woman in loving companion and for the purpose of fulfilling an innate need for community and procreation. Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, and their children, and between them and their in-laws. Marriage is the union of a man and a woman who makes a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally (inherently) fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together

Marriage is a covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves life partnership which nature is pioneered toward the good of the spouses, procreation and education of offspring.

Then, the purpose of marriage is unity, complimentary and oneness. Nevertheless, looking in depth to what obtains today; the researcher discovered that some of the Christian homes are presently in chaos and some at the verge of divorce while some are already experiencing divorce just because they neglected premarital counseling before entering into marriage. In addition, the researcher also noticed that 40% out of 100% of Christian marriages today collapse within three (3) or four (4) months after the wedding, which was as a result of lack of exposure to premarital counseling, that is why the majority  of them find themselves in this marital conflicts. However, the remaining 60% are enjoying their marriages because of the important steps they took about premarital counseling before they entered into marriage. Onyango stated that most homes or marriages of today are far from good. Rather, they are bearable, tolerable or endurable. He observed later, that unmarried men and women are not receiving information as to what marriage is all about. He continued by saying that they entered marriage as green people without prior knowledge at all, which has always been the basis for divorce.Therefore, this study intends to look into the the effect of pre-marital counseling on Christian marriage using Christ Apostolic Church Oke-Gboluwaga District Headquarters Ore, Ondo-State as a case study

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Looking at what is happening in the society and in some of Christian marriages, it was discovered that some marriages have led to divorce and face numerous marital conflicts because most of the couples did not seek premarital counseling before entering into marriage. This means that the issue of premarital counseling is a phenomenon that every couple which intends to have a lasting home should not undermine because, it is important and it determines how a marriage will look like either good or bad. The researcher discovered also, that some church weddings do scatter within three or two months after wedding, resulting no or inadequate pre-marital counseling. Thus, this work aims at answering the following questions:

  1. What is the purpose of pre-marital counseling?
  2. What are the beliefs and practices of Christians regarding marriage?
  3. What are the effects of pre-marital counseling on Christian marriage?
  4. How has pre-marital counseling affected Christian marriage in Christ Apostolic Church Oke-Gboluwaga District Headquarters Big Joe Ore, Ondo-State.

1.3       The Purpose of the Study

The purposes of this study are as follow:

  1. To explain and discuss the benefits of premarital counseling
  2. To point out some challenges of marriage
  3. To help the intended couples in the church to ensure a strong, healthy, and lasting relationship.
  4. To prepare intended couples in the church for the marriage and not just the wedding day.
  5. To offer intended couples in the church the insight and understanding into their own temperament
  6. To help the intended couples in the church in order to build a solid biblical foundation for marriage.
  7. To incite zeal in ministers and counselors on the task of pre-marital counseling
  8. To inform couples in the church how to respond when issues arise
  9. It allows the couples in the church to view the matrimonial road before entering the course.

1.4       The Significance of the Study

The research will be useful to the following people:

  1. Ministers or Pastors who crave for a better premarital counseling as parts of their obligatory duties
  2. It will help young men and women who are preparing for marriage to understand some necessary things they needed to know before entering into marriage.
  3. Christian counselors in the churches would be able to put more effort in the area of premarital counseling
  4. It will help Christ Apostolic Church Oke-Gboluwaga District Headquarters Big Joe Ore, Ondo-State in solving marital problems and reduce the issues of divorce that are common in some Christian marriages today.

1.5       Delimitation of the Study

The scope of the study is limited to Christ Apostolic Church Oke-Gboluwaga District Headquarters, Big Joe Ore, Ondo-State as a case study. It is based on premarital counseling program and its benefit to the church and the intended couple.

1.6       Research Procedure

This research is historical, it is based on library work and field research. A detailed survey of the Bible, commentaries, Encyclopedia, Journal, books, internet, and dictionaries was carried out in LIFE Theological Seminary library Ikorodu, Lagos.

1.7       Limitation to the Study

The researcher was challenged by the inability of respondents to meet up with deadlines and submission of the questionnaire. The interviewer was not meet up the scheduled appointment which led to delay in its collation. However, the available data were used to present a valid work.

1.8       Definition of Terms

For the purpose of this research work, the following terms will be defined as follows:

Christian: Christian is simply someone who follows Jesus, who calls upon Jesus Christ as    his or her Lord as well as Savior (Rom. 10:9).

Christian Marriage: A Christian Marriage is when a marriage union takes place between two Bible believing Christians who truly want to serve the Lord together.

Christ Apostolic Church: The church is distinctly an indigenous African Church by its structure belief and practices; it is an independent Pentecostal church.

Counseling: It is the advice and support that is given to people to help them deal with   problems, make important decisions, etc.

Effect: Is a change that results when something is done or happens: an event, condition, or state of affairs that is produced by a cause.

Marriage: Marriage is the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of finding and maintaining a family.

Premarital: Something that is occurring before Marriage

Premarital Counseling: Premarital counseling is best defined as knowledge and skills-based training procedure, which aims at providing couples with information on ways to improve their relationship once they are married.

Role: A role is a set of connected behaviors, rights, obligations, beliefs, and norms as conceptualized by people in a social situation

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