When asked, many people admit they simply skim over the content in an introduction section or they don't read it at all. Interestingly, these same folks also say it makes no sense to miss the first half hour of a long anticipated movie after paying a good bit of money for their ticket. Like the beginning of a good movie, we believe the Introduction section of I Promise provides the fundamental understanding for what is yet to come. Therefore, we suggest it becomes the opening session to the seven week experience. Couples discover how they will learn the materials in the workbook through their unique personalities and filters such as expectations, entitlements, and families of origin.
Chapter One: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made For Each Other
Likenesses may attract two individuals together, but most good marriages are bonded over time by husband and wife valuing each other's strengths and differences. Chapter One begins by helping individuals discover how God uniquely created them in His image, yet also with specific traits and characteristics. Then, using our Connect™ assessment, future spouses explore each other's relationship strengths how and they desire to communicate, resolve conflict and make decisions.
Chapter Two: Covenant Commitment
Do covenant relationships actually exist today? If so, what does commitment to the covenant look like? We believe real commitment is much more than being willing to endure difficulties until the next best thing comes along. The Bible has much to say about covenant commitment, so through a survey of Scripture, couples will discover the intimacy contained in God's covenant of marriage and why true commitment is to be understood in the mind before it can be successfully sustained over time in a relationship.
Most of us would not likely board a plane if we were unsure there was a pilot, or not confident the engines had been properly serviced. Planes fly without incident because many people with different roles and responsibilities all work together and because someone is in command, making decisions along the way. God knew, when He created marriage, the only way it would ever work right was for both male and female to have specific roles and responsibilities. In Chapter Three, couples learn what the Bible teaches about the specific roles of husband and wife, and the importance of one of them taking the lead. Couples learn to lean on each other’s decision making skills based on experience and their God-given personality strengths.
Chapter Three: Roles, Responsibilities & Decision - Making
Chapter Four: Communication
Many newlyweds tend to communicate like parents communicating to an infant child. They refer to each other as "Sweetie," "Honey" or "Little Pumpkin," even when they are frustrated by the other person's actions. In the Communication chapter, couples will discover and discuss the various aspects of communication. They will share their individual keys and barriers to communication identified in the Connect® assessment, and develop a plan for effective communication from a biblical perspective for those times when one or both spouses no longer seem so sweet anymore.
Chapter Five: Conflict Resolution
Fight, Flight or Freeze. This is what occurs when a person's ability to deal with conflict in a rational way becomes expended. Truth is, every individual enters marriage with an existing approach to resolving conflict that seems sensible to them. Unfortunately, many times these approaches actually prevent healthy conflict resolution. Chapter Five examines the concept of forgiveness and explores ideas and suggestions for couples to effectively resolve conflict while also keeping the marriage vibrant and healthy.
What a person believes about renting or borrowing from another typically determines how well they take care or "steward" what does not belong to them. The Bible claims that God owns everything (Ps. 24:1). If so, then what we have is either a gift from Him or is loaned by Him. The Bible is also clear regarding what it takes to be a wise and faithful “steward” of what God has given in marriage, including finances and yes, it's true, the gift of sex. In this final chapter, couples will explore the link between each of these within the marriage covenant. They will also discuss possible barriers that could keep them from experiencing financial freedom as well as enjoying sexual fullness in their relationship after marriage.
Chapter Six: Wise Stewards