Marriage and Parenting Classes
A good way to start the discipleship in this area is to offer quarterly classes that go through each book, as applicable. With this frequency, couples who may need help immediately can get into a new class before problems become more serious. The leader should be someone who is already familiar with the material and working out the principles in their own life. The location is optional, and can be at Church or in a home setting. These classes are great for all ages and stages of marriage, as well as for pre-marital couples.
As couples become involved in classes, leaders need to be in prayer that God will raise up graduates to be marriage mentors who can come alongside and disciple other couples. It is to be expected that some situations will surface where more focused help is necessary, such as counseling and personal one-to-one discipleship. By now, we pray that you are catching the vision that this can become a fruitful and comprehensive way to minister to your flock. As believers become more involved, they will discover the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given them for the building of the body. As people understand God’s will for them as His children, the ministry will multiply and you will witness joy and victorious living among those answering the call to be His disciples.
As part of the follow-up process, be sensitive to the common problem of certain people taking on too much responsibility. Look for the moving of God’s Spirit on new people who may not be accustomed to discipling others. Once you have this marriage and parenting ministry in motion, it becomes clear that many of the past hurts for couples have been reactionary; the goal is prevention, not intervention after people are in full crisis mode. Using this material will convince you that the need is real for consistent marriage discipleship rather than unraveling long-time negative patterns and attitudes in the counseling room.
Counseling is an excellent opportunity to introduce our biblical workbooks and/or materials. For example, a couple comes in and it’s obvious that the wife is feeling very resentful, or the husband is a workaholic. When a person comes to a counselor, hopefully they are willing to do some personal work to solve their problems. Discipleship focuses on the spiritual root of a problem, exposes the ignorance and sinful habits they have formed. Chasing symptoms or listening to complaints is just wasting time on the result of living in ignorance or selfishness.
Discipleship counseling is:
- 1) Helping a person understand why and how the problems exist in their life.
- 2) Communicating the necessity of abiding in Jesus and His Word each day: living in God’s presence at all times; growing in personal obedience to His Word in attitude and action; faithfully and biblically fulfilling responsibilities, including marriage and parenting.
- 3) Training in biblical ways of dealing with problems – past, present and future through forgiveness.
Our workbooks are beneficial for both the counselor and counselee. They are organized in a way to teach God’s truth with personal applications and assignments to help them live according to what they learn. People who truly want to change will make time to do the work each week. Remember, God won’t do by miracle what we are to do by obedience. If they won’t do their homework, then what can you do for them? It is God’s Word combined with their desire to follow His will that brings about change.
A person who is unwilling to do their homework but wants to consume your time by complaining, judging others, or making excuses about why they can’t do what God clearly tells them, are just indirectly mocking God. God is not a liar; His Word, the Holy Spirit and a will to obey is all one needs to be set free and put their life in order. You need to stand on that truth.
Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law.”
The Amplified Bible says:
Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]—blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he.”
Pray and seek the Lord’s guidance for raising up disciples to help counsel and disciple others. Counselors must be equipped with discipleship tools and appropriate workbooks that cover a broader area than, for example, resentment, anger or communication skills. Often, particular problems are symptoms of ignorance in other areas of life, including marriage and parenting. Dealing with one issue (may) not address the root causes of a dysfunctional spiritual life. Remember, most problems stem from ignorance, rebellion or spiritual issues. God has the answer for anyone who will learn and desires to follow Him.
Good counseling will:
- Bring understanding to the origin of the problem: sin, which comes from disobedience, ignorance of some area of God’s Word (or un-forgiveness .)
- Identify the fruit resulting from the problem: sinful attitudes, behaviors, wrong disposition, anger, ungodly habits, strongholds, poor communication, etc.
- Using good biblical based workbooks will assist you in defining God’s principles, addressing the origin of the problem(s), and provide instruction on the correct thinking and behavior. (And of course this) includes marriage and parenting training.
Our material is set up to assist you in your (counseling) , you can visit both our websites to find out more www.fdm.world and www.discipleshipworkbooks.com.