Project Documents

Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Romulus Chelbegean

Second Advisor

Curtis A. Fox

Third Advisor

Richard Sylvester

Abstract

Problem

In my years of service as a gospel minister, I noticed that a sizeable number of church members are censured or disfellowshipped on marriage or family issues, including divorce, adultery or fornication. The reasons for these unfortunate situations in our changing society could be linked to misunderstanding about marriage and the needed preparations. The major root cause of these problems on the part of both the young adults and the older people is inadequate premarital education. This results in wrong selection of life partners, short circuiting the courtship process and misunderstanding of what constitute marital satisfaction and marital stability. The problem of inadequate premarital education gives room for single young adults to search for sexual intimacy from any source that they can access. In some cases, such problems lead to maladaptive sexual behaviors and corrosive habits that challenge wholesome heterosexual sex in the context of marriage.

Method

An eight-day premarital education seminar was developed and implemented at Abuakwa Seventh-day Adventist church in Ashanti Region of Ghana. This seminar was conducted from March 12 to 19, 2016, with the objective to prepare the single young adults between ages 20 and 35 for marriage. During the seminar, 90 young adults were taken through a 10 lecture presentation series that included both pre- and post-seminar surveys, question and answer method, video presentations and discussions among participants. The educational seminar which was implemented had few challenges and so after the program, an evaluation was done. Both the successes and the challenges were noted.

Results

Throughout the seminar, these single young adults expressed their joy for such a program to be conducted in the church, and wished it was done on a regular basis. It came to light that some of these young adults were participating in a premarital education seminar for the first time. The participants took part in both the pre-survey and post-survey, and were curious to study the solutions to challenges relating to securing stable and satisfactory marriages. The study also showed that the young adults recognized the need for premarital education as the most important part of the initial preparation for marriages. The materials used during the seminar motivated the young adults who showed their eagerness to select best life partners, acquire separate living arrangements, and foster good communication during marriage life. They saw the need to improve their religious faith and expressed their desire to achieve marital success and stability. The participants sought for clarification on communication issues and conflict management, sexuality and family planning for couples. They also inquired about the best way to choose a marriage partner, and when a young adult can say no to a marriage proposal.

Conclusion

The outcome of the seminar indicated that premarital education is the single young adults’ most important need, before they actually decide to date friends and select partners for courtship. It became clear that the young generation needed some theological foundation for marriage, and this confirms the fact that marriage partners need biblical support. It is generally believed that couples who have similar values and objectives achieve much success in life. At the end of the seminar, most of the participants agreed that the selection of a life partner and preparation for marriage go a long way to promote marital satisfaction and stability.

Subject Area

Marriage counseling--Ghana; Marriage mentoring--Ghana; Family life education--Ghana; Single people; Young adults; Church work with single people--Seventh-day Adventists; Abuakwa Seventh-day Adventist Church (Ghana)

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