Marriage Intensives Offer Hope for Strained Marriages
by Jim Brown
(AgapePress) - A Christian counseling center is experiencing a remarkable success rate when helping couples who are strained out to the point of divorce.
The Smalley Relationship Center's "Marriage Intensives" offer couples, many of whom are separated, an alternative to supposed "Christian divorce attorneys." In the program, five couples work together for four days, or one couple for two days. They meet all day long with two counselors.
Dr. Gary Smalley says the program has had a moving and powerful effect on lives. He says 92% of couples who take part in the "Marriage Intensives" program end up staying together.
"It's a dynamic like nothing I've ever seen," Smalley says. "Usually [marriage counselors] have couples come one hour a week for counseling over a long period of time, [but] this is like a massive dose of antibiotics [the couple] gets for four days. I've watched ... these couples turn around right on the spot."
The well-known Christian counselor, who has worked with couples for 30 years, is optimistic about what he calls a potential "marriage revival" in this country. But Smalley says divorce is still just as prevalent among Christians as it is in the secular world.
"They're doing the same things that the world is doing, and straining and ruining their marriages -- but they don't know why," he says. "So we get a chance to uncover the main reasons, and we've actually uncovered five of the main reasons -- they're very consistent. We're in the process right now of putting those five in a new book that will be done a year from now."
Smalley says he is thrilled that Tyndale Publishing is incorporating The Five DNA of Love into a premarital training program for children of all ages.