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The goal of this study was to outline how pastoral couples in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia might strengthen their marriages. This is deemed to be an imperative considering the pain and loss of a broken marriage, and in particular a pastor’s marriage. It is argued that this endeavour will find a greater chance of success when the pastoral couple’s commitment to marital enrichment is supported by the Seventh-day Adventist Church administration and the church members.
Through an examination of the Scriptures, this study identifies intimacy in a marital union to be God-designed and blessed by Jesus Christ. Married couples who identify as Christian will recognise that their marriages are to be a statement about the love of God for his Church. This love is to be a self-sacrificing love just as Jesus gave himself in love to his Church. Pastoral couples who set out to enrich and empower their marriages and commit to bringing them towards the love of Jesus will find greater empowerment to minister to their churches.
Research in the social sciences reveals that genuine marital love will find its richest meaning through emotional intimacy. The study outlines how pastoral couples might find opportunities within the church setting to experience emotional intimacy, and how these opportunities can be made richer through supportive ministry from their administrators and members. The study also provides strategies for initiating this three- part ministry into the Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Australia. The study concludes that while not all churches might choose to take up this initiative, nor might all pastoral couples choose to make a commitment to strengthen their marriages, or all church administrators commit to supporting their pastoral staff in their marital journey, the project is worthy of investigation and inclusion in the SDA Church ministry program.
Content Reader: Bryan Craig, DMin
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Fischer, Trafford A., "Enriching Pastoral Couples’ Marriages in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia" (2014). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 156.