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Zuxing Chen

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Marriage is the only covenant in the Bible that allows two people to be perfectly joined in all areas of life, from the physical to the spiritual. However, at Fort Bend Community Church (hereafter, FBCC), most of the married couples have not enjoyed an intimate relationship within their marriages, even though in most cases, both the husband and the wife love the Lord.

To improve the situation, a couples’ ministry platform called the Marriage Enrichment Retreat (hereafter, MER) was introduced to FBCC in 2008. This ministry has experienced major achievements but also various limitations as well. The MER focuses on the “marriage enhancement tools” rather than on the root of the problem, which is spiritual. If married couples ignore the vertical relationship with God, the maker of marriage, they cannot expect long-lasting effects related to the horizontal relationship between husband and wife.

In order to improve this, and as an extension of the MER ministry, this doctoral project proposes five spiritual disciplines for the Christian couples of the Mandarin congregation of FBCC: partaking of the Lord’s Supper; spiritual journaling; solitude, silence, and awareness of creation; Scripture memorization; and sharing the gospel with non-believers. With a successful field test in which four couples piloted the program for seven consecutive weeks, it is hoped that faithful practice of these disciplines by married couples will effectively improve the intimate relationship between spouses and with God.

Content Reader: Randy Rowland

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Rowland, Randy

Document Type





Fort Bend Community Church (Houston, Tex.); Church work with married people; Marriage; Spiritual exercises; Spiritual formation


Missions and World Christianity


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April 2018

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