The Getting Ready for Marriage book, workbook and online app is all meant to give you education and communication opportunities to prepare you for the most important human relationship--your marriage. However, we believe you can always benefit from spending time with a pastor, counselor or marriage mentor discussing marriage issues.
Yes! Many of the workbook exercises and communication experiences are intended to be personal between you and your fiancé, but the humorous video vignettes and short teachings from Jim and Doug can be played and discussed in a class or small group setting.
Many churches hold a regular Getting Ready for Marriage series where couples commit to meeting for a 4 to 6 week "class" to teach and discuss the basics of pre-marriage preparation. Oftentimes couples tell us that a class setting, where there is healthy sharing and discussion, enhances their readiness for marriage in an exponential way. Some groups will continue meeting together after their marriage, as newly married couples, as a way of replenishing their relationship and friendships.
Yes! We have found that when couples are seriously dating (but not engaged), that the questions, activities, and book topics are the type of content that can help you decide if and when you would commit to marriage.
No. No. No! Doug and Jim are Christians so there is an obvious Christian worldview of marriage taught. Non-Christians have expressed that this material is presented in a non-judgmental and practical way. You will not find it "preachy" or Sunday School-esque. The purpose of Getting Ready for Marriage is to prepare you for a flourishing lifelong commitment to each other. The spiritual component of your relationship is worth considering.
While this resource was created to be used by the couples directly, over time, we found that some pastors/counselors were incorporating this into their premarital sessions. Now, we have pastors all of the country implementing this in their sessions - but all in different ways:
Some have the couple use the Online App and read the Book and Workbook BEFORE meeting with the pastor, and then login and review it all together in their sessions, little by little. Others go through the Online App, Book and Workbook in sections according to the amount of sessions they have together. Each is designed to be a conversation starter of sorts for these types of sessions.
One primary way that pastors/counselors are using this resource is by sending their engaged couples a login to the Online App for them to use on their own. They ask the couples to do all of the quizzes prior to starting. Then, they watch the videos together and do the follow-up questions as a group (couple w/ pastor). The Book and Workbook are great companions and can be done together or on an individual basis.
Also, we offer a Small Group Guide for pastors to lead this in a group setting.