I am a marriage counselor and a minister. With these two dynamics at play, I definitely see the need for the Lord’s church to do more in respect to marriage. In his book, The Marriage Friendly Church, Dr. Camp has developed a method by which congregations can effectively assess the state of marriage among their members and work to turn it into what God would have it be.
It is important to note what this book is not, since it is easy to go into it with some preconceived ideas. Camp states very plainly that it is not a guide to a better marriage. Also, it is not a study on any doctrinal issue (i.e. marriage, divorce, & remarriage, or woman’s role in the home/church.) It is also not a “30 Days to a Great Marriage Ministry” guidebook. However, this book does outline a thorough “assessment process” that can change your church culture into one that helps strengthen marriages.
Camp addresses several issues within the church that may actually hurt marriages. He discusses the “church face” phenomenon where spouses act as though all is well when in reality they are crumbling. He challenges the idea that a busy church is a healthy church. Your over-packed schedule may do plenty for certain subgroups of your membership while actually destroying marriages in the process.
Much of the book is about listening to determine how your membership views marriage. This will give your marriage ministry a solid start as you work to minister to a portion of our society that is in desperate need of God’s love and direction. Camp then lays out a plan to get you started in a marriage ministry that will affect your families positively for years to come.
The book (with accompanying workbook) lays out an assessment plan that will work well for larger congregations, but anyone who wants to improve marriages within their membership will learn a great deal from this well-written book.