The following are Web Site Links and resource descriptions for those that are preparing for marriage. We pray you will find them helpful.

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• Growthrac Pre-marriage Mentoring This program is designed to give your marriage a solid advantage! It can help you to: – Develop skills – Align expectations – Discover strength and growth areas – Build a support system – Identify tools and resources that could help you during this time in your relationship together as well as after marriage.

• Mattaboutmoney.com This is a web site, which features articles and practical tips put together by Matt Bell who is a full-time personal finance writer and speaker. He has authored three books and continually writes articles, appears on both radio and TV, helping others get their finances in order. There are two areas of Matt’s web site, which you may be particularly interested in reading through —”Money and Marriage” and “Faith and Finances.”

Prepinc.com PREP (Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program) is one of the most comprehensive and well respected divorce-prevention/marriage enhancing programs in the world. PREP is a skills and principles-building curriculum designed to help partners say what they need to say, get to the heart of problems, and increase their connection with each other. PREP is for couples who want to make their marriage be the best it can be. It doesn’t matter whether you have a new found love, you’re gritting your teeth as your teen gets his license, or your youngest has left you with an empty nest. PREP offers you the chance to discover how to enjoy your marriage no matter where you are today or what tomorrow may bring.

Prepare-enrich.com They began in 1980 as a result of several research projects at the University of Minnesota in which Dr. David Olson developed a set of inventories for couples known as PREPARE/ENRICH. Because of the demand for the inventories, Dr. Olson began the company PREPARE/ENRICH (now called Life Innovations) to provide these helpful tools to counselors and clergy members. There are now a total of 5 couple inventories that can be used for premarital and married couples. We have also trained over 60,000 PREPARE/ENRICH Counselors in the U.S., and have 13 International Offices. Over 2 million couples have completed one of the couple inventories.

Lesandleslie.com This is the web site for Dr Les and Dr Leslie Parrott who are a husband-and-wife team who not only share the same name, but the same passion for helping others build healthy relationships. In 1991, the Parrotts founded the Center for Relationship Development on the campus of Seattle Pacific University —a groundbreaking program dedicated to teaching the basics of good relationships. Their web site has free videos that you can view on your computer which gives relationship advice on many different subjects including “Pre-marital” as well as “Mentoring.” We highly advise that you visit their web site to see what they can offer you.

Startmarriageright.com Whether you are single, dating, engaged, or newlyweds, this web site is created for you with articles, interviews, and resources to help you prepare for marriage, because as they say, “We believe that your wedding day is just the beginning!” (And we agree.)

RESOURCES:

BEFORE THE RING – NEW REVISED -by William L Coleman, published by Discovery House Publishers. This book has a different “spin” on things than most, because it actually focuses in on helping couples to know if they really SHOULD consider marriage. It’s a book that is designed for couples to take the time to get to know each other all the more. It suggests questions for couples to to consider. Every couple wants an ideal marriage. They want assurance that their love will last a lifetime. They want some guarantee that they are making the right decision. Although there are no guarantees, author William Coleman says there is a way to assure yourself that you are marrying the right person. Ask questions —lots of questions. Of yourself. Of each other. And then be honest with your answers. To get reliable answers, you have to ask the right questions. And that’s the goal of this book.

Before “I Do”: Preparing for the Full Marriage Experience -by K. Jason Krafsky, published by Turn the Tide Resource Group, and can be ordered at their website at: Fullmarriageexperience.com. This is an excellent Pre-marriage workbook which we HIGHLY recommend. We see it as an invaluable tool to help those who are considering marriage become much better prepared as it gives sound Biblical counsel and principles, integrates proven relationship insights and learn relationship fundamentals, and attain the skills to live the Full Marriage Experience. Couples benefit greatly by the topics covered, the issues raised, and the questions asked, which they’ve probably never discussed before. While the book is filled with useful information, it engages readers to interact with the material, and more importantly, their future mate. It also can be used with a “Marriage Investor” (clergy, small group leaders, marriage mentors, a seasoned married couple or counselor who acts as a pre-marital education facilitator). As they say, “meeting regularly with someone a little older and wiser will only enhance your pre-marital experience. They can provide perspective, accountability, and insights.” This is a GREAT resource!

Building Your Marriage Upon the Rock is an in-depth premarital workbook “with the Bible as your authority and guide.” It is written by Mike Williamson. The goal of this book is to “present material relevant to a broad-based audience of differing upbringings and life situations. Some workbooks take a more lighthearted approach, which might work well for couples who have maintained their purity, who come from wonderful families, and who have well-balanced lives. This book will certainly work for them, but it also speaks to those whose lives have been messed up or who, apart from God have made a mess of their lives.”

Called Together -written by Steve and Mary Prokopchak, published by Destiny Image Books. This workbook, designed for couple-to-couple mentoring or personal use, prepares couples for a successful, God-honoring marriage. It also addresses the challenges of remarriage, intercultural marriage and senior adult remarriage. Whether you’re considering marriage or remarriage or you counsel those who are, this book supplies down-to-earth advice and biblical wisdom on how to: be certain that God has called you together, combine future goals and coordinate a long-term marriage mission, interact constructively in verbal and nonverbal ways, view finances from a biblical perspective, relate sexually to your partner, plan a God-honoring ceremony; plus it includes post-marital checkups on communication, emotional needs, goal setting, budgeting and forgiveness.

Fit to be Tied -written by Bill and Lynne Hybels, published by Zondervan. This is one of our favorite books for those contemplating marriage. In it, Bill and Lynne Hybels draw on their own personal experience and a guiding faith to offer practical advice on how to enjoy a lifetime of togetherness. They offer a two-pronged plan that includes: first, working through the lesser incompatibilities that interfere with peace and mutual satisfaction, and second, learning healthy patterns of living and relating on a daily basis. They claim not to be “experts” on marriage but rather are among those who have suffered in their marriage and wondered how God let them make such a terrible mistake. They said that they felt hopeless and trapped. But in that time of entrapment they say, “We did the only thing that seemed right for us to do. We worked at it. And worked. And worked some more. And we continue to work.” Again, this is a great book that we highly recommend because it’s very down-to-earth and is also easy to read.

Getting Ready for Marriage Workbook : How to Really Get to Know the Person You’re Going to Marry -written by Jerry Hardin and Dianne Sloan, published by Thomas Nelson Publisher. This workbook uses interactive exercises to help couples discover the roots of their beliefs, to sight potential problem areas, and learn how to successfully work through problems. Couples are encouraged to make their own covenants in specific areas such as financial matters, resolving conflict, religious orientation, and family planning to build a strong marriage partnership.

How Can I Be Sure?: Questions to Ask Before You Get Married written by Bob Phillips, published by Harvest House Publishers. This book is actually designed not to be an “answer book for marriage problems,” but rather it’s meant to be an inventory and “discussion guide to help couples open up important channels of communication; express their thoughts, desires, and feelings to each other; and enhance their growing relationship together.” The author recommends that each person should have a personal copy in which to write his or her own responses. This book is also designed to be a helpful tool in the hands of Pastors and Counselors for pre-marital counseling. The topics covered are: Family Background, Previous Marital History, Status of Present Relationship, Religious Background, Children, Finances, Communication, and also has a Sexual Inventory along with a Wedding Checklist and additional resources. There is a good explanation in the beginning of the book for Pastors and Counselors, Teachers and Leaders (as well as for couples alone) to know how to best use this tool to aid couples know each other better before marriage.

• Love, Sex, and Happily Ever After: Preparing for a Marriage That Goes the Distance -written by Craig Groeschel, published by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing. “Craig Groeschel’s practical book should be a mandatory read for anyone who wants to be happily married someday. It is a rare author who can lead you into some very challenging places and have you laughing out loud while he does it.” -Shaunti Feldhahn, nationally syndicated columnist and best-selling author of For Women Only

• Money and Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples -written by Matt Bell, published by Nav Press. Getting on the same financial page is essential because research has shown that the more frequently a couple fights about finances, the more likely they are to divorce. So how do you as an engaged or newly married couple work as a team when dealing with money? Financial expert Matt Bell shows the way. This book will help you make the most of each other’s financial strengths, teaching you how to work together to build a solid financial future. With this guide, you’ll avoid the pitfalls and place yourselves on the path to financial success. For more info, follow the link to view: Money and Marriage book trailer

Money Before Marriage: A Financial Workbook for Engaged Couples -written by Dr Larry Burkett, published by Moody Press. This workbook gives key insights of wise money management. Learn how to avoid the most common financial and communication pitfalls experienced by thousands of newlyweds. In this workbook you’ll learn to: Apply to your marriage what God’s Word says about finances. Understand your personality profile and that of your future mate. Discover the practical aspects of managing your personal finances. Answer the tough questions relating to debt, credit card use, life insurance needs,and separate bank accounts. It also helps you to prepare your first budget.

Preparing for Marriage: A Guide for Christian Couples -written by Donald J. Luther, published by Augsburg Fortress Publishers. This book is designed to help you take a good look at your marriage. It contains thought-provoking exercises to help you think through and share your thoughts about marriage, its meaning and challenges. The exercises are not scientific personality tests. They are tools that are designed to (1) promote and stimulate conversation (2) deepen mutual understanding and (3) draw out insights and feelings about sensitive areas that otherwise might not be discussed. There are two copies of some of the exercises so you can each have one to complete and eventually discuss together.

Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts: Seven Questions to Ask Before and After You Marry-written by Dr Les and Dr Leslie Parrott, published by Zondervan Publishing House. This book “cuts to the heart of every marital conflict. Whether single and dating, in a committed relationship, contemplating marriage, or already ensconced in one, this book will help you learn the skills you’ll need for a lasting and happy life together—before unhappiness sets in.” They’ve also written two workbooks as companions to this book, one for the man and one for the woman. “The twenty-one self-tests in the workbooks will help you and your partner put into action what is taught in this book. As an additional help, they have provided questions for reflection at the end of each chapter that are suitable as discussion starters for couples or small groups. Finally, if you would like to bring this program to your church or small group setting, a video curriculum is available, also entitled, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts.

10 Great Dates Before You Say “I Do”-by David and Claudia Arp, published by Zondervan. This book has a unique approach featuring fun-filled dates to help seriously dating and engaged couples strengthen their relationship. Couples will soon discover whether or not to go to the next level of commitment, and will spend quality time together now while preparing for a great marriage in the future. It combines the best of marriage preparation research with a fun, easy-to-follow format. Couples will love growing together while going out together. Some of the topics these dates cover: Share your hopes and dreams, Appreciate your differences, Communicate and connect, Develop spiritual intimacy, Evaluate your relationship, Celebrate romance, and more.