Marriage and Relationship Counseling

Because strong and healthy families are the staple of every community, facilitators at Ebenezer Ministries have, for more than 30 years, devoted a great deal of time and effort to strengthening the bonds between family members. These programs and activities include pre-marriage counseling, marriage counseling and divorce counseling. Other efforts have focused specifically on family communication and relationships, family and child mentoring, and aiding and empowering males to serve as true fathers who act as caring, present and responsible visionaries for their families. Over the years, as the community’s needs continued to grow in this area, Ebenezer Ministries eventually created the Ministry and Community Center, a separate 501 c (3) organization, with the charge to lead the way on this important mission. Its operations are located two doors down from the church, in a separate facility with more than 7,500 square feet of meeting, office and conference room space.

Participation in Ministry and Community Center’s marriage enrichment programs, counseling services and responsible fatherhood activities is open to the public. Those who are involved in these programs are typically African American, not due to racial restriction, but because the church is located on the border of the predominantly African American community of Flint, Michigan. The ages of program participants is quite varied and ranges from 15-year-old expectant fathers and other teens who are thinking about entering a relationship, to couples who have been married for more than 50 years. As such, the educational level of program participants also varies from high school, or high school dropout, to post secondary master’s degrees. Income levels are varied as well.

Marriage Ministry

To create a mentally, emotionally and physically healthy community by providing services that empower individuals, couples, and families with good communication skills, conflict management and lifestyle balancing – all of which contribute to healthy marriages.

Goals – Marriage Ministry

  • To help encourage and sustain healthy marriages.
  • To strengthen the couple’s relationship through an exploration of parenting attitudes and skills.
  • To improve the well-being and increase the self-esteem of every family member, including mothers, fathers and children.
  • To help participants gain the positive effect of a healthy marriage, including positive outcomes for children.
  • To reduce incidents of domestic violence.
  • To reduce the incidents of divorce.
  • To help create and encourage the development of stable families.
  • To teach participants to be more honest with themselves – and instill more trust in others.
  • To increase and positively enhance the parenting skills of participants.
  • To strengthen bonds between new and existing couples
  • To develop a stable outlook for children.
  • To teach couples to “like” one another.
  • To help participants develop realistic expectations of relationships

Marriage Course and Curriculum

The Dynamic Marriage course was developed as a nine-week course involving a six to eight hours per week commitment from participants.

Week 1: Orientation and Introduction
Week 2: Learning the System
Week 3: Love Busters
Week 4: Sexual Fulfillment & Affection
Week 5: Recreational Companionship & Conversation
Week 6: Attractive Spouse & Honesty and Openness
Week 7: Domestic Support & Financial Support
Week 8: Admiration & Family Commitment
Week 9: From Incompatible to Irresistible

Roundtable Discussions

In addition to the eight-week sessions for couples, the Ministry and Community Center also offers four week-long round table discussions for participants who attend as couples or as singles. It is not necessary for participants to commit to attend every session. Since each week features a different topic, participants are welcome to attend the sessions that interest them most.

During the first meeting, participants communicate to the session facilitators what topics they would like covered throughout the four-week period. To do so, participants select from a list of relationship topics that the facilitators from the Ministry and Community Center are qualified to present. Participants select from the following list:

  • Evaluating Your Relationship
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Husbands Love Your Wives
  • Wives Love Your Husbands
  • The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce
  • Oneness in Marriage
  • Marital Abuse
  • The Four Laws of Marriage
  • How to Build Your Dream Marriage and Family
  • Family Communication and Conflict Resolution
  • The Six Love Busters
  • Resolving Family Conflict
  • Forgiveness in Relationships
  • Humility in Relationships
  • Great Low and No Cost Dates

Upon completion of this course, if participants desire further instruction, they may choose to attend the Dynamic Marriage session.