“What are you teaching in your marriage class?”
This is a question we have received often these past few months. This past year we have combed through some texts in French and English to help us understand the core principles of marriage found in the Bible. Along with our informal research (conversations) with Nigerien christians, we think we have a foundational, Biblical and culturally relevant series of teachings.
Of course, our current class is the first*! These four couples are our “guinea pigs”. We are calling it a pilot class, since these four couples have agreed to give us constructive feedback to help us improve the material. (*We have taught a few pre-marriage type classes to college-age groups, but this is our first class for married couples exclusively.)
The course includes six sessions, covering these topics:
- The beginning – what is marriage?
- Roles and responsibilities according to the Bible
- Resolving Conflict
- Sexual Relations
Here are the main texts we have used, besides the Bible of course!
The Complete Works of Walter Trobisch. This book by Walter Trobisch is in English so it is the easiest for us to work through! Walter and his wife Ingrid spent many years serving as missionaries in Cameroon, where they focused on marriage, family and sexuality topics.
La Famille Chrétienne. This treasure was found almost by accident! Our director, as a passing thought, mentioned that he had a family Bible study he used years ago in a village. He found it, and voilà! We love it! Even though it is written for a village context, the topics are divided beautifully. And it is in French, which saves us the trouble of translating.
Preparation Au Mariage. The Goerz were missionaries in Ghana with SIM. They are now retired and have graciously given us the freedom to use their pre-marriage training in totality. It is already translated to French (they worked in an English context) and is wonderfully thorough!
Each class includes the teaching from both Andy and I, then the couples find a private place together to answer some questions for about 30 minutes. Finally, to end our time, we enjoy a small snack of croissants and fruit as we talk casually together. We hope to learn as much from them as they are learning from this class!
I hope this snapshot answers the “curriculum questions” for our curious friends. 🙂 If you have further questions, please feel free to email us.
(photo credit goes to our friend S*mana)