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Marriage + Families

MARRIAGE + FAMILIES

Brick Bradford

brickmbradford@yahoo.com

Coastline Calvary Chapel Premarital & Marriage Counseling Ministry Overview

Ministry Philosophy 

Only the Judeo-Christian worldview acknowledges covenant commitment is purposefully ordained by God (Gen 2:24; Eph 5:31), which He designed to exemplify His image (Gen 1:27), to model His sacrificial love within the family as a foreshadowing of our eternal relationship with Him, and to serve as a godly witness to the world for His glory.


Thus, the premise of the pre-marriage and marriage counseling available through CCC is founded on the biblical concept that the two shall become 1 flesh, which is not unlike the process of sanctification as it takes commitment lasting a lifetime.  If you agree that the Christian concept of marriage is when a man and woman become as one, then you can appreciate that the trouble starts when they try to decide which one. 


The principle difference between the premarital and marital counseling is that the former offers “pearls of wisdom” in several areas for couples who are in a happy-glad state of mind as they prepare for the wedding day.  The second group is much different, often worn out from the bumpy road of life and fearing that nothing will ever change, married couples can often despair of the marriage itself.     


One of the tools intrinsic to this ministry is an on-line assessment each couple is asked to complete.  The value of the assessment is that it provides a snapshot of the interpersonal dynamics unique to each couple.  It offers insights the couple may not be aware of and gives the counselor opportunity to focus on strengths the couple already possess and areas where growth is possible.  For example, the assessment will consider personality types, communication styles, how a couple resolves conflict, and various expectations for finances, family, friends, spiritual beliefs, etc.  It is key to note that the assessment is NOT a test, there is no such thing as pass or fail.   Most importantly, the counseling relationship is both professional and confidential as the topics discussed are most personal indeed.   

 

Why me??? For the last 22 years the Lord has burdened me with the fact that Christians fare no better than secular marriages when it comes to divorce.  Divorce statistics have remained at 51 percent for first marriages and increases significantly with subsequent marriages, especially when children are involved.  Thus, I am no stranger to divorce, my first marriage was challenged by multiple military deployments, 6 in 10 years and 5 miscarriages.  There were other factors, but most importantly, God was not at the center of my first marriage.  


The Lord led me to enter Seminary at Liberty University where I spent 3 years studying theology as the foundational premise for engaging Christian couples struggling in their marriages.  The 4th year focused on behavioral sciences specifically, which prepares the student in the formal realm of Christian Counseling.  I was certified by two separate marriage counseling institutions during this time as well.  If I can help make a difference by being available and partnering with a couple suffering from a marriage on the brink of divorce, or just struggling in general, then I pray the Lord would use me to speak His truth in love.   


Disclaimer, I am not a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, principally because I am not looking for a vocation.  I offer my time and experience as a ministry only.   


To be candid, I bring no magic to the table, only a heart that earnestly believes and holds fast to God’s purpose for marriage.  Having said that, I know the real power of healing, restoration and harmony within a marriage occurs when the husband and wife humble themselves before the Lord.  I have said many times that I can love my bride best only when I love the Lord first.  It is unequivocally the presence, power, and purpose of the Spirit of God that can make your marriage thrive rather than just survive, or at worse, fail.  Indeed, it is the Holy Spirit and a willing spirit that can make the seemingly impossible, possible.  The bottom line is that every marriage has a 100 percent chance of succeeding when God is involved.   

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