Education, Not Counseling
Last weekend, I was talking to my sister and another close family member about MMJ. My sister, who has volunteered at many of our events, and I were gently trying to suggest our workshop, Marriage Restoration, to our family member, as she and her husband are having a hard time communicating. Now, this particular family member and I are quite close and even after hearing me talk about several of our events and workshops, she still said to me, “Nah- we’re doing ok. We don’t need marriage counseling.” Marriage counseling?! It struck me that, if my own family member doesn’t understand the work of MMJ, maybe a few others out there don’t either!
Tonya wrote a great blog post a while back describing what we do, but I think it’s sometimes helpful to have a reminder- mostly because there were a couple of things wrong with what my family member said:
First of all, who wants to have a marriage that is just “ok”? I know I’m not married yet (2 months to go!!!), but I would hope that when someone asks me about my marriage, I would say something better than just, “ok”- Nick and I want our marriage to be great! Don’t get me wrong, we’re not naive enough to think we won’t go through hard times. And we also know our marriage is not going to be a piece of cake- it will take hard work, too. But that’s why I’m so grateful for something like MMJ in our community- because we have all the tools and resources we need right here to take our marriage from “ok” to “outstanding” or from “good” to “great”.
(Does anyone else think of Tony the Tiger when I say that? “Theyrrrrreeeee grrrrreat!” No? Just me then? Ok. 🙂 )
Second, my family member said to me, “We don’t need marriage counseling”. Well, that’s probably good, because MMJ doesn’t offer marriage counseling; we offer marriage education. What’s marriage education, you ask? Good question. It is actual classes and workshops designed to teach couples important skills that are necessary to help them build strong relationships. Communication and problem solving skills are two important focuses of marriage education. It includes learning to actively listen and learning how to express your own feelings and it also helps people learn to be more open and intimate.
Marriage education can benefit any couple, from those who are dating or engaged and those who are newly married but need help adjusting, to those who simply want to improve their marriages by learning more. It can also help those who want to learn better habits and skills to rebuild damaged marriages. Marriage education is also utilized by people who plan to remarry, especially those who have previously been divorced, because they truly want a fresh start. (Source)
So, there you have it. Marriage education is not counseling and it’s not something to fear, either. Here at MMJ, we just want to give you the resources and tools you need to help you have a happy, healthy marriage. You’re welcome! 🙂