When I first got hired at my church to help married couples, I was a little overwhelmed. There are a lot smarter people than me, a lot more skilled individuals who could be occupying my office right now. The thing is, God brought me here. That means I’m responsible to do the best I can with the resources I have.

Here are the things I’ve learned that have helped me grow in my role:

1. Help Parents Become Their Kids’ Heroes

Whether it’s sending Parent Cues by email or having a hardcopy of GodTime Cards to hand out to parents as they leave on Sunday morning, I’ve bought into the idea that kids are going to spend the rest of their lives with their parents. Parents mostly want to do a good job with their kids.

They don’t need to hear “just trust God more,” they need to hear: “If you’ll take 5-10 minutes to talk through these questions with your kids, it’ll help you really connect with them.” If I’m not specific, I’m wasting my time.

2. Help Husbands & Wives Learn Communication Skills

It seems like everybody texts but nobody talks anymore. I need to give husbands and wives specific instructions on how to carry on conversations.

If physical proximity and emotional openness are the keys to intimacy, I may need to physically show them how to face each other, make good eye contact, hold hands, express themselves and ask for what they want with the right tone of voice.

3. Connect with Others Working with Married Couples

I’m not always going to have the best answers, so why not reach out to other churches, counselors, and non-profits who are focusing on the area of marriage?

Read an article or book. Call somebody. Who knows? I might be able to help them!

What are you learning so far? What’s helping you build stronger marriages?

Kenn Mann is the Next Generation Pastor at First Baptist Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

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