Dear Pastor, Will you publicly “Pledge to Prepare”?
Strong Marriages Florida is calling on pastors and faith leaders throughout the state to stand united in an effort to help prepare couples for successful and strong marriages. The “Pledge to Prepare” is a commitment by pastors to provide engaged couples with adequate pre-martial education before agreeing to perform a wedding ceremony for the couple. The pastors also pledge to hold periodic marriage seminars or retreats, train mentor couple and or develop programs to ensure that existing marriages and crisis marriages receive the maintenance and help they need to stay strong and stable.
In the near future, we will organize public “pledge signing” events on the steps of county courthouses around the state. At each location, members of the clergy will publicly commit to only marry couples who have been through adequate pre-marital education and completed and reviewed a thorough marriage inventory.
Mike McManus describes such a pledge in this way: “…clergy pledge to take steps to do a better job preparing couples for a lifelong marriage, enriching existing marriages, restoring troubled ones, helping the separated to reconcile and stepfamilies to be successful. The goal is to radically reduce the divorce and cohabitation rates, and raise the marriage rate across a city.” (http://www.marriagesavers.org/sitems/Training/index.htm)
What does the community agree to?
Evangelical clergy join Catholic priests, mainline clergy and minority pastors at the local courthouse to sign a public covenant to implement proven reforms to make healthy marriages a priority in their congregations. They commit to do a better job preparing couples for a lifelong marriage, enriching existing ones and saving those in crisis.