Engaged? Thinking about getting engaged?
We spend years studying and taking classes to prepare for our careers, but very little time preparing for marriage.
That’s why, before you put a ring on the finger or take those vows, we strongly encourage you take Merge.
What is Merge?
Merge is Watermark’s premarital ministry, designed to give engaged and seriously dating couples a unique opportunity to learn, seek wisdom, and receive counsel about marriage in a safe, fun, challenging and authentic environment.
Merge exists to prepare couples for marriage by addressing common challenges in marriage from a biblical perspective. Couples are placed at a small group table with one mentor couple and 2-3 other participating couples throughout the class.
Merge is a big class (100+ couples at each session) and consists of large group teaching and small group table discussion. Couples also can expect a few hours of homework every week.
Who is Merge for?
Merge is for couples who are engaged or seriously dating.
Seriously dating? Are we “serious” enough to go to Merge?
What does seriously dating mean? Seriously dating does not mean you just started dating one or two months ago. We don’t place a time limit on couples, but if you are dating and you are considering putting a ring on the finger, then it’s probably the right time to go through Merge.
Why should we go to Merge?
Marriage is a HUGE decision. Too many couples focus all their energy on the wedding day and spend little time and resources on the relationship/marriage itself. We are all for great wedding days, but our greatest hope is for an incredible marriage.
Often the church falls short in preparing couples for marriage. The church either assumes couples don’t need marriage prep, or we let them slide by with weak and surface-level counsel. We miss the mark by not challenging couples on the significance of the decision in front of them. After they say “I do,” the church often stands by as couples collapse all around us or silently watches them fall into mundane routines – they are married on paper but live as if they are roommates with occasional and sporadic benefits.
What will we discuss?
We discuss everything you need to think about and talk through before you get married. We give you a Christ-centered, biblically-based picture of marriage and teach on all the topics you would expect in a marriage class: communication and conflict, money, sex, in-laws, and much more. We don’t sugarcoat anything in Merge: you will get the full-on, real picture of marriage from authentic, caring leaders who love each other and care deeply for other couples.
What makes Merge unique?
High levels of authenticity and transparency about marriage.
You can learn a lot from books and other classes about marriage. You can watch some good prep videos online. In Merge, however, you not only get good teaching and content, you also get matched up with a mentor couple who really care about you and your relationship. Having a mentor couple lead you through the experience is the main thing that sets Merge apart from most marriage prep classes.
We have a whole lot of fun along the way.
Will she break up with me?
Well… there’s a chance she might. And you might break up with her. The goal of Merge is not to break couples up. However, along the way, some couples will realize that marriage with their significant other may not be God’s best for them. If that’s the case, it will be the best time and money you could spend if it spares you from a divorce or a miserable marriage.
How do I sign up?
You can get all the information and details about Merge at dallasmarriage.org. We have regular 8-week classes, and a few weekend classes for those couples who both can’t attend the 8-week class.
The next class starts on October 1, and more classes will start throughout the year in 2015. The class costs $80/couple for the 8-week class and $100/couple for the weekend class. The cost covers materials, food and other resources.
And… guess what? All couples who complete the class who get married in Texas will receive a certificate that allows them to get $60 off the cost of their Texas marriage license.
Tell me again… Why should I sign up for Merge?
Marriage is much harder than you would ever expect (see 1 Corinthians 7:28, or the testimony of any married couple). Even more so, marriage is much greater than you could ever hope for. We would love for the church to help you make this decision and to prepare you along the way.
Any unanswered questions about Merge? Leave them in the comments below.