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1. Why is a Community Marriage Policy® needed?
2. What is a Community Marriage Policy®?
3. What does the community agree to?
4. What are the results of a Community Marriage Policy®?
5. What are others saying?
6. How do we start a Community Marriage Policy®?
7. What can we do today?

What Does the Community Agree To?

Sample Community Marriage Policies

So, What Are the Typical Results of Starting a CMP? Find Out...

Read the Hardin County KY Marriage Policy [PDF]

Some 50 pastors signed a "Wilmington Community Marriage Policy" in March, 1997. Although each city's policy varies, this is typical of many, and is presented below in its entirety:

Wilmington Community Marriage Policy

Our concern as area clergy is to promote lasting marriages under God and to establish spiritually healthy families. Since almost 75 percent of marriages are performed by clergy, we are in a unique position to dramatically affect the marriages and families in our community. We are deeply troubled by our country's epidemic of marital instability and divorce and feel it must be directly addressed by the faith community. Our purpose is to enrich marriages and to significantly reduce the divorce rate in Wilmington area congregations.

We accept, as clergy, the responsibility to raise the level of commitment in those we marry and those married couples who look to us for spiritual instruction. We believe that couples who seriously participate in premarital testing and counseling will have a better understanding of what marriage involves. We also believe that an increased commitment to marriage preparation will result in the reduction of failed and failing marriages.

Therefore, as agents of God, acting on His behalf, we believe it is our responsibility to encourage couples to set aside time for marriage preparation. We acknowledge that a wedding is but a day, while a marriage is for a lifetime.

What God has joined together, let the faith community of Wilmington seek to hold together.


  • We will normally require a minimum of four months marriage preparation.
  • We will require a minimum of four counseling sessions, utilizing both the Scripture and a premarital inventory.
  • We will train mature, married couples to serve as mentors to work with engaged couples, newlyweds, or those experiencing marital difficulties.
  • We will offer two post-marital counseling sessions with clergy or a Mentor Couple within the first year of marriage.
  • We will create a support system of couples whose marriages have successfully weathered life's challenges to assist with troubled marriages.
  • We will seek to establish support systems for blended families.
  • We will cooperate with other congregations and organizations to share resources and create a positive climate in which marriages are helped to succeed.


I commit to seek the endorsement of these minimum standards by my congregation and to encourage others to do so, for the Glory of God and the good of our whole community.

Name________________________ Date ___________

The following Tallahassee policy was signed by 64 pastors on January 15, 1999, and was praised as a "model for Florida" by newly-elected Governor Jeb Bush.

Tallahassee Community Marriage Policy*

We Believe:

  • That God has established in scripture the sanctity and companionship of marriage;
  • That God intends the marriage bond between husband and wife to last a lifetime;
  • That as church leaders we have a responsibility to provide premarital preparation to every engaged couple. This will improve their understanding of marriage and deepen their mutual commitment;
  • That as clergy we have a responsibility to provide ongoing support to strengthen and nourish existing marriages.

Therefore We Will:

  • Encourage a courtship of at least one year;
  • Expect a minimum of five counseling sessions for engaged couples, preferably over a 3-4 month period, with one session devoted to taking a premarital test or inventory (FOCCUS, Prepare); one devoted to insuring a biblical understanding of morality, marriage, and divorce; and one devoted to a post-marriage follow-up;
  • Train mature married couples to serve as mentors to those who are engaged, newly married, experiencing marriage difficulties, or remarried;
  • Encourage retreats, classes, and marriage enrichment opportunities designed to build and strengthen marriages;
  • Develop and implement programs for troubled marriages using counseling, retreats, and mentoring by couples (including those whose own marriages were once in trouble);
  • Promote sexual abstinence outside of marriage
  • Promote faithful marital relationships
  • Set an example as pastors by attending couples' retreats and being involved in other relationship enrichment activities;
  • Take this covenant back to our church to be ratified by the appropriate church leadership.

So, What Are the Typical Results of Starting a CMP? Find Out...