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It takes just $60 to save a preborn baby from abortion. Your gift today will provide an ultrasound to a mother considering abortion and help her choose life.

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Marriage 911: The First Phone Call

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Marriage 911
The church is ready. Your mentor team is trained. And you've just had a couple request a Marriage 911 mentor. Now what?

If Marriage 911 is an emergency room for couples in crisis, then a quick response is necessary. At Focus on the Family, we’ve learned that by the time a couple in your church reaches out for help, their marriage is near the breaking point. And when they call for help, they need it right away. So, when a couple asks for a mentor, here’s how your team should respond.

Marriage 911 Lead Mentor Responsibilities

The Marriage 911 lead mentor couple makes the first phone call or contact with the couple in crisis. If you are a lead mentor, follow this process:

Call the crisis couple within 24 hours of receiving the request. When you call, keep these three things in mind:

  • Always pray before calling. Ask God to guide you during the conversation so that you can listen and understand the need.
  • Set boundaries. Have your female lead call the wife while the male lead calls the husband. While it may feel “old fashioned,” remember that couples in crisis are looking for someone — sometimes anyone — who will listen and help. The male/male and female/female connections provide safeguards for the mentors and the couple in crisis.
  • Respond to inquiries twice. If there is no answer either time, wait for the couple to call back. If the couple doesn’t respond after the second phone call, don’t try to talk them into being in the program. Marriage 911 doesn’t work unless the couple takes the initiative. But continue to pray for them. In some cases, couples have returned calls a year after their initial request.

Require both the husband and wife to commit to Marriage 911. The mentoring request isn’t official until both spouses agree to the 16-week mentoring program. Spouses must show initiative and willingness to commit to the program.

Discuss childcare and intake information. Childcare is a necessity. Marriage 911 is a time for both spouses to focus on their marriage without distraction. Also, during this initial conversation, use the intake form (included in the Marriage 911 Mentor Training Handbook) to gather information to share (confidentially) with the assigned mentor couple.

Assign a mentor couple. Once the couple in crisis commits to the 16-week program, assign a couple to work with them.

Ask mentor couples to call the crisis couple within 24 hours of receiving the assignment. Mentors can set up an introductory meeting with the couple, discuss program expectations, and give out the Marriage 911 workbooks.

Mentor Responsibilities

After mentors are assigned a couple, remind them of the need to call within 24 hours. Remember, Marriage 911 is an emergency room for couples in crisis. Response time matters.

Ask your mentors to do the following:

  • Set up a time and place to meet. Meet in public places, not homes.
  • Remind couples of their commitment. Don’t skip meetings unless there is an emergency.
  • Keep notes on all meetings. Track the crisis couple’s progress and contact lead mentors if there are any concerns about domestic violence, addictions, or suicidal tendencies.

Encourage mentors to provide feedback so that the Marriage 911 program continues to meet the needs of couples in your church.

About Marriage 911

Research from Communio and the Barna Group shows that — regardless of denomination — 24 percent of married couples who attend church regularly are struggling in their marriage. Many churches lack a game plan to help crisis couples.

Marriage 911 is a 16-week mentoring program designed for the local church. The content is biblically based and build on the concepts taught in Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored marriage intensives. The Marriage 911 curriculum will be available in the Focus on the Family online store in July 2023.

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Plugged In shines a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving families the essential tools they need to understand, navigate, and impact the culture in which they live. Let us help your family make wise and informed choices about movies, TV shows, music, video games, and more!
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Talk to a Counselor

If you need further guidance and encouragement, we have a staff of licensed, professional counselors who offer a one-time complimentary consultation from a Christian perspective. They can also refer you to counselors in your area for ongoing assistance.
Reach a counselor toll-free at 1-855-771-HELP (4357).

Understand How to Respect and Love Your Son Well

"Why doesn’t my son listen to me?" Have you ever asked yourself that? The truth is, how you view your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. We’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Focus on Parenting Podcast

Mom or dad, could you use some encouragement and support? Put your ear buds in for this Christian parenting podcast and get practical, faith-based inspiration through all stages of parenting. Hosted by Dr. Danny Huerta, in every 8 to 15 minute episode, you’ll hear parenting experts share Biblical truths, effective parenting techniques, and useful resources that will help you feel equipped as a mom or dad in today’s culture.
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Learn How to Speak Your Strong-Willed Child's Language

In this free 6-part video series, Cynthia Tobias, author of many popular parenting books including You Can’t Make Me, explains why your strong-willed child thinks in certain ways and gives you effective tools you can use when communicating with him or her. Start today!

Get Equipped With the Truth So
You Can Bring Light to the Lies

Abortion is not an easy subject to talk about. You want to defend the truth, to expose the realities so easily confused during these times. Yet, it is so easy to tense up, to get nervous, to get so concerned with wanting to say the “right thing” that you end up saying nothing at all. If you feel at a loss when these conversations come up, this video series, “8 Lies About Abortion,” can help equip you with the truth, and the confidence to engage in the discussion.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.


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