Becoming a Couple of Promise


Learn how you can keep the promises you made on your wedding day in this contemporary curriculum that provides information on understanding each other’s needs, making your marriage great for your kids, affair-proofing your marriage, blending families, and more. Includes discussion questions. Tyndale House Publishers

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Learn how you can keep the promises you made on your wedding day in this contemporary curriculum that provides information on understanding each other’s needs, making your marriage great for your kids, affair-proofing your marriage, blending families, and more. Includes discussion questions. Tyndale House Publishers

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781576831298
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/1/1999
  • Series: Guidebook Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 546,149
  • Product dimensions: 7.02 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Internationally-known Christian psychologist, award winning author, radio and television personality, and speaker, Dr. Kevin Leman has taught and entertained audiences worldwide with his wit and common sense psychology.

Best-selling author Dr. Kevin Leman has made house calls for FOCUS ON THE FAMILY with Dr. James Dobson as well as hundreds of radio and television programs including OPRAH, LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY, CBS’ THE EARLY SHOW, TODAY, and THE VIEW WITH BARBARA WALTERS. Dr. Leman is a frequent contributor to CNN’s American Morning. Dr. Leman has served as a consulting family psychologist to GOOD MORNING AMERICA.

Dr. Leman is founder and president of “Couples of Promise”, an organization designed and committed to helping couples remain happily married. Dr. Leman is a charter faculty member of

Some of Dr. Leman’s best-selling titles include:
The Birth Order Book Have A New Kid By Friday What Your Childhood Memories Say about You
7 Things He’ll Never Tell You…but you need to know Making Children Mind without Losing Yours Sheet Music – Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage Single Parenting that Works!
Running the Rapids – Guiding Your Teen through the Turbulent Waters of Adolescence Pleasers Step-Parenting 101
The Way of the Shepherd First Time Mom My Firstborn, There’s No One like You My Middle Child, There’s No One like You My Youngest, There’s No One like You My Only Child, There’s No One like You My Adopted Child, There’s No One like You Sex Begins In the Kitchen Becoming the Parent God Wants You to Be Becoming a Couple of Promise What a Difference a Daddy Makes

Dr. Leman’s professional affiliations include the American Psychological Association, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, National Register of Health Services Providers in Psychology, and the North American Society of Adlerian Psychology.

Dr. Leman attended North Park College. He received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Arizona, where he later earned his Master’s and Doctorate degrees. Originally from Williamsville, New York, he and his wife, Sande, live in Tucson. They have five children.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Original Designer Genes

Chapter 2: God's Design for Marriage

Chapter 3: The Submission Mission

Chapter 4: "What's Wrong"-"Oh, Nothing"

Chapter 5: Her Needs and His

Chapter 6: How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage

Chapter 7: Marriage That's Great for Your Kids

Chapter 8: Living in a Stepfamily

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First Chapter

Becoming a Couple of Promise



Copyright © 1999 Dr. Kevin Leman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-57683-129-9


Most people marry exactly the wrong person. Isn't that reassuring news for those of us who are already involved in a marriage relationship? Statistics tell us that the average marriage lasts only seven years and produces 1.9 children. As a practicing psychologist of many years, I've discovered that it's because most of us marry exactly the wrong person.

Yet very few of us enter into marriage saying, "Have your attorney call my attorney." Even though it's become fashionable to draw up prenuptial agreements, most people still get married believing they're starting a long and loving relationship.

Let me reassure you that marriage, as God designed it, can be the fulfilling relationship you expected. As a husband of more than thirty-two years, I can attest to this. As a psychologist who has counseled thousands of couples, I've been regularly encouraged upon seeing two people, who from all indications were "wrong for each other," learn to reconcile their differences and become one in marriage.

Proverbs 13:12 tells us, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick." There is little in life more painful than the crushing disappointment of a failed relationship. I want to reassure you that when marriage becomes the relationship God intended it to be, it will be a great source of joy for both parties.

Beautiful cathedrals are built one brick at a time. So, too, are the walls that divide us. My intention with this book is to help you discover how to live life and conduct your marriage with purpose. In the following eight sessions you'll find tools to help you build your marriage into a beautiful cathedral. You'll also look at how to dismantle some of those walls you may have erected because of your unique circumstances and problems.

How to Use This Book

If you're currently discouraged over the state of your marriage, this course will help you discover some key ways to improve it. If you're still single and want to prepare yourself for what's ahead, this study will help lay the groundwork. If you think you've already got a good marriage but want to strengthen it, you'll find plenty of help here too. Whatever your situation, you can use this study in numerous settings:

* As a couple or couples. If at all possible, work through the book with your spouse, because you'll be exploring the distinct roles that each of you contributes to your marriage. Take turns "leading" alternating sessions or sections within each session. This shouldn't require any advance preparation because the exercises are fairly self-explanatory. Proceed at your own pace. However, if there is opportunity, consider joining with another couple to go through the course. You may benefit greatly by sharing your experiences and insights without losing the intimacy of a small setting. In fact, why not check around for a few other couples who might enjoy studying this with you?

* With a group. Designate a facilitator (better yet, a couple or a threesome who can share preparation and presentation). The facilitator doesn't have to be an "expert." (I'm still learning; why not you?) It's okay to have questions, share your own marriage and family challenges, and be part of the learning process. After all, that's what the body of Christ is all about: encouraging one another to "grow up in Him."

* By yourself. Even if you find your spouse isn't interested or doesn't have the time, tackle the course alone. Whenever we need changes in a relationship, especially in marriage, those changes always must begin in ourselves. By yourself, it's possible to get 88.6 percent (well, more or less) of the value of this course that you would get if you studied with others.

In each section of this book you'll find clearly outlined principles to help you better understand both marriage in general and your spouse in particular. You'll study the underlying biblical material that supports these principles, and you'll get involved in numerous practical exercises to help you grasp and apply the concepts. Each session conforms roughly to the following format:

1. I'll introduce a new facet of becoming a Couple of Promise.

2. We'll dig into the Bible to get a solid foundation from God's Word.

3. I'll give you some practical input from the "Dr. Kevin Leman School of Marital Bliss" on the topic.

4. We'll examine how these principles work in typical marriage and family situations.

5. You can apply what you've learned to your own marital and family needs.

Watch for the following elements within each session that announce various activities:

* Brainstorm ideas that may apply. * Use a videotape as a supplement to this session. * Write responses or fill in answers. * Examine these ideas. * Divide the whole group into smaller groups. * Couple Chat: Couples discuss an issue or share responses. * Men's Group/Women's Group: Form separate groups for men and for women to discuss or work on an activity with their own gender. * Mixed Groups: Work or discuss in small mixed-gender groups, with spouses in different groups.

Pray with each other.

If you're studying this course as a group, ways to present the "content" sections will be the biggest challenge. Here are a few ideas on how this might work. Try to mix and match a few of these suggestions just to keep things interesting.

1. Familiarize yourself with a content section and present it in your own words. Ask the other facilitator(s) to do the same with other sections, taking turns throughout the session. This also could be a mix of presenting some material in your own words and reading the illustrations or stories.

2. Simply read the content sections aloud, pausing along the way for questions or discussion.

3. Ask various participants to read the content section(s) aloud for the rest of the group.

4. Ask participants to read the content parts of the session ahead of time in preparation for the next session. During the actual session, ask various participants to recap what the content section is about, then move into activities or discussion.

Be sensitive to the fact that there may be one or two couples who feel uncomfortable reading aloud or being called on. That's okay. The idea is to help folks be as comfortable as they can be. If you sense some uneasiness, change your approach or feel free to shuffle people around to different groups. You also might want to partner with one of the people who feels uncomfortable.

Note: What works best for your group will depend on the size of the group (two? four? twelve? twenty-five?) and the style you and your cofacilitators feel most comfortable using.

Each participant will want to have their own copy of this study guide. Many of the activities (self-tests, choices, journaling, and so on) can be done right in this book.

In many of the sessions, you will note places where segments from my video curriculum, "Making the Most of Marriage," can be used to enhance the chapter. These sessions are typically 25 minutes long and offer both supporting material and new ideas. If you have plenty of time in a group session, consider utilizing this resource to introduce the session, or as an optional bonus activity to follow the book study. Your visual and audio learners will thank you! You can get "Making the Most of Marriage" from Sampson Resources, 1-800-371-5248 (

And don't forget to look for the suggestions of additional resources at the end of each session.

By the way, did you realize that I didn't quote the entire verse from Proverbs near the beginning of this introduction? It contains a wonderful promise: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life" (Proverbs 13:12). Marriage can give us all the life and joy we could ever hope for if it replicates God's design.

So let's get started. On the next page you'll find a test to help you determine if you're on your way to becoming a Couple of Promise. -Dr. Kevin Leman

Are You Already a Couple of Promise?

Instructions: Jot "True" or "False" next to statements 1 through 9. Then respond to the questions that follow.

___ 1. You should always put your spouse's feelings first.

___ 2. A husband and wife need to be exclusive sexual partners.

___ 3. It's important for a husband and wife to have the same spiritual beliefs.

___ 4. A husband needs to be submissive to his wife's needs.

___ 5. A wife needs to be submissive to her husband's needs.

___ 6. Men and women think and communicate in different ways.

___ 7. It's important to be completely truthful with your spouse.

___ 8. What you get out of your marriage is more important than what you put into your marriage.

___ 9. The quality of your marriage relationship has an impact on the type of spouse your children will seek.

* What is the most important need for a married man?

* What is the most important need for a married woman?

* Why do most affairs occur?

* On a scale from 1 (lousy) to 10 (great), how would you rate your marriage?

Do you think you answered the questions correctly? As you go through this course, you'll discover the best responses. But even if you think you know the right answers, in the pages ahead you'll find ways that will help you learn to apply them to your marriage.


Excerpted from Becoming a Couple of Promise by KEVIN LEMAN Copyright © 1999 by Dr. Kevin Leman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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