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Should the church ever intervene in a marriage if the couple has not sought help?

Generally, most marriage counselors, churches, and other marriage intervention ministries prefer that an individual or couple in need take the initiative to make the first contact for support. This is viewed as a way of taking responsibility for the current state of the marriage. However, there may be extenuating circumstances that require the church to initiate intervention. Some examples may include:

  • If a spouse, child, or other person is in danger due to domestic violence, sexual abuse, drug and/or alcohol addiction, etc., immediate intervention should be made and proper authorities must be consulted.
  • If adultery or other sexual sin is suspected with reasonable evidence for suspicion, the spouse in question should be lovingly, but honestly, confronted using proper church disciplinary measures and Biblical guidelines for intervention. If the spouse confesses and acknowledges his or her sexual sin, the church should offer to tangibly assist in the disclosure of the infidelity with the spouse's husband/wife and proper arrangements should be made in advance to support marital reconciliation, such as the resources offered by Hope and Healing Ministries.
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