Fit to Be Tied Integrates Biblical Mentorship

by Victoria Stearns, Public Relations Writer

Faculty and staff at Cedarville University mentor students both in and out of the classroom. While many of those mentorship opportunities appear in a one-on-one setting, Cedarville’s “Fit to be Tied” program is one of the more unique chances to make a difference in students’ lives.

Fit to be Tied is a ministry for students who are seriously dating or engaged and anticipate getting married within the next 18 months. The yearlong program stresses the importance of a marriage grounded in biblical truth and reaffirms Cedarville’s commitment to the biblical view of marriage as between one man and one woman.

“Not only does our culture not mourn the failure, it commends it and often scoffs at the institution of marriage itself,” said Greg Couser, Ph.D., senior professor of Bible and Greek. “We are in a fight with our own selfishness while we live in a culture that expects relationships to fail.” 

Couples in the program go through a variety of premarital counseling that includes group seminars, individual meetings with a mentor couple and personality profiles to help the mentor couple better understand the personalities of the participants.

“I am so excited to learn new things in my relationship that will allow us to grow together and recognize our strengths and weaknesses as a couple,” said Kari Barnhill, a junior psychology major from Pembroke Pines, Florida, who is currently a Fit to be Tied participant. 

A series of five seminars is held throughout the year for participating couples and covers a wide variety of topics such as the meaning of marriage, personalities and marriage, communication and conflict resolution, financial management and intimacy in marriage. 

While the group sessions are important, perhaps no element of the program is as significant as the relationships developed through the mentorship element.

“The call to a biblical marriage is obvious and significant in the Bible,” said Aaron Cook, director of discipleship ministries, who oversees the Fit to Be Tied program. “As Christians, we must recognize that we have a unique and critical role to play in fulfilling God’s purposes for the world, which includes engaging and constantly working toward a God-centered marriage.”

“As my wife and I interact with couples, we are being reminded of things that have been forgotten or clarifying life lessons we learned by experience but never articulated,” said Tom Hutchison, Ph.D., professor of Christian education, a Fit to Be Tied mentor. “It often surfaces gratitude and prompts challenge for us in our own marriage.” 

Currently, the program is in need of more mentor couples as the number of participants continues to rise.  

“The program is a tremendous opportunity for mentor couples to be reminded of what it means to pursue marriage in such a way as to picture the beauty of the relationship between Christ and his church,” said Jeremy Kimble, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology. 

To learn more about Fit to be Tied, visit www.cedarville.edu/Christian-Ministries/Discipleship-Ministries/Fit-To-Be-Tied.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 18 87, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings.