Marriage has always been an interest of Larry’s, yet it wasn’t until later in life that he decided to research it and study to become a counselor, and eventually counsel couples with his wife, Sharon. Up until the mid 1990’s, Larry was a dairy farmer on his farm in central Illinois. While a farmer, he found himself thinking a lot about marriage, especially marriage in today’s world, and sensed a growing desire to help people live satisfying, deep, God-blessed relationships with one another.
So, he returned to college to study counseling at Illinois State University, eventually earning a Master’s degree in Counseling. During his studies and while teaching afterward, he began to supplement the knowledge he gained from scholars with research of his own, interviewing over 1,500 couples about their marriages. This research proved to be invaluable experience that, along with current research, continues to inform his counseling and seminars.
Larry is a firm believer that men’s and women’s perspectives complement one another, and so counsels engaged couples alongside his wife, Sharon. They also find that couples appreciate hearing the wisdom they both have to share, speaking from their own experience of pursuing a godly marriage.
Larry continues to teach courses on relationships, human development and counseling at Illinois State and Bradley University.
A note from Larry, the founder:
The benefits of a great marriage vastly outweigh the investment necessary to achieve it. And even an average marriage is much better than the alternatives. However, great marriages don’t just happen, they require solid preparation, a realistic view, and a willingness to work.
As a researcher, teacher, counselor, and founder of Iron Mountain Ministries, I have observed how these factors can make the difference between success and failure in life’s great adventure of marriage. With a passion to see newly married couples given the tools and encouragement necessary to succeed at marriage, Iron Mountain Ministries has poured its efforts into developingMarriage Insight. It is a biblically-sound training program based on more than seven years of original research with more than one thousand couples.
Marriage Insight prepares participants to achieve successful, deeply satisfying, lifelong marriages. Pre-marital couples learn to set realistic expectations, achieve synergy as a team, and overcome the challenges common to all marriages. Key areas include understanding and meeting each other’s needs, effective communication, strategic decision making, effective conflict resolution, intimacy, and budgeting.
We were certainly not the first to recognize the need for such a program or the first ministry to help prepare couples to achieve lifelong success in marriage. Participants in Christian, pre-marital training programs, like Marriage Insight, often have success rates of greater than 90% (versus 50% for marriages without any preparation).
It should also be noted that typically 10-20% of those who engage in pre-marital training programs, like Marriage Insight, decide not to marry. This is actually a good thing because many studies show these participants avoided bad marriages before they began.
If you are considering marriage in the next year, I encourage you to weigh the benefits and costs of Marriage Insight. Considering the lifelong advantages of a good marriage and the high cost of failure, I hope you will agree with me that it could be one of the best investments of your life.
– Larry Irion