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Unique TV Show ’Marriage Uncensored’ Dares to Take the Gloves Off to be Culturally-Relevant

By Michael Ireland

jeudi 22 mars 2007, par Aloys Evina


LANGLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA Marriage Uncensored, a unique marriage counseling TV show, was launched when someone gifted a year of airtime on a local cable station to Campus Crusade/ Family Life Canada. The show started as a local effort to provide creative programming for the family in the local Vancouver, B.C.-viewing area. The program is now aired on the Canwest Global network across Canada, and on PBS in the U.S.

Marriage Uncensored TV show hosts Dr. Dave Currie and Christie Rayburn

According to Janice Nikkel, one of the producers behind the show : "There is no other show like Marriage Uncensored on television today. It follows a talk show format where guests join family coach, Dr. Dave Currie and co-host Christie Rayburn on various issues that affect the family. We seek to be entertaining, educational and ’uncensored.’ The show isn’t about white picket fence issues, but we try and cover the difficult issues — real issues families might face on their journey and we seek to offer practical support with specific ways to get through those areas."

Nikkel says of the program : "Our aim is to help build strong marriages. Two-thirds of our shows are about marriage issues, one-third are about parenting. We strive to be culturally relevant for audiences outside the church and help them achieve healthy families."

Topics will range from talks about sex, parenting, kids, teens, relationships, dating, infidelity, and even losing a child. (You can check on their website to view a list of the past seasons’ topics). Some of the show titles include : Marital Mayhem – Stupid Things Couples Do ; Sexual Addiction – Does Your Husband Have a Secret ? ; Shell Shocked – Waking up to the Realities of Marriage ; and When Bad Things Happen to Good Marriage.

Nikkel continued : "We seek to provide information and tips that will help couples anticipate and hopefully prevent potential problems. For those seeking help on a current issue, we offer remedial help to our viewers. In addition, we offer support on our web site through a monthly e-zine. We also have an online area to ask Dr. Dave any question. For those seeking additional support, we have also set up an online mentoring relationship with trained mentors."

Like any relationship, says Nikkel, marriage takes work.

"In marriage you bring two people together who have different personalities, backgrounds, complexities, and other unique needs. Multiply this with baggage from their family of origin and you have a recipe for lots of potential problems. Most relationships have complications, and if you avoid conflict, you’ll avoid each other. Failure to deal with problems that do crop up is asking for a major blow up. In life, you need to take a course to get a boating license, a driver’s license or even babysitting license. But they give marriage licenses to anyone who applies."

Aimed at the 30-something crowd who are busy juggling the demands of raising kids, careers, and trying to keep their marriages together, Marriage Uncensored seeks to be a source of real hope with real answers.

The half hour talk show is designed to be engaging, relevant, open and almost raw, thus uncensored in its discussion on issues many families face.

Program host Dr. Dave Currie says : "We aren’t afraid to tackle any issue, be it abortion, broken marriages, pornography, sexual anorexia, affairs ; we cover all the difficult ones within a marriage and how to face them."

Together with co-host Christie Rayburn, Dr. Currie also covers topics including raising great kids, having good manners, the effect of media on families, issues teenagers face, and even great sex in marriage.

When faced with marital struggles, or other crises, people might not go to marriage counseling or seek help at a church, but they will watch television or go to the internet for help. Dr. Currie says they hope to "improve what goes on in the four walls of your house. We maintain over and over again that you will never regret putting your marriage and family first."

The goals and aims of the program are to provide healthy, culturally relevant and Biblically based material for an audience that is outside the church. Dr. Currie continued : "Our goal is to help people achieve healthy families. It is the tip of the spear into the culture to build a relationship of trust with the people so we can help them further in their personal lives and their relationships."

The show seeks to do this through their web site and on-line mentoring.

When asked if the show is relevant to those with good marriages, Dr. Currie says : "Most relationships have complications. I think for a person to say that a good marriage doesn’t have problems is either drunk or dead. A good marriage is one where we can work through problems in a reasonable, fair and short order. If you try to avoid conflict you end up avoiding the relationship and thus each other."

He adds : "Every relationship is permeated with some levels of conflict, albeit, some more difficult than others because of families of origin, personal baggage, etc. but the bottom line is all marriages will go through some stages of conflict at different seasons of the marriage. The failure to anticipate that there will be problems and the failure to deal with them properly when they do come up are some of the biggest issues why marriages have problems. People get education on how to drive cars. They even take a course to get a boating license. But they can get a marriage license without taking a course on how to have a great marriage. Our argument is that they need to get help in just building a good marriage."

What is making marriage so hard to make successful ?

"High expectations," says Nikkel. "The more you put into working at your marriage, the higher value you will place on it. There aren’t as many good role models today, and Marriage Uncensored wants to be a resource they can use."

ANS wanted to know what are some of the most helpful suggestions for improving marriage that the hosts have shared with their audience ?

"Dr. Dave explains that this is a show ’we dare couples to watch together.’ Every guy likes a dare, and when you take the time to watch it together, you are both opening up the opportunity to work through things. Dr. Dave ends every show with the phrase : ’You’ll never regret putting your family first !’

Nikkel adds : "This show is such a great resource for people to know about. People may not go to church, or they may not go to counseling, but they will watch TV and they do surf the web. The show isn’t good to anyone if they don’t know about it !"

Marriage Uncensored is a division of Family Life Canada — a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. The show is driven by donors who are committed to help turn the tide in the divorce rate in North America and around the world. When asked how long he sees himself as the director of Family Life Canada, Dr. Currie quickly stated : "Until I see a decline in the number of divorces in this country."

Guests this season have included radio personality, Dr. Laura Schlessinger. After being invited she said she loved what the show was all about and wanted to be a part of it. Other guests have included : Dr. Gary Chapman (author of NY Times bestseller, The Five Love Languages), Dr. Henry Cloud (author of Boundaries and Integrity), Dr. Bill & Joyce Harley (authors of His Needs, Her Needs), Dr. Bill & Pam Farrel (authors of Red Hot Monogamy, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (author of Love & Respect), MovieGuide film critic Dr. Ted Baehr, and Jeff & Shaunti Feldhahn (authors of For Men Only and For Women Only).

Marriage Uncensored can be viewed on PBS in the United States, on the CanWest Global Network across Canada, and in Israel and Guam.

If your local PBS station is not currently carrying Marriage Uncensored, please call them and ask them to air this show. Past shows and other resources can be found at

For more information, please contact Janice Nikkel at 604-514-2144 or at


Copyright © ASSIST News Service, used with permission

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