This blog series comes as a result of a needs analysis conversation I had towards the beginning of the year with a local church leader. During this conversation the theme of the importance of healthy marriages was raised. This is a focal area for the leadership of this local church, one they are convinced is of high importance. We only too readily agree with this position, and so agreed to support them in building into their operational church culture the value of healthy and mature marriage relationships.
We have always felt that healthy church culture is carried best by healthy church members; it is not often the product of once off presentations or seminars. Healthy culture is caught and taught – which implies a long term formative process. Short term courses only provide so much, although they do have their place. We are convinced that the key to long term healthy culture and community is similar to what Eugene Peterson calls faith, ‘a long obedience in the same direction’.
There are no short cuts or instant-pudding fixes to relational integrity. It is the daily upkeep that shows lasting fruit. This theme is one of the key messages we believe stands as an antidote to the present day implosion of marriage relationships. So, we agreed to work closely with a few of the key couples within the church to support the adoption of the culture of investing in other couples.
The blog series that follows are the notes on theory and practice we covered together. It is important to note that this was intentionally hosted as a conversation, not a teaching lecture. The couples we met with each had great marriage experience and wisdom themselves, and so the learning process was intentionally mutual. Our goal, at the end of the four weeks together, was for us all to be empowered to effect change from within a church community by intentionally setting up mentoring relationships with other couples.
The blog series is split into seven posts. This first one is by way of introduction to the series. Part 2 covers the theoretical groundwork of what a mentoring relationship can look like. Part 3 is split into two and each covers a foundational building block for healthy relationship. Part 3.1 focuses on improved communication through the tool of reflective listening. Part 3.2 covers how to negotiate change and communicate needs. Part 4 is also split into three parts and is designed to detail how to interact with another couple in a mentoring relationship. They cover therapeutic listening, checking assumptions and partnering for growth, respectively.
Click any of the links below to get started.
Part 4.1 – Therapeutic listening
Part 4.2 – Checking assumptions
Part 4.3 – Partnering for growth
Part 4 is coming soon – watch this space.
- Happily ever after – Dr Gary Chapman, 2011. Tyndale.
- Keep your love on – Danny Silk, 2013. Bethel Church.
- Theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy G Corey, 2017. Cengage Learning.