On the 13th May Partnership South West hosted an online webinar entitled “Supporting Marriage” focusing on how this can be done in our Churches and Communities.
Here is a brief report from Andrew Conlan, our South West Regional Co-ordinator, on how the webinar went and what the main learning points were.
“We were grateful to have it led by Tim and Rachel Gilbert from Grosvenor Church Torrington. It was a very engaging partly because they were willing to be very open about their own marriage – the crises, but also how God had worked the miracle of rebuilding. A good part of the evening ended up being a Q & A session. One of the early questions was the one below. Here are some of the things that I heard as we progressed through the evening. Some of which we all know but also that we need to be reminded of.
How do we support marriages in our church?
- By investing significant time with couples in both preparing for marriage and afterwards at regular intervals
- By not assuming that everything is OK. Too often it is only when the crisis has erupted that we seek help. That may well be too late.
- By encouraging leaders to be open and vulnerable and so allow others to see that they also have difficulties at times and have to keep working at it
- By ensuring that every person who is married has someone they would be able to talk to?
- By recognising that all stages during the marriage have the potential to cause difficulty and that support might be required at those times, e.g. infertility/birth of children/teens leaving home
- By faithfully teaching God’s Word which will include teaching about marriage and all relationships
- By providing marriage enrichment opportunities/marriage courses for all couples and not just young couples.
- By realising that praying together is often not an easy thing to learn to do but not to be put off
- By recognising that every marriage is special, reflecting the unity of the Godhead and the love of Christ for his church that all marriages are like outposts of the kingdom of God and will be attacked by the enemy