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17 October 2019

Marriage and relationships

Steve Neal Marriage Ministry
married couple hands (CC0 © Juan Pablo Arenas - Pexels)

This is an exciting week for the Marriage Ministry team at Above Bar Church. Last Sunday we launched our marriage support team and John Risbridger unpacked a tricky part of The Sermon on The Mount from Matthew 5:27-32. Also, this coming Saturday we have the fourth of our marriage enrichment days: Exploring Marriage God’s Way.

What was ‘tricky’ about this bit of The Sermon on The Mount?

Well, in the NIV Bible (which we use at Above Bar Church) there are headings to add context; in this passage we have two, “Adultery” and “Divorce”. Both emotive and, for some, painful topics. The language used is dramatic and challenges our heart’s desires – how we deal with sexual temptations.

Rather than attempt to summarise it in a few words here, head over to YouTube or listen online.

‘The Church’ has strict rules about sex, right?

Yes, there are rules – but not to spoil our fun, rather to protect us from ourselves! God created us as relational and sexual beings, but He knows that we’ll mess it up and to get the best out of it we need some guidelines.

Sex is a celebration of the love between a man and a woman in marriage and an illustration of the perfect oneness of God the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit who exist in a union of perfect love and unbreakable commitment.

Listen to John’s talk. It’s great, and you’ll also learn about how our use of red chillies can teach us a lot about how we use sex!

How does Above Bar Church help marriages?

In several ways. Our Marriage Preparation course is vital for couples planning to get married. We learn about communication styles, differences, expectations, roles and, crucially, the Biblical foundation for Christian marriage.

We also have ‘marriage prep lite’ version for couples who are considering getting engaged and want to explore what a marriage commitment means.

The marriage enrichment day is for those already married. Whether it be for a year or two, or you’ve just celebrated your Golden Anniversary, there is always something to learn about how we can relate better to our wife or husband. Opening with a reminder of the covenant nature of marriage we then have some reminders of how we can respect and honour each other through our communication and behaviours. The bulk of the afternoon is a session for each partner to self-assess their part in their marriage and then discuss with their spouse. It’s a very powerful way to be open and honest with each other and explore ways in which your relationship can grow.

If I’m honest, we’re struggling in our marriage at the moment…

We recognise that from time to time many couples will struggle, for a variety of reasons. Our marriage support team are able to help couples during these difficult times with training in tools and techniques to help change ingrained habits. The team are trained and will work non-judgementally and prayerfully over five or six sessions. If appropriate they may refer you to professional counsellors.

How do I find out more?

The simplest way is to pick up one of our cards from the rack in the lounge at the church building or use one of these email addresses:

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