National Marriage Week 2012 invites married couples everywhere to Road Test their marriage with a three point challenge. The simple challenge gives couples three daily tests to check the state of their marriage and pick up early signs that it might not be performing as well it good as could be.
Supporting individual marriages
Marriage Week 2012 celebrates healthy marriage as the social institution providing vital inter-generational links and stability. Sensitive to other expressions of formal, committed relationship Marriage Week seeks to include partners whose relationship is based on a civil rather than church ceremony. The central theme for Marriage Week 2012 is based on challenging each marriage partner to run three simple tests that invite a response from their spouse:
- The Brush Past Test: For anywhere and anytime you have to squeeze past each other, brush your arm against your partner’s arm “accidentally”. Try sending this invisible signal at least once a day and see the visible results.
- The I See You Test: Make an effort to see and compliment the good in each other’s character. Look at each other as if it was the first time and speak a word of encouragement to brighten their day.
- Are We Nearly There Yet?: Really listen to each other. Identify where you’re going in life and uncover your common goals. Become each other’s greatest and most enthusiastic supporter – their number 1 fan. So when life’s disappointments come, you know who’ll still believe in you.
Just their response to these simple tests highlights to partners where things can start to go to wrong. Without even noticing it’s happening, busy modern life can easily carry partners into a state of relationship where they don’t have time to respond, notice or really know to each other.
Supporting marriage at whole church level
As well as ideas and skills direct to married couples, National Marriage Week supports year initiatives to help churches and church leaders promote healthy fulfilling marriages in their own congregations. Ideas for building marriage support into the church programme include:
- Hold a day of prayer for marriage
- Invite couples a marriage thanksgiving and rededication service
- Lead a marriage enhancement evening
- Put together a marriage first aid course
- Give a Sunday service and sermon to marriage
- Set up a bookstall for marriage and marriage preparation resources
Marriage Week 2012 suggests a range of books for you marriage and marriage preparation bookstall. These include a couple of tried and tested marriage and marriage preparation classics:
- The Highway Code for Marriage by Michael and Hilary Perrott: For anyone getting married, giving up on their marriage or wanting to make their marriage even better. Full of wisdom and experience to build or rebuild communication, respect, encouragement and forgiveness. Tackling the highs and lows of relationships, The Highway Code for Marriage is an honest and often humorous hope-filled book.
- Getting Married - A Guide to Getting Married in Church by Rosemary Gallagher and John Trenchard:Two editions give honest and practical guidance for couples planning a meaningful, memorable wedding in either the Catholic or Anglican tradition. These books speak to the couple about their love for each other with important questions dealt with clearly and frankly.
Marriage and marriages in the real world
The changing demands of modern marriage, and the pressure on Christian married couples in an incresingly secular world, means that couples can't be expected find all the answers just between themselves. Expert support and guidance from leaders in tune with the modern world is vital if marriage is to survive and flourish in the economic, social, demographic and sexual climate of the present day.
The number and quality of authors writing about and for marriage, is an indication of the importance that Christian leadership attaches to marriage as the foundation of church, community and civilised life. Despite, or perhaps because of, the statistics of marriage failure, investment in Christian marriage enrichment is a reassuring sign that marriage is not only worth preserving but essential that it should flourish.
Clicking the ‘Christian Books’ tab at the top of the Eden.co.uk home page, and then clicking the underlined word marriage under the ‘Christian Life’ category takes you to a selection of the newest and best selling marriage preparation, preservation and enrichment resources. Invest a little time clicking around in the list and you’ll find something that’ll help you get even more out of even the best marriage.
Quick Guide to Marriage, Love & Relationships
From the Eden.co.uk experience of what people are searching for when they come to the marriage, love and relationships page, here are three of the most recent titles that visitors to Eden.co.uk have found helpful:
- The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman: Learn to speak the love-language your spouse understands and learn to understand the language of love spoken to you.
- The Sixty Minute Marriage by Rob Parsons: Transform your marriage in an hour. Learning to talk and making time, how to survive conflict, hurts and heartbreaks of the past, present and future.
- The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick: Featured in big hit action movie ‘Fireproof’, this forty-day devotional leads you to finding true intimacy and developing a dynamic marriage.
February 10th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison