Last night we started The Marriage Course at our church. This is a seven-week series of evenings when married couples come to spend time together exploring various aspects of their marriage, the goal being to build up and strengthen marriages. Alan and I ran the course 4 times at our church in Switzerland and enjoyed the participation of almost 50 couples over the 4 courses. We also had amazing teams of volunteers to help us prepare, serve and clean up each evening because the couples were treated to a restaurant-style experience in a candlelit room where they were served a four-course meal over the course of the evening.
At PBC the course is run differently, in the sense that it is run at the same time as The Alpha Course so one catering team prepares a meal for all participants in both courses. We all ate together and then the Alpha participants went off to take their course and the Marriage Course participants went off to a different room to take their course. I think we got the best deal – it’s hard to beat dessert by a log fire!
We have several couples on the course who are just stepping out on married life – literally just a few months married – as well as one couple who has been married for more than 25 years. In our experience the course has been of benefit to the ‘old’ couples as well as the ‘new’ ones. If we’re honest, we all need help in our marriages. I’m a sinner married to a sinner – so I need help because I often respond in sinful ways. God graciously offers us the help we need. I’m so grateful to Him, who thought up marriage in the first place, for giving me the opportunity to be married to Alan, my husband and best friend for almost 23 years (we celebrate our anniversary this month). We have been through ups and downs together – and it’s been a wonderful ride with Alan by my side! We were reminded last night that our marriage is entering the ‘winter season’ when teens are growing up and leaving the nest – and it is such a comfort to know that Alan still is my best friend and we can share this new season – whatever it holds – together.
My parents recently celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary and this morning received a card from the Queen! Such a milestone is surely something to celebrate – not many couples make it to 60 years of marriage these days. Congratulations, Mum and Dad – your faithfulness is an inspiration to us all!