Archive for marriage

Average couple has four rows a day during December!

Average couple has four rows a day during December!

That’s the statistic quoted in this article by Care for the Family on the pressures couple face over the festive season! Hopefully by following some of the advice they give we can all aim to be below average on this one!

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Nicky & Sila Lee: Let’s Talk About Sex

Nicky & Sila Lee: Let’s Talk About Sex. I love this article from my heroes Nicky and Sila Lee – founders of The Marriage course.

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Make every day Valentines Day with the 2012 Marriage week challenge

I love marriage week and what it seeks to do – Each year the organises help us bring some romance and spark into our relationships and 2012 is no exception. So on the eve of Valentines Day, when the whole world seems to turn insane (and red!) and measure love by the number of valentines cards and gifts you do or do not receive,  I challenge you to take up the Marriage week 3 point challenge.

1 – ‘The Brush Past’ encouraging physical affection and tenderness. Accidently brush your arm against his or hers when you squeeze past each other. 

2 – ‘I See You’ challenging each to step back and appreciate their partner with fresh eyes. Make an effort to see and compliment the good in each others character. Speak an encouraging word to brighten their day.

3 – ‘Are We Nearly There Yet’ asking couples to be intentional about talking about their hopes and dreams. Really listen to each other. Identify where you are going in life and uncover some common goals.

The three small challenges are designed to get couples thinking and acting intentionally towards each other: For more info check out the website at

Let’s make it Valentines day every day in our marriage!


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A Valentines Dinner

Another way to celebrate National Marriage week….


Find out more at

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Eat,Talk and Play on a budget?


To help you on your way with the Marriage week challenge to have a meal together, check out the discounts you can get at certain restaurants at Here you will find lots of discounts or meal deals. Do check the small print though as some deals are not valid on valentines day! You can also check out the discounts on gifts and even interflora for even more romance!


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National Marriage week

Next week (Feb 7th –14th) is National Marriage week and I want to challenge all of you to take up the marriage week 2011 challenge to Eat-Talk-Play


In our busy lives today, all too often we don’t make time for the most basic of social functions – eating together! So this Marriage Week, why not make the time to sit down together and share a meal for two?? If you can make the time, why not share the preparation – and the clearing up! If you haven’t got time to cook, how about a take-away, or a romantic meal at a local restaurant. Take time to savour the sights, smells and flavours of a great meal together.


What does your daily communication as a couple consist of? Organising the family and home, questions about the kids, what needs to go on the shopping list? Or perhaps some of the big decisions of life – whether to move house, what new car to buy, your health or ailments? When was the last time you sat down and just talked about “you” – the challenges of life, what’s motivating you, what’s dragging you down, how it feels to be you – or perhaps your hopes and dreams for your future together? Make some time this week to sit down together just to “talk”!


When we first fall in love life always seems to be full of fun – but as the years go by, sometimes we forget to play together! This week, why not make some time to do something together you both enjoy. It could be as simple as going for a walk, watching a movie together, or spending an evening in your local pub. Or of course you could do something adventurous – go para-gliding or bungee jumping! Or perhaps, you could just curl up together in front of a fire, and read stories to each other. Still short of ideas – download the guide to creating fun-filled dates. Whatever it is, try and find something you can both take part in, and which will remind you of the fun times in your relationship!

You can find out more on the national marriage week website at

Have fun!

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Next steps after LoveLife!

At Every Nation we have just finished a fantastic series called LoveLife where we have looked at relationships, based on the book from the bible called Song of Songs. If you missed it , why not catch the downloads at our Every Nation website.

I am sure most of us  feel we could invest more in the most important relationships in our lives. One way to prioritise your spouse next year might be to enrol on the Marriage course. We have one that starts Wednesday 19th January from 7:30 to 9:15, for 7 week in Twickenham, hosted by James and Megan Lyell. You can find the details at If Twickenham is too far then you check out other courses running in your area at Marriage course website.

The next best thing would be to read the book. The Marriage book by Nick and Sila Lee is packed full with fantastic advice on keeping your marriage healthy.

Not sure if marriage is the next step? Check out  Look before you Leap – J. John. Described as "A practical guide to one of the most difficult life decisions with humour". You can then enrol on a Marriage preparation course which  is designed for any engaged couple or couples looking towards marriage,  who want to build a strong and lasting relationship.

Every Man’s/ Every Womens battle are great books for both marrieds and singles, focusing  on how to deal with the battle of sexual purity. One review I read said about Every Man’s battle that “It’s just simple, straight advice about how to live the sort of life the Bible calls us to, in a society which gives us every opportunity not to”.

Hope for the Separated – Gary Chapman. Contains sound and practical advice for those who are separated to know how to give their marriage the best chance of being restored.

Finally, for those who have been through or are going through the pain of divorce or separation Holy Trinity Brompton run The Divorce and Separation Recovery course . The course is run three times a year and is both practical and supportive, giving any separated or divorced person the opportunity to discuss the challenges they are facing and the tools to deal with these effectively.

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Marriage and family life courses at EN

I know you will get sick of me saying it but I am passionate about building strong families. At Every Nation church we want to facilitate that happening so we promote various courses that will help you on your journey.

Marriage preparation course.

Starts Wednesday 11th February from 7:15 to 9:30, for 5 weeks in Surbiton, hosted by Annelise and Waldi Schoonraad.

The Marriage Preparation Course is for any couple who is engaged, or looking to get engaged and who want to develop strong foundations for a lasting marriage. The course is based on Christian principles for relationships and it is suitable for people with, or without a church background. The cost is £40 per couple which covers course materials and refreshments.

The Marriage course

Starts Wednesday 11th February from 7:15 to 9:30, for 7 weeks in Worcester Park, hosted by Mark and Taryn Robb.

The Marriage course is for any married couple who wants to work together at and invest in their relationship. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been married for less than two years or more than thirty.If you have a strong marriage this course will help you make it even better and will reinforce your good habits. If on the other hand your marriage is in difficulty, the course will help provide you with very practical tools to help you work through the issues. While the course is based on Christian principles couples are welcome with or without a church background. Many couples who are not churchgoers have enjoyed and benefited from doing the course. The cost is also £40 per couple to cover refreshments and materials.

Expectant Parent workshop

Saturday 9th May  10:00 to 12:30 in Ealing at Dan and Amanda Smart’s home.

This is for first time parents or those expecting who have not previously attended a course. This is just a morning where we can pass on some stuff that we think will be useful for you to know about having a new baby in the house. We will also talk about some of the books that we found helpful and try to answer any questions you may have about labour and those first few months.

For more details or to register for any of the courses please email me on

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Cheap date nights

As the credit crunch hits, nights out with our spouses seem to be more difficult to afford. However there are some good deals to be had so you don’t need to spend a months grocery budget on one night out. I recently subscribed to Martins money saving tips at which has lots of money saving tips including up to date restaurant deals. For instance, at the moment you can download a voucher from the Gourmet Burger Kitchen website to get a buy one get one free deal on burgers or main salads. Visit the women’s website and you can download vouchers for 2 for 1 main meal deals at Zizzi’s, ASK and Cafe Rouge.

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The 10 second rule

It’s not often I read something in my inbox that gets me stirred up to blog immediately but today it has happened. The Care for the Family email arrived with an article called The Ten Second Rule. How it just takes 10 seconds to start an affair. I urge you all to read it. It’s very sobering but if you think about the colleague and friends you know, you can only acknowledge how accurate the picture is that Rob Parsons paints. No-one gets up in the morning and makes the decision they want to get a divorce or wreck their marriage and family. It is just a series of small bad decisions that could be avoided in those first 10 seconds…

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