Walking with Married Couples
Elder Jonathan and Kiyoko tell us more about Marriage Mentors, a mentorship programme where dedicated mentor couples would walk alongside married couples.
1. We have started some programmes for marrieds. What has been going on?
Indeed, we have started a Marriage Mentors programme in church that consists of six couples who have gone through preparation based on Marriage Matters by Winston Smith. But more importantly they are couples committed to walk alongside marrieds both young and old as couples journey through the many challenges of married life.
2. What prompted these programmes? Why is there a need?
It has always been a no-brainer to have pre-marital prepreparation to help couples get ready for marriage. However challenges do not stop at the threshold of the wedding day. In fact, Scripture tells us that married life after the fall, like all other aspects of life, is tainted by sin. Marriage, the most intimate of human relationships, is a beautiful gift from God but sometimes cut the deepest and can cause tremendous pain. Believers should not be surprised by this, nor should they struggle in this alone. Marriage Mentors exists to provide a biblical based approach to marital conflicts, through dedicated mentor couples that provide fellowship, encouragement, and guidance in a safe and confidential partnership.
3. In our culture, we might be "paiseh" (slang for being shy) to share with other couples. Why is it so important for couples to involve others in their life?
Part of our growth and maturity into Christ includes our married life. Ephesians 4:15-16 reminds us, as we mature in Christ (and in our marriages), we strengthen the body (the church). Paul describes growth in corporate terms not individually. The church is not just Christ’s instrument for world outreach and renewal but also of His sanctifying work in believers’ own lives. This is done through Christian fellowship, example and accountability. It will always be awkward and difficult to share personal struggles with others, but we hope that GBC will see the importance of overcoming awkwardness in order to grow in grace.
4. In GBC, we are blessed to have older, more mature couples. How do you think they can help younger couples?
Older couples are a blessing from God. They bring with them a wealth of experience in marriage and a lifetime of God’s faithfulness to call to remembrance. Through the open sharing of older couples, younger ones can be encouraged and built-up. Besides that, they invite a glimpse into what gospel faithfulness looks like at an older life-stage.
5. What are some ways that the singles in the church can help our married couples grow in Christ?
As singles, even divorced or widowed members of the church, look forward to the second coming of Christ and the wedding feast of the lamb where they will be finally consummated with Christ. Marrieds are reminded that their earthly marriages point to the mystery of Christ and the church. Singles in this way remind marrieds of this profound truth of God’s desire for us and the great cost He bore to bring us to Himself. Singles also usually come with less life commitments and bring about new energy and enthusiasm that marrieds with children could find lacking. This makes for wonderfully synergistic ministry partnerships in care group (CG) settings.
[If you would like to have a mentor couple walk alongside you in your marriage, or to find out more about Marriage Mentors, do email Elder Jonathan.]
Starting 6 Jul, EQUIP will be conducting an 8-session series called Marriage Matters. In this video, Elder Jonathan & Kiyoko and Elder Thian Chye & Janice invite you to attend the sessions that will take place every Tues at 8pm via Zoom: