Nicky & Sila Lee are not only the creators of the Marriage and Pre-Marriage Course and The Marriage book, but they have also worked for years as a pastor couple at the HTB church in London. So, they know from first-hand experience what challenges come with a pastor marriage and supporting flourishing marriages in the church.
What advice do you have for pastors who want to invest in relationships in their church?
“First of all: prevention is better than cure. Therefore, two things need to be talked about in the church: the reality of marriage and the hope of marriage. Often, we see two sides of a marriage. The Hollywood/fairytale side where everything is beautiful and seems to go by itself, and on the other hand the reality that people think that divorce is the solution when it’s no longer fun. Because of this, dealing with relationships can sometimes feel like putting out fires, like crisis management.
That is why it is important to work on a culture in which relationships can be talked about openly. That marriage is God-given and can be very beautiful, but that it does not happen by itself. The Marriage Course can be a very nice tool for this.
As a pastor, share about your experiences with the Marriage Course. That way you show that your marriage is not perfect either, but that you can work on it in a fun way. Of course, you don’t have to share any details. Or agree in advance with your partner what things you do and do not share. Showing vulnerability is very important.
It is also important to realize that change takes time. In our church (HTB in London) it took no less than twelve years before it became normal for couples to follow a Pre-Marriage Course or Marriage Course. So it’s important to persevere.
Also make use of the talents in your community. As a pastor you are often busy enough, but God gives every church the right people with a heart for marriages. They can take on the practical matters such as organizing the Marriage Course.
Once the culture of working on relationships is in place in the congregation, you see that it multiplies rapidly. Couples first follow a Pre-Marriage Course if they have wedding plans. Then they take a Marriage Course when they have been married for a number of years, and many couples are then enthusiastic to become course leaders at the Pre-Marriage Course themselves.”
In our next blog we’ll explore the effect of pastor hood on marriage.
Are you curious what an evening of the Marriage Course looks like? Please feel free to reach out to me to discuss further. I am here to help.