Last April 18, Joey and I attended a workshop by the Family Ministry in CCF Center, designed for soon-to-wed couples, as well as newly married couples. Joey and I attended as facilitators and as participants at the same time as it was our first to actually join the said event. It started at around 9am and the set up of the place was like that of a wedding reception. The Multipurpose Hall was designed beautifully with matching flowers and candles on the round tables, including a buffet set up for lunch. There were a total of 4 sessions, each with different couples as speakers, and let me share with you some of the things we have learned from them.
Session 1: I’m Made for This
Ephesians 5:31-32 New International Version (NIV)
31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
In this session, the speakers were Edric and Joy Mendoza. They basically shared with us God’s design for a successful marriage, which is summarized in the Leave and Cleave Principle. In the verse stated above, we understood that it is truly God’s design that we unite as ONE. Leaving our past behind and starting a new life together as husband and wife. This also involves embracing our roles that God has set for us in our married life. The idea is that ,men should be as how Christ was to the church, which is represented by the wife. It sounds quite profound I know, but as you come to think of it, it is really simple. Christ loved us so much, (church, meaning the body of believers) that He gave Himself up to save us. This is what is expected of us, as Christ already lived as the perfect example for mankind to follow.
Edric and Joy also emphasized on the importance of commitment and communication and how this affects our relationship with our spouse. That in all things man and wife, it should stay between the two of you. We should always remember to back-up and protect each other as we are one in God, never letting other people get in the way of our privacy as a family. Yes, it is good to seek advice, especially to our parents, but we should take note that being married means we are now responsible with our own decision-making. Anything personal between couples must remain between them, and God, to protect the sanctity of marriage. This is also best remembered as we look at an equilateral triangle, also known as the marriage triangle.
Session 2: I Will “Role” with It
In this session, the clear-cut roles of husbands and wives were given more emphasis by Pastor Manny and his wife, Lisa Manansala. They specifically pointed out that the key to meeting the expectations of your spouse is by understanding your Godly roles, first and foremost.
Roles of the Husband:
- Leader of the Family
Ephesians 5:23 New International Version (NIV)
23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church,his body, of which he is the Savior.
- Lover of the Wife
Ephesians 5:25 New International Version (NIV)
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
- Provider for the needs of the family.
1 Timothy 5:8 New International Version (NIV)
8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Roles of the Wife:
- Be your husband’s Helpmate
Genesis 2:18 New International Version (NIV)
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
- Be Submissive and Respectful to your husband.
Ephesians 5:24 New International Version (NIV)
24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
- Be a responsible Home-Manager
Titus 2:3-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
Session 3: I Get It
This session focused more on the part of effective communication, as discussed by Nono and Txuna Felipe. Like any other couple, they shared how they struggled in the early parts of their marriage, in this particular area. Both of them agree that they lacked focus when one was talking, especially when the other person was preoccupied in doing something. This eventually led to a series of misunderstandings and preconceived assumptions, which added pressure in the everyday trials of marriage.
Proverbs 15:23 New International Version (NIV)
23 A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word!
Nono and Txuna shared 5 Principles that helped them in the area of communication:
- The Principle of First Response – the importance of responding vs. reacting.
- The Principle of Physical Touch – the importance of showing gentleness and love through actions.
- The Principle of Proper Timing – the importance of knowing when and where to say something.
- The Principle of Mirroring – the importance of how things should be said and heard as seen in Proverbs 22:17 “Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;
apply your heart to what I teach,”
- The Principle of Prayer – the importance of putting God at the center of the marriage.
Following these simple principles will help in improving the quality of our communication skills, not only to our spouse, but to other people as well.
Session 4: I Will Live Free
Colossians 3:12-13 New International Version (NIV)
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
John and Monique Ong are no strangers to us as they have already given their testimony a couple of times in different occasions. Although, hearing it over and over again is such a beautiful reminder of how God is able to turn a mess into a masterpiece, as Monique would relate it to. For you to experience the blessing of their testimony, and learn how to actually be able to forgive as God forgives, you can view it here.
In this session, they also focused on the gift of sex, in the context of marriage as well as how to keep yourself pure until the day of your wedding.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 New International Version (NIV)
12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Points to remember:
- Always keep your guard up.
- Your temptations are not unique to you.
- God will not give you more than you can bear.
- God always provides a way of escape.
Overall, the things we have learned from this whole day workshop cannot be summarized in just one blog post! It was such a well executed event and it was a blessing to be part of it. It was also a different kind of experience to be surrounded by other couples and discuss the same issues we all go through in marriage. Sharing struggles and the tips that helped us overcome is a wonderful way to learn as well. I hope to attend more seminars like this and hoping you can join us too, next time.