Couples Conference 2022
Couple’s conference is a time enjoyed by both blushing newlyweds and seasoned married couples. This year’s conference was no exception. The theme for the conference was “Thriving as Christian Couples in the 21st Century” and it took place in the newly refurbished hall of our Birmingham Church. Over sixty Christian couples from our churches and groups across the UK were present. The length of marriages of the couples in attendance ranged from 4 months to 47 years!
Upon arrival, the couples were met with a beautifully decorated hall, which for some may have been reminiscent of their own wedding receptions! After tea and refreshments, the delegates were ushered into the hall to start their “Love languages Quiz” icebreaker. This quiz required each spouse to work on their own to complete and identify their love language. It was a strict requirement that each spouse ought not to look at their partner’s answers, which led to comical moments as some partners reported on the other for trying to peak at their answers! This then led to a mini-test where each spouse had to answer questions about their partner, which led to varying levels of success (and failures). The purpose of the love languages quiz was that; different people with different personalities give and receive love in different ways. By learning to recognize these preferences in themselves and in their spouse, they can learn to identify the root of potential conflicts, connect more profoundly, and truly begin to grow closer. For love to thrive in our marriages, we ought to follow Christ’s words, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you”(John 15: 12) and it is very important that we learn how best to love each other.
This was followed by a session on Thriving Communication. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do ( 1 Thessalonians 5: 11). We had fun activities to aid in the development of effective communication. The first session was a card game, where the couples spent time together going through a series of cards that asked questions that are not often asked. It was a fun and enlightening session, where new things were learned, and it was also so lovely to see couples actively engaging in conversation. This was followed up by a session where the couples learned the art of active listening. By sitting back-to-back, with one partner drawing something then describing to the other partner what they had drawn so that the other person could copy them based on their oral instructions only. This activity highlighted the importance of active listening and the fact that at times we may not fully understand what our partner has communicated to us, therefore it is essential that we take the time to listen and make sure that we have truly understood what is being said.
The conference then took a more serious turn as it progressed into the “Let’s talk about it – domestic abuse” session. This session started with a video that described what domestic abuse is from a Christian perspective and continued on with a summary being provided regarding domestic abuse. This was followed by a panel-led Q&A session after a short tea break.
The Q&A session was very powerful and revealing. Bible-based wisdom was provided by the panel on issues ranging from domestic abuse, to communication, and the role culture plays. The responses were thought-provoking and presented the church’s biblical view as one that was open to helping people who may find themselves in these circumstances.
Following the session, a short session was held on “thriving finances”. A video was played sharing finance tips from Bro. J Asaya of our Portland Oregon headquarter church. This was followed by a brief talk on the different ways you can generate alternative streams of income and also a discussion around financial protection – making sure that your family is protected financially even after one has died.
A delicious lunch was served to the delegates, which included starters, mains, and dessert, and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Following lunch, it was the session titled “Thriving relationships”, where a scenario was shared for the couples to discuss amongst their tables regarding the “intruders” that can enter our homes. This included ‘intruders’ such as work/colleagues, family, in–laws, friends, and associates.
This was followed by another panel-led Q&A session where issues around finances and managing third parties were discussed. Wherein, panel members and other delegates shared their experiences and biblically truths.
Overall, the day was light-hearted, filled with godly wisdom, and lots of fun and laughter, as well as encouragement and practical ways of enabling us to thrive as Christian couples.