The Marriage Course and Marriage Preparation Course were developed by Nicky and Sila Lee, co-authors of The Marriage Book and The Parenting Book. They have been married for over thirty years, have four children and are on the staff at Holy Trinity Brompton – the London church that started the Alpha course. They started The Marriage Preparation Course in 1985 and The Marriage Course in 1996, and the courses continue to spread with thousands of courses now running around the world.
They have spoken to thousands on the subject of marriage and are the co-authors of The Marriage Book which has sold over 52,000 copies since it was published in 2000.
Both talks are presented in one of two ways:
- DVD talks featuring Nicky and Sila
- Live talks
The talks are interspersed with filmed clips of couples talking about their experiences of marriage and street interviews from around the world. The course is run over 7 weeks. Each participant as a Marriage guest manual but there is no small group work. There are questions for the married couple to discuss during the evening but no feedback.
Many couples describe their experience on a Marriage Course as like “being out on a date night” Click here for feedback from a Marriage Course in Cork.
- Building Strong Foundations – This session helps couples to look at their lifestyle and its effect upon their marriage, and to discover more about each other’s needs and desires – particularly on an emotional level.
- The Art of Communication – Listening is a vital skill for a strong marriage. In this session couples practise communicating their feelings and listening effectively to one another.
- Resolving Conflict – In this session we look at how couples can increase their intimacy by expressing appreciation to each other, recognising their differences, learning to negotiate disagreements and praying for each other (if they feel comfortable doing so).
- The Power of Forgiveness – This session addresses the ways we will inevitably have hurt each other and how to resolve these so we don’t create a backlog of anger and resentment. We look at the process of healing through identifying the hurt, saying sorry and forgiving.
- The Impact of Family – Past and Present – This session focuses on helping couples to recognise how their family background affects the way they relate to each other. They also consider how to build a good and healthy relationship with their parents, in-laws and wider family, and how hurt from childhood can be healed.
- Good Sex – Sexual intimacy needs to be worked at and developed. It isn’t just the icing on the cake; it’s a vital ingredient of the cake itself. In this session couples are encouraged to talk about their sexual relationship and to recognise where they need to make changes.
- Love in Action – This session looks at five ways of expressing love – through words, time, touch, presents and actions. Couples discover which expression of love is most important for their partner and how to put this into practice.
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- Communication. This session helps couples see how important effective communication is for a strong marriage and how communication is affected by personality, family background and circumstances. Couples look at what it means to talk about their feelings and they practise listening to each other.
- Commitment. Commitment lies at the heart of the marriage covenant and is reflected in the marriage service vows. In this session couples consider the meaning of these vows and then look at how to live out this commitment th rough making quality time for each other on a regular basis and separating appropriately from their parents.
- Resolving Conflict. Conflict can either destroy a marriage or, if handled well, strengthen it. Couples consider how to handle anger, appreciate their differences, look for solutions together and practice forgiveness. Organising finances, a primary cause of conflict in marriage is also addressed.
- Keeping Love Alive. This session looks at how love must be deliberately nurtured in a marriage through couples nurturing their friendship, discovering how the other feels loved and developing their sexual relationship
- Shared Goals and Values. While appreciating their differences, couples need to agree on their goals and core values. In this session couples have the opportunity to discuss their priorities for the future, the roles they expect to fulfil and the building of spiritual togetherness
For further information click here.