I’ve gotta tell ya, I’m a little nervous. A few years ago I started getting a little nudge from God to develop something that would support marriages within our church family at Tintern. The problem was that I had fewer than no ideas and I felt completely unqualified to tackle this (still do actually). The only thing I knew for sure was that I had been married for a number of years and God had certainly blessed us. I wished the same for the other married couples that we knew. The problem is that there is no forum for any of us to share experiences and wisdom. I felt that the health of our marriages should be something that gets tons of support and conversation. Doesn’t it feel like your marriage is something private and if you don’t have your stuff together you’re supposed to figure it out on your own? I think our church family should be able to speak into our relationships a little more than that.
Our church family should be the first place that we all go to for support and help when things are tough. No one expects the newlywed couples to just sail through the early years of marriage without any conflict but we sure send the message that they shouldn’t bring their conflicts to church! In time we have all watched marriages collapse right in front of us without any idea of how to help. What if we could build something that would help prevent that from happening? Can you imagine the church being a place that built great marriages and transformed struggling ones?
I spend a lot of time online looking at Christian websites to help my own marriage and three years ago I found the Peasant Princess video series put out by the Mars Hill Church and Pastor Mark Driscoll. Wow!! That transformed my attitude and my marriage. This series was just too good to keep to myself so we started a Peasant Princess group at Tintern. We wrapped up our first Peasant Princess group about a year and a half ago now, this spring we finished groups two and three and group four is on the go right now! My hope for the groups was that this series would give us a vocabulary so we could talk with each other about how our marriages were doing.
In the meantime, what should we do? Noel and I were talking about this again and we decided to start a blog specifically for our reflections on “life with you”. Consider for a moment the title of the blog. We want to talk about life together (you and your spouse) but we also want to talk about life with God too.
We are by no means professional counselors and this is not meant as a tool to replace any needed counseling. This is just meant for encouragement, support gleaned from the few things we’ve learned over the years. I’m hoping this will open the lines of communication between spouses as well as couples at church. One thing I do know is that too many people settle for sick or dysfunctional marriages. Satan is after your good marriage and it’s worth protecting.
I’m sure that somewhere along the line we will write something you really don’t like. We don’t mean to offend or upset people but we do plan on writing frankly about everything. We haven’t lived your situation, we can only write from our own perspective and pray that it is helpful to some couples out there. Please extend us a little grace and certainly add your comments.
So here we go, get ready everyone. We’ll just wade into this thing and see if it can swim.
[From Noel] Julie has served part time as an Obstetrical Nurse for ten years and in addition to being my favourite nurse at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital, she is a fantastic mom for four boys becoming men. Julie and I met in High School and after six years of dating she said yes! That was more than 18 years, two apartments, two houses, and two minivans ago. She is God’s richest blessing to me and we have been working on a life together ever since my favourite day in May.
[From Julie] Noel is currently one of the ministers at the Tintern Church of Christ in Vineland Ontario. He started his journey into ministry a little differently than most. After teaching at Great Lakes Christian High School for eleven years – which incidentally was where we first met as high school sweethearts – Noel answered the call of full time ministry.
In the meantime, Noel is busy studying for his Masters of Divinity at McMaster Divinity College with hopes of further education in the future. On top of all this Noel is also Dad to our four young “mini-Noels”. He is a terrific father and there is no one I’d rather have as my boy’s measure of a Godly man. Thanks for picking me honey!
You may have noticed the picture in the banner at the top of the page. Pretty great right. We owe this terrific image to Shannon Vine of Shannon Vine Photography. She was gracious enough to let us use it on the blog and I think it fits wonderfully. Shannon lives in Thessalon ON and does some really amazing work so check out her site and she will travel if you decide you want her to photograph your family. See if you can figure out who is in the photo in the banner.