WAXAHACHIE — The general thought that "love is all you need” isn’t necessarily true when it comes to lasting relationships. Love, among other key elements of communication, respect, and honesty, is required for the delicate dance of connection between couples, says at least one local minister.
With hopes to protect the integrity and harmony that comes with intimate relationships, Waxahachie’s Brown Street Church of Christ is providing an insightful opportunity to help couples grow in their bond through a "Relationships Matter" seminar. The gathering will take place March 26-29.
“This seminar, 'Relationships Matter,' will deal with relationships of people, either married, divorced, widowed, or single. It covers just about every facet of life,” explained Steve Bailey, Pulpit Minister of Brown Street Church of Christ.
Directors of Marriage Matters, Dr. Jerry and Lynn Jones, will conduct the seminar and plan to help couples take the next step in their relationships.
“Dr. Jerry Jones is not the football coach,” Bailey joked. “He and his wife have been doing these seminars to help people who’ve been through the same things they’ve been through.”
According to Marriage Matters, the Jones’ have been married since 1995, each working on their second marriage when their passion for God and ministry joined. The couple then started "Marriage Matters: A Practical and Spiritual Guide for Marriage" in 1996.
Dr. Jones' first marriage ended in 1994 when he lost his wife to cancer after 35 years of matrimony, while Mrs. Jones’ 23-year first marriage ended in divorce in 1993. The couple has seen the ups and downs of matrimony in their personal lives, as well as within others.
“They can empathize and sympathize what’s going on in your life,” Baily expressed. “If you’ve been divorced, Lynn knows what that’s like. If you’ve lost someone to a terrible disease, Jerry knows where you’ve been.”
Apart from the Jones’ 21 years of marriage, Dr. Jones holds two master’s degrees and a doctorate in theology, while his wife obtained a master's in clinical psychology and has worked as a psychotherapist and a psychology professor. Together, the seasoned duo is prepared to lead this year’s conference being qualified in both academic and personal realms of experience.
“One of the subjects of the seminar is called, ‘Unrealistic Expectations - This is not quite what I expected,’ and this could be for anybody that’s thinking about getting married,” Bailey expounded on the topics that will be covered. “We’ll also talk about, ‘Trouble in Paradise,’ and how pornography is a huge problem with men, but also to women who feel like they have to compete to be that person.
“‘Loving your mate through the seasons of life,’ you’ve got seasons of early marriage, childbearing years, and then you’ve got empty nesting. So everyone’s got these seasons of life that they have to deal with and the seminar covers."
As explained by Marriage Matters, the conference is based around using God-centeredness as the foundation of unity. The Jones will provide information for maintaining healthy marriages, and explain in a down-to-earth manner the origins of marital problems and the solutions to counter them.
The 13-session course covers topics from discovering core issues in personalities and relationships to developing practical communication skills and deepening genuine love and for one another. Each class explores complex problems and the emotions that surround relationships and then attempts to fill it with sound psychological advice and biblical direction.
“There will be handouts every night with outlines to follow while they’re speaking. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night, there will be dialog happening between Jerry and Lynn, so it’ll be in tandem, and people won’t have to worry about a two-hour solid lecture. There will be interaction between husband and wife and discussion and an opportunity to talk to people,” Bailey explained, later adding that counseling will be made available for those who attend the sessions. “If you come to the seminar and you’re having marital issues or single issues, and you want to talk to Jerry and Lynn, they will meet with you privately if you’ve attended the classes. So if you come and would like to have some counseling services for an hour, they’ll be happy to meet with you."
No matter the situation, Bailey encourages any age or relationship status to attend.
“It’ll be something for everybody, every age group,” he acknowledged. “We do these types of seminars to help people as part of our outreach, as well as, strengthen our own congregational members. This is an outreach to those who are having marital issues, or family issues, with questions of, ‘How do I help a husband who won’t leave pornography alone? How do I deal with a death in my family?’
“I think it could certainly help. It’s one of those things where if you have a prescription from a doctor and if you take the medicine home but put it on the shelf and don’t take it - it’s not going to do you any good. You have to come and listen, and take in what’s there to be said."
Delighted to teach the dance of healthy relationships, Baily, with the help of the Jones’, is looking forward to the reconciliation event.
“My hope is that people will come and come consistently. I think if they do that, they’re cup is going to be filled up, and get plenty of good things. People will have something to take home with them. These are useful workshops we do throughout the year, and they’ll be more of them to come,” Bailey finished with a smile.
The conference will be held March 26-29 at 2471 Brown Street in Waxahachie.
To attend the Relationships Matter Seminar, visit cocbrownstreet.org/calendar/relationships-matter or call Brown Street Church of Christ at (972)-937-8855.
Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer