Kindle the love you had at first
Sheung Un is nurturing a culture of lifelong learning among seminary graduates in China.
This year we will provide graduates with a copy of Love as We First Met by Dr Benjamin Wat and Dr Rachel Wat-Lai.
“In our ministry journey, we meet brothers and sisters with numerous needs related to their marriage. Difficult situations and disputes often arise. Sometimes the relationship becomes so severely torn that it ends in divorce.”
“Pastors want to help couples resolve their conflicts and rebuild their marriage on a firm foundation. Yet they also face challenges and limitations.” Pastors might be younger and less experienced than the people they are trying to help. They also struggle to prioritise and maintain their own marriages. How can they preach what they do not practise? What use is teaching if they cannot set a good example?
Dr Wat and his wife have also experienced days of conflict and tension in their marriage. “Thanks to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we overcame our challenges. To share the lessons we learned, we wrote Love as We First Met.”
Prevention is better than cure
Helping couples to develop their relationship and prevent it from deteriorating is the most effective way to build up marriages. Dr Wat urges pastors to set up small groups for couples. “This provides companionship and enables group members to watch out for each other, pursue healthy relationships and grow and mature together. Group members must accept, respect, understand and support each other. Before joining, couples need to consent to these objectives and agree to maintain confidentiality.”
Whenever the groups meet, worship, Bible study and prayer are indispensable. “As well as nurturing our intimacy as couples, we need to nurture our intimacy with God so that he might become the centre of our life, marriage and family. We all need to be constantly reminded to focus solely on Jesus and find out what he wants for us.“
“If pastors are married, I encourage them to study and discuss the material with their spouse prior to leading the group. We are partners in evangelism. God wants us to fulfil his wonderful will together.”
Bridging the gap
Because the book distribution team has been prevented from visiting colleges and graduates, we asked authors to record videos to serve as study guides. Some college lecturers conduct online meetings for graduates so that they can continue to study and discuss books together. Even though they are not able to meet face to face, through his books and videos, and the enthusiasm of seminary staff, Dr Wat can still support and encourage young church leaders.
Please pray that the Holy Spirit will use this book to build up the marriages of evangelists and pastors and that they, in turn, will bless other Christian couples.
SparkLit grants make possible the provision of book packages to students graduating from seminaries, Bible colleges and training centres throughout China. This year’s package includes Love as We First Met.
Sheung Un and her colleagues provide theological and pastoral resources to students graduating from seminaries, Bible colleges and training centres across China.