On a quest to help couples find happiness
Drew and Kit Coons have travelled from Bahrain to Bolivia teaching couples how to have happy, God-centred marriages.
In two weeks they’ll be here for a workshop organised by Bermuda’s Heart-to-Heart Marriage Mentoring Ministry that promises people a chance “to relax, laugh and have a good time” while developing tools for success in their relationships.
“Nobody will be embarrassed or made to feel judged,” said Mr Coons. “We will share and illustrate with personal stories, Biblical principles that can make any marriage successful and, more than just successful, a joy to live in.
“We want the couples who attend to leave with hope of a better relationship for themselves and for their children. And after the conference we’ll offer Bible study materials to help couples apply the principles little by little, to make that hope a permanent reality.”
Mr Coons met his wife in 1980 while in Africa doing humanitarian work with Campus Crusade for Christ, an interdenominational Christian organisation founded in 1951 for college and university students.
Trained in both evangelism and discipleship, Mrs Coons was living in a mud house with no running water or electricity. Her future husband was attracted to her resilience and grit, figuring she was as “tough as a hickory nut”.
They married on October 10, 1981.
In 1989, having spoken with many people who were struggling in their marriages, the Coonses decided to share the teachings of FamilyLife, a Bible-based resource Campus Crusade created for all stages of marriage. To their surprise, 29 couples signed up.
“The couples found the groups to be fun and meaningful and told others,” Mr Coons said. “More and more couples came. We then hosted a marriage conference. Nearly a thousand people attended, hundreds giving testimonies of changed lives afterwards. The remarkable response convinced us that God had called us to minister to families.”
It was his experience that most couples having marriage difficulties would try at least one thing to save the relationship before giving up on it completely.
He recalled how one couple had decided to divorce but agreed to attend a Bible study the Coonses were hosting — God was able to put that marriage back together.
“We weren’t professional counsellors or marriage experts however, the Biblical principles shared helped them each to change,” said Mr Coons.
“Later we taught the marriage materials at our church. Afterwards, one wife said, ‘We’ve done many Bible studies before. This time our lives are different.’ Over the years, we’ve heard thousands of comments such as: this saved our marriage; my husband is different now; we learnt how to communicate.”
The Coonses say one of the best rewards is seeing parents positively affected, and the impact that has on their children.
“We know that helping mothers and fathers to truly love each other afresh and learn how to work together is the best gift for any child,” Mr Coons said.
“Other great rewards come from lay couples who take our challenge to lead the marriage Bible studies themselves. They report God working with great enthusiasm.
“Many of the lay leaders had been faithful to church, but had never experienced the joy of seeing God use them personally to touch the hearts of those they care about.”
As field staff with FamilyLife, the Coonses have spoken in about 20 different locations around the globe.
What they most enjoy is seeing the positive impact they have on so many lives.
• The FamilyLife Weekend to Remember conference takes place at the Fairmont Southampton February 8 to 10. Tickets, $175 per person, can be purchased from organisers Allan and Mildred Hunt on 293-2903 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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