Helping people to stay together
Heart-to-Heart Marriage Mentoring Ministries is gearing up for its annual International Marriage Week celebrations next month.
Founders Allan and Mildred Hunt have helped husbands and wives improve their relationships for more than a decade.
The couple, who celebrate their 50th anniversary this year, are vocal within the local community on the value of marriage. They believe it is worth fighting for.
“Healthy marriages create healthy families. Healthy families create healthy and strong children who will perpetuate healthy communities for generations to come,” the Hunts said.
“Research clearly demonstrates that married adults live longer, have better health and experience greater personal happiness. Likewise, children who are raised by a married mother and father have longer life expectancies, experience fewer addictions and teen pregnancies and are more likely to graduate from college.”
Heart-to-Heart Ministries has been celebrating Marriage Week in Bermuda since 2012. Workshops, panel discussions and gala dinners have all been a part of the event.
This year, the Hunts will take ten couples on a romantic getaway on the Love Like You Mean It cruise. The eight-day voyage on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas to Bahamas, Puerto Rico and St Thomas was specifically curated for married couples through Family Life Ministries.
People can also commemorate Marriage Week privately; the Hunts encourage all married couples to take some time out to nurture their relationship.
“Plan a special event — a date night — and discuss the importance of marriage,” they suggested. “Go online and take the love language quiz (www.5lovelanguages.com) to determine your primary and secondary love languages.”
Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages is one of the tools the Hunts use to help couples strengthen their marriage. Plans are now under way to bring the New York Times bestselling author here for the first time next month, for a seminar the Hunts are hosting at the Fairmont Southampton.
“Mildred has been reading Dr Gary Chapman’s books for over 20 years,” Mr Hunt said. “Group studies have been conducted utilising The 5 Love Languages in small and large groups, both locally and overseas. We have also extended these teachings to children, giving presentations at several primary schools teaching the love languages of children.”
As written by Dr Chapman, the five love languages are: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. Each one is important and expresses love in its own way; they can be applied across various relationships, not just within a romantic context. Learning your love language as well as the love language of your partner, friend, child or co-worker will help you to create stronger bonds in your relationships.
The Hunts say the five love languages have impacted their marriage, their parenting skills and all their other relationships as they use the principles in their everyday life.
Mrs Hunt knows that Mr Hunt’s primary love language is “words of affirmation” and his second is “quality time”; Mr Hunt knows that Mrs Hunt’s primary love language is “acts of service” and her second is also “quality time”. Knowing this made it easier to navigate through the difficult times in their lives.
Through their ministry, they have exposed many couples to the concepts and marvelled at the outcome. The 5 Love Languages series has sold over 12 million copies and been translated into more than 50 languages. The Hunts are confident that his presence in Bermuda will be impactful.
“We have received constructive and positive responses from so many people who have not only read or partially read his books, but have put its tested and tried principles into practice. This further convinced us of the importance of bringing Dr Chapman to Bermuda,” they said.
Heart-to-Heart Ministries will host a reception and seminar with Dr Chapman on Friday, March 13 at 6pm at the Fairmont Southampton with the theme, “Learn How to Build and Sustain a Loving Relationship”.
“The event is for singles, for married or dating couples, for friends and coworkers, for divorcees or those on the verge of divorce, for those brand-new romances and for seasoned lovers,” the Hunts said.
They are also inviting church, business and government leaders to a private breakfast with Dr Chapman on Saturday, March 14.
•Heart-to-Heart Marriage Mentoring Ministries’ International Marriage Week celebrations run February 7 to 14. Tickets, $65 for singles and $125 for couples, are available at www.ptix.bm, 293-2903, 533-4770 and email@example.com
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