brian + sarah

 

It’s been a weird few days here. Brian and I have spent the last couple of days talking about starting a marriage – I don’t know what to call it – a collective? a ministry? a toolbox? a website? a conference? whatever. It started a couple of days ago when I popped off on my Facebook page about how much I wished there was a really great marriage conference for people whose marriages are more like our own – theologians call it “egalitarian” meaning that we believe in a marriage of equals, that we are co-leaders and our marriage is more about lifting each other up and following Jesus together as one.

It was just a spur-of-the-moment rant born of frustration to be honest because even though there is amazing theological basis for this kind of a marriage it never seems to make its way out of the silo of academia or even strong local churches so sometimes it feels like the popular and prolific teaching in the modern Church leans more towards a form of soft patriarchy. I’m kind of over the language of patriarchy being acceptable in church.

And just because we believe in a marriage of mutuality doesn’t mean we also don’t need a few tools in our toolbox for things like conflict resolution, finances, sex, romance, aging, navigating crisis or change, all of that same stuff because hello, we’re all people with real stuff to deal with and marriage can be hard sometimes no matter what your theology is. And there is a real lack of resources for people who don’t fit the dominant narrative of Christian marriages for whatever reason, too.

Anyway, I did a little FB post about it and it kind of took over my life for a bit. In less than 24 hours I had heard from more than a thousand people. People who want a conference, people who want access to teaching, people who wanted to volunteer, ones who had already developed that very material but it wasn’t reaching many people, ones who wanted to speak, ones who had ideas for topics to cover, ones who were just cheering the idea on and saying “I’m in!”

I was flabbergasted. And overwhelmed. So now what?

After all, marriage ministry isn’t my lane. I haven’t ever written a book about marriage. I rarely write even essays about marriage and even when I do it’s never prescriptive, it’s more testimony. I don’t even attend the marriage workshop thing either: the only couple of times I’ve been to a marriage event, I didn’t really dig it. We don’t read a ton of marriage books. We don’t counsel couples in our real life – at least not formally. We have only been married for fifteen years and while not all sunshine and roses, our marriage has been strong and I believe we have loved each other well in all seasons. I freely admit that I came into marriage – and so did Brian – with a good toolkit of practical skills for making a marriage “work” because of our families of origin. We had fantastic examples of commitment and fidelity and honour and love and even romance lasting a lifetime – and the older I get the more I realise both how rare that is and how deeply valuable.

Basically our only claim to marriage expertise is that we think we have a pretty good and healthy marriage, centered on Jesus, and we like how we do things. We don’t claim to have it all figured out.

So I was sitting there with emails and tweets and notes and phone calls and messages with topics and stories and pleas and hopes and I looked at Brian and said, “Well, now what?”

We seriously prayed and talked and sought counsel all weekend about what to do with this obvious need. We began to see a pattern in all of the emails and messages for two tiers of need:

  1. a need for the theological foundation for a marriage of mutuality to become more accessible to regular folks and
  2. a need for practical skills and help in implementation.

We seriously contemplated getting this thing off the ground – an organiziation, a non-profit, a ministry to resource Jesus-centered, kingdom-focused marriages.

The thing is that the more we looked into it, the more we realised that all of the stuff is already there. 

The leaders are here. The teaching is here. The gatherings are here. The workshops are here. The video curriculum is all here. There are books! There are leaders who have been in the trenches for marriage ministry for many many years, longer than we have even been married and with much more experience and wisdom than I could dream of having.

So we’re not necessarily against starting a marriage thing. It’s just that it’s not our lane at this time for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is a sense of calling to that place.

I remember when Brian and I were thinking about planting a church a while ago. We ended up deciding to come alongside of an existing regular imperfect church and throw ourselves into a small community and serve there instead. Even if we did someday plant a church (which we haven’t done and still don’t feel compelled to do) it would be from a place of relationship and wisdom rather than a sense of “I’ll just show up and show’em all how it’s done.”

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not anti-church planting in the least but I do wonder why we are often so eager to start new things when the faithful ones who blazed the trail are there with their wisdom and their anointing and their counsel, ready to empower and equip and love us. I see the same dynamic in the justice sector: people always love to start a new non-profit instead of coming alongside of existing non-profits that have already done the hard work and put down roots, who have something to teach us all. It’s sexier to start a new thing, I get that, but I don’t think the Kingdom of God is always about the slick and sexy new thing.

I think I’ve landed in a similar place for the whole marriage ministry/gathering thing. I do see the value of a gathering. And I do see the value of the creation of a website with resources, articles, theological teachings, or weekly e-newsletters. I see the value of a collective of leaders all united to teach a Jesus-centered, kingdom-focused view of marriage and family.

It’s just that we also see and affirm the work that’s already being done and at this time we want to come alongside of those leaders to amplify their work and to get it into the hands of the ones who need it. 

Maybe someday we’ll see a way clear both practically in terms of schedule/season of life to take a more active role there. Maybe not. But in the meantime, something good and real and healthy is already happening here.

Brian and I are compelled to collaborate with others instead of competing.

With that in mind, I’d love for us to amplify and point towards the resources, leaders, gatherings, and websites that have ministered to you in your marriage. We intend to put together a post of resources for egalitarian or mutually-submissive marriages within the next week or two based on your input.

Please share your recommendations in the comments – and include links please! I don’t think I’ll be able to hunt up everything myself and I certainly can’t vet or approve them all.

I’m particularly interested in practical and theological resources as well as resources for families or marriages who feel under-served in the Church.

Let’s collaborate for strong Jesus-centred kingdom-focused marriages.

UPDATED TO ADD:

It’s here! It’s here! Check out 60+ marriage resources for Christians

photo courtesy of tina francis photography

thank you for sharing…
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Why Lent Matters to Me (+ a few resources)
60+ Marriage Resources for Christians
  • Heides

    Dr. Dennis Hiebert is a professor of Sociology at Providence University College in Manitoba. I had the privilege to be a student in his classes years ago in college, and more recently read his book as required reading in my Marriage and Family Counselling course in Seminary. His book looks at how culture shapes marriage, and how we can come to equate cultural expectations with Biblical mandates. I high recommend his book, and found that reading it gave me more freedom to live my life in response to God’s call, rather than cultural expectations (that too often are also considered to be from God). I found it to be very readable and relateable. http://www.amazon.ca/Sweet-Surrender-Cultural-Mandates-Christian/dp/1606088963

  • Heides

    Dr. Dennis Hiebert is a professor of Sociology at Providence University College in Manitoba. I had the privilege to be a student in his classes years ago in college, and more recently read his book as required reading in my Marriage and Family Counselling course in Seminary. His book looks at how culture shapes marriage, and how we can come to equate cultural expectations with Biblical mandates. I high recommend his book, and found that reading it gave me more freedom to live my life in response to God’s call, rather than cultural expectations (that too often are also considered to be from God). I found it to be very readable and relateable. http://www.amazon.ca/Sweet-Surrender-Cultural-Mandates-Christian/dp/1606088963

  • I love this from start to finish. I’m also done with soft patriarchy and rigid gender roles, but I also really love your commitment to discernment and to think about your “lane” and whether something new is needed. Perhaps something new will eventually come out of this down the line, but for now it seems so wise to stick with the grass roots and to let this grow as it will. You know you have my support with whatever direction this goes in.

    Alas, I don’t have any hot tips on a book or article or whatever aside from learning to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit together and submitting to God and to each other. 🙂

  • I love this from start to finish. I’m also done with soft patriarchy and rigid gender roles, but I also really love your commitment to discernment and to think about your “lane” and whether something new is needed. Perhaps something new will eventually come out of this down the line, but for now it seems so wise to stick with the grass roots and to let this grow as it will. You know you have my support with whatever direction this goes in.

    Alas, I don’t have any hot tips on a book or article or whatever aside from learning to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit together and submitting to God and to each other. 🙂

  • kelly edmiston

    While they may not use the term “egalitarian” to describe their theology, Nick and Renee Fouts preach and teach mutuality and mutual submission in marriage. Theirs is the Only marriage conference I have ever received good and sound and helpful teaching from. http://www.cedarrockministries.com/CRM/Home.html

  • kelly edmiston

    While they may not use the term “egalitarian” to describe their theology, Nick and Renee Fouts preach and teach mutuality and mutual submission in marriage. Theirs is the Only marriage conference I have ever received good and sound and helpful teaching from. http://www.cedarrockministries.com/CRM/Home.html

  • Sara Rooney

    Question: does soft patriarchy include language like one spouse being the heart (the one in touch with feelings) and one spouse being the head (the logical planning type)? I feel yes, but wanted to hear another’s opinion…

    • I will say that, yes, it does…because it is another version of gender based roles. The only truly gender based role is procreation. The rest are based on gifting and strengths and various types of circumstances that come from life as it is lived day by day.

    • If it’s based on sex, then probably yeah it is.

  • Sara Rooney

    Question: does soft patriarchy include language like one spouse being the heart (the one in touch with feelings) and one spouse being the head (the logical planning type)? I feel yes, but wanted to hear another’s opinion…

    • I will say that, yes, it does…because it is another version of gender based roles. The only truly gender based role is procreation. The rest are based on gifting and strengths and various types of circumstances that come from life as it is lived day by day.

    • If it’s based on sex, then probably yeah it is.

  • I would love for my forthcoming book, “Very Married: Field Notes on Love and Fidelity” to be included on your list. It will be out in September and is already available for pre-order. Here’s a bit about it, with a link to the book on Amazon. Thanks for starting this incredibly important conversation, Sarah. http://www.katherinewillispershey.com/2016/02/very-married-field-notes-on-love.html

  • I would love for my forthcoming book, “Very Married: Field Notes on Love and Fidelity” to be included on your list. It will be out in September and is already available for pre-order. Here’s a bit about it, with a link to the book on Amazon. Thanks for starting this incredibly important conversation, Sarah. http://www.katherinewillispershey.com/2016/02/very-married-field-notes-on-love.html

  • Lynn

    http://www.marriagehelper.com is a wonderful resource. Joe Beam has a wealth of experience in healing broken marriages.

  • Lynn

    http://www.marriagehelper.com is a wonderful resource. Joe Beam has a wealth of experience in healing broken marriages.

  • ChristenB

    Terry hargrave’s “The Essential Humility of Marriage” is amazing. He teaches at Fuller Seminary. His wife Sharon Hargrave, a marriage and family therapist, started “Marriage Strong” to better equip couples in ministry so that effective ministries grow out of strong, healthy marriages!! Such good stuff. Sharon collaborated on writing a book and that’s called “ten days to a better marriag” which is a great workbook format for small groups in church or outside the church!!

  • Laura

    Jack and JudithBalswick, a husband and wife professor/therapist/sociologist powerhouse, have written an excellent book on marriage and family (called, appropriately, The Family). I particularly appreciate their emphasis on mutual empowerment. I read it in seminary, so it’s a bit academic. They have also written other marriage-specific books, which I have not read. http://www.amazon.com/The-Family-Christian-Perspective-Contemporary/dp/0801032490 Also, Christians for Biblical Equality for the win!

  • I love that you seek the Lord above all else. My pastor says often and heatedly, “Need is *not* call.” I’m grateful that you can see the need, treat it responsibly, pray into it and faithfully conclude, “This is not my call.” It’s a beautiful example of submitted responsiveness—to the body of Christ, yes, but to Jesus first and foremost.

    Frankly, it does *my* soul good to witness your process on so many levels. I’m grateful and refreshed by it. (Especially knowing how little sleep you get right now.)

    Although it’s not explicitly marriage-focused, I do think that Embracing the Body has some things to say to having a healthy, egalitarian marriage—because if you aren’t able to inhabit the gift of your body well, it’s hard to inhabit the gift of one flesh well, also.

    Thank you, Sarah, for living you. It’s a gift.

    • Oh, and I’m wondering if you and Brian might end up writing a “Our Practices of Marriage” at some point, like your “Practices of Mothering.”

    • Thanks, Tara! And agreed – your book is a gift!

  • ChristenB

    Terry hargrave’s “The Essential Humility of Marriage” is amazing. He teaches at Fuller Seminary. His wife Sharon Hargrave, a marriage and family therapist, started “Marriage Strong” to better equip couples in ministry so that effective ministries grow out of strong, healthy marriages!! Such good stuff. Sharon collaborated on writing a book and that’s called “ten days to a better marriag” which is a great workbook format for small groups in church or outside the church!!

  • Laura

    Jack and JudithBalswick, a husband and wife professor/therapist/sociologist powerhouse, have written an excellent book on marriage and family (called, appropriately, The Family). I particularly appreciate their emphasis on mutual empowerment. I read it in seminary, so it’s a bit academic. They have also written other marriage-specific books, which I have not read. http://www.amazon.com/The-Family-Christian-Perspective-Contemporary/dp/0801032490 Also, Christians for Biblical Equality for the win!

  • I love that you seek the Lord above all else. My pastor says often and heatedly, “Need is *not* call.” I’m grateful that you can see the need, treat it responsibly, pray into it and faithfully conclude, “This is not my call.” It’s a beautiful example of submitted responsiveness—to the body of Christ, yes, but to Jesus first and foremost.

    Frankly, it does *my* soul good to witness your process on so many levels. I’m grateful and refreshed by it. (Especially knowing how little sleep you get right now.)

    Although it’s not explicitly marriage-focused, I do think that Embracing the Body has some things to say to having a healthy, egalitarian marriage—because if you aren’t able to inhabit the gift of your body well, it’s hard to inhabit the gift of one flesh well, also.

    Thank you, Sarah, for living you. It’s a gift.

    • Oh, and I’m wondering if you and Brian might end up writing a “Our Practices of Marriage” at some point, like your “Practices of Mothering.”

    • Thanks, Tara! And agreed – your book is a gift!

  • I don’t know if you remember the launch of Missional Tribe, back on Epiphany in 2006, but I totally thought that it would be possible to do what we tried to do then with the marriage resources connection idea you’re talking about.

    We seven “instigators” (soon shortened to Gators) have learned a lot from that experiment about how to bring the conversation together and make connection more straight forward.

  • I don’t know if you remember the launch of Missional Tribe, back on Epiphany in 2006, but I totally thought that it would be possible to do what we tried to do then with the marriage resources connection idea you’re talking about.

    We seven “instigators” (soon shortened to Gators) have learned a lot from that experiment about how to bring the conversation together and make connection more straight forward.

  • Michael Raburn

    I’m a PhD theologian and Vineyard pastor. My wife Amy and I do a regular(ish) podcast. We talk a lot about the theology and practice of egalitarian marriage, child raising, and pastoring. People also tell us they find us funny.
    http://mikeraburn.com/category/podcasts/

  • Michael Raburn

    I’m a PhD theologian and Vineyard pastor. My wife Amy and I do a regular(ish) podcast. We talk a lot about the theology and practice of egalitarian marriage, child raising, and pastoring. People also tell us they find us funny.
    http://mikeraburn.com/category/podcasts/

  • Jory Micah

    While I have not had the time to read the whole book, Tim and Anne Evans wrote a good source: http://www.timplusanne.com/

  • Jory Micah

    While I have not had the time to read the whole book, Tim and Anne Evans wrote a good source: http://www.timplusanne.com/

  • Alexandra

    What a wonderful idea – I agree that it would be so much more helpful to find a way to collaborate than to create another conference or write another book there are loads of resources available. One book that really helped me when I was in Seminary and processing all this stuff in my own mind and marriage was Rebecca Merrill Groothuis´ Good News for Women. I love the way she explains mutual submission and works through different biblical texts which seem to teach “soft patriarchy”. I also really like Gary Thomas´ Sacred Marriage. It´s theme isn´t egalitarianism, but the focus on holiness as the goal of marriage rather than happiness is really good.
    Just to add another idea to the mix – as scarce as resources seem in English, they are much, much harder to get in Spanish (and other languages, I imagine). Everything that gets translated seems to belong to the patriarchy school, and even though culturally Latin America is quite egalitarian, within the church people are trying to live according to the patriarchy model because so many resources teach that it is the biblical way of doing things! So… if there´s the possibility of adding resources in different languages, of adding good translation or subtitles to videos… that would be awesome!

  • Alexandra

    What a wonderful idea – I agree that it would be so much more helpful to find a way to collaborate than to create another conference or write another book there are loads of resources available. One book that really helped me when I was in Seminary and processing all this stuff in my own mind and marriage was Rebecca Merrill Groothuis´ Good News for Women. I love the way she explains mutual submission and works through different biblical texts which seem to teach “soft patriarchy”. I also really like Gary Thomas´ Sacred Marriage. It´s theme isn´t egalitarianism, but the focus on holiness as the goal of marriage rather than happiness is really good.
    Just to add another idea to the mix – as scarce as resources seem in English, they are much, much harder to get in Spanish (and other languages, I imagine). Everything that gets translated seems to belong to the patriarchy school, and even though culturally Latin America is quite egalitarian, within the church people are trying to live according to the patriarchy model because so many resources teach that it is the biblical way of doing things! So… if there´s the possibility of adding resources in different languages, of adding good translation or subtitles to videos… that would be awesome!

  • I’d love to see a section with egalitarian resources on singleness and dating, as well!

  • I’d love to see a section with egalitarian resources on singleness and dating, as well!

  • Handsfull

    I love that you’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. That shows humility and wisdom. I’ve always wondered why people seem to be compelled to start up new charities/organisations when there are already so many doing exactly what the new thing is meant to be doing. Doesn’t that just divide already scarce resources? Anyway, yay for you and Brian, and egalitarian marriage, and resources for it, and focusing on your own track!

  • Handsfull

    I love that you’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. That shows humility and wisdom. I’ve always wondered why people seem to be compelled to start up new charities/organisations when there are already so many doing exactly what the new thing is meant to be doing. Doesn’t that just divide already scarce resources? Anyway, yay for you and Brian, and egalitarian marriage, and resources for it, and focusing on your own track!

  • Danielle Ogilvie Rodda

    So great to hear. Love the collaboration approach. Love the focus on this area!!!!! I find a similar lack in Christian parenting resources that focus on connections/attachment/gentle/non-formulaic discipline as teaching. I’ve been digging and have a few. Never have I come across anything for marriage. Looking forward to seeing what others post. 🙂 Blessings.

  • Danielle Ogilvie Rodda

    So great to hear. Love the collaboration approach. Love the focus on this area!!!!! I find a similar lack in Christian parenting resources that focus on connections/attachment/gentle/non-formulaic discipline as teaching. I’ve been digging and have a few. Never have I come across anything for marriage. Looking forward to seeing what others post. 🙂 Blessings.

  • Karine Veldhoen

    Specifically for couples, who are parents, building a nest for children. http://learnforward.ca/product/nest-building-retreat/
    Next retreat tentatively scheduled for May 13-14 in Kelowna,BC.

  • Karine Veldhoen

    Specifically for couples, who are parents, building a nest for children. http://learnforward.ca/product/nest-building-retreat/
    Next retreat tentatively scheduled for May 13-14 in Kelowna,BC.

  • Melanie Stanley-Soulen

    Better Marriages is a long standing marriage enrichment organization that started as the Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment by Dr. Vera and Rev. David Mace in England. My husband and I were trained as a leader couple 30 years ago. They have always promoted an egalitarian model and it is interfaith or nonfaith for those who choose not to incorporate the spiritual aspects. bettermarriages.org

  • Melanie Stanley-Soulen

    Better Marriages is a long standing marriage enrichment organization that started as the Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment by Dr. Vera and Rev. David Mace in England. My husband and I were trained as a leader couple 30 years ago. They have always promoted an egalitarian model and it is interfaith or nonfaith for those who choose not to incorporate the spiritual aspects. bettermarriages.org

  • This makes me so excited!!!! I would definitely love to know more about resources for building an egalitarian marriage. Bonus points for any advice on an egalitarian inter-faith marriage.

    I humbly submit my Marriage tag on my blog for consideration. I write regularly about how my husband and I work through issues in our Christian-atheist marriage. http://bellebrita.com/category/love-story/marriage/

    • Hey, I have a Christian-atheist marriage, too. Fist bump. Will check out your blog now. 🙂

      • Mumble mumble missionary marriage mumble unevenly yoked mumble mumble mumble.

        Amirite?

      • Yes! I feel that there are big swaths of marriages that aren’t well-served in Church and this is definitely one of them.

  • This makes me so excited!!!! I would definitely love to know more about resources for building an egalitarian marriage. Bonus points for any advice on an egalitarian inter-faith marriage.

    I humbly submit my Marriage tag on my blog for consideration. I write regularly about how my husband and I work through issues in our Christian-atheist marriage. http://bellebrita.com/category/love-story/marriage/

    • Hey, I have a Christian-atheist marriage, too. Fist bump. Will check out your blog now. 🙂

      • Mumble mumble missionary marriage mumble unevenly yoked mumble mumble mumble.

        Amirite?

      • Yes! I feel that there are big swaths of marriages that aren’t well-served in Church and this is definitely one of them.

  • Oh, I don’t know, Sarah. I’ll push back on this a little bit. I was just in a great conversation with some other YouTubers — since I’ve fallen into that world now — and I had just said, “I’m not going to do a tutorial on cornbread, because eerybody knows how to make cornbread.” When another YouTuber said, “Yeah. There are a million videos on every subject, but your viewers want to learn it from YOU.” So…I don’t know. I so respect that you want to collaborate and point to resources that already exist. And I think your humility is your wisdom. But I also think your magic is your voice. And it may be that it’s not a non-thing for you to say these important things in YOUR voice, even if they have already been said. … With that said, this isn’t really my lane at all these days. 🙂 I’m going to go teach some folks how to make cornbread. Love you!

    • I appreciate the vote of confidence! You know, I agree with you. There isn’t anything new, it’s our own take on it. And we didn’t feel a resounding “no!” to ever doing this. More just that it isn’t our thing right now but if that changed, we’d be totally open to it. It’s kind of a combination of both feeling the resources/leaders are there already with acknowledging that what is needed isn’t necessarily what I bring to the table here. Plus there’s the other aspect of just plain old time and ability at this stage of our life. But maybe someday? I do think I’ll try to write about marriage more and be more thoughtful in how I approach the subject and I’m definitely open to the leading of the Spirit around this topic now. We both are.

  • Oh, I don’t know, Sarah. I’ll push back on this a little bit. I was just in a great conversation with some other YouTubers — since I’ve fallen into that world now — and I had just said, “I’m not going to do a tutorial on cornbread, because eerybody knows how to make cornbread.” When another YouTuber said, “Yeah. There are a million videos on every subject, but your viewers want to learn it from YOU.” So…I don’t know. I so respect that you want to collaborate and point to resources that already exist. And I think your humility is your wisdom. But I also think your magic is your voice. And it may be that it’s not a non-thing for you to say these important things in YOUR voice, even if they have already been said. … With that said, this isn’t really my lane at all these days. 🙂 I’m going to go teach some folks how to make cornbread. Love you!

    • I appreciate the vote of confidence! You know, I agree with you. There isn’t anything new, it’s our own take on it. And we didn’t feel a resounding “no!” to ever doing this. More just that it isn’t our thing right now but if that changed, we’d be totally open to it. It’s kind of a combination of both feeling the resources/leaders are there already with acknowledging that what is needed isn’t necessarily what I bring to the table here. Plus there’s the other aspect of just plain old time and ability at this stage of our life. But maybe someday? I do think I’ll try to write about marriage more and be more thoughtful in how I approach the subject and I’m definitely open to the leading of the Spirit around this topic now. We both are.

  • Married 35 years… I have seen… So many authoritian marriages start shredding apart around year 20… A lot of times the damage isn’t felt in the early years… It has a commutative affect. Equalitarian marriages are like good wine … It gets better with age!!!
    Here is a great podcast by Greg Boyd titled “whose the boss”
    http://whchurch.org/sermons-media/sermon/whos-the-boss

  • Married 35 years… I have seen… So many authoritian marriages start shredding apart around year 20… A lot of times the damage isn’t felt in the early years… It has a commutative affect. Equalitarian marriages are like good wine … It gets better with age!!!
    Here is a great podcast by Greg Boyd titled “whose the boss”
    http://whchurch.org/sermons-media/sermon/whos-the-boss

  • Jonalyn Fincher

    Sarah – thank you for this call and for your humility to link arms. I love that.

    These resources have helped me in my egalitarian marriage and are my go-to’s when I speak, write and pastor:
    – “The Passionate Marriage” by David Schnarch – steamy, but THE trailblazer on differentiation
    – The blog, intimacy retreats, twitter feed of Dr. Tina Schermer Sellers, Christian sex therapist and marriage and family therapist (rarely found together in one person) (http://tinaschermersellers.com/ @TinaSSellers). I’ve interviewed her here: http://soulation.org/jonalynblog/?s=tina+sellers
    – “The Dance of Anger” by Herriot Learner – best guide for working with in-laws and parents.
    – “Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions” by Dan Brennan – the theological/psychological reasons for male/female friendship in marriage and beyond @DanBrennan
    – “Finding Your Equal in Dating and Marriage” – http://soulation.org/memberships/product/finding-your-equal-in-dating-and-marriage-an-egalitarian-view/
    – Harry and Sally Are Wrong: Why Cross-Sex Friendships Need to Happen – on the reasons for friendships across the gender divide within and outside of marriage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXZVD0wWdcI
    – Get a Room – 3 talks from an egalitarian marriage retreat geared to an audience of egalitarians and soft patriarchalists. http://soulation.org/memberships/product/get-a-room-couples-retreat/

    Those last three are me with my husband. We are also doing weekly periscope broadcasts @soulation on why egalitarian ideas will rescue marriages. I did one today on reasons why Christians love/hate complimentarian ideas. https://www.periscope.tv/soulation

  • Jonalyn Fincher

    These resources have helped me in my egalitarian marriage and are my go-to’s when I speak, write and pastor:
    – “The Passionate Marriage” by David Schnarch – steamy, but THE trailblazer on differentiation
    – The blog, intimacy retreats, twitter feed of Dr. Tina Schermer Sellers, Christian sex therapist and marriage and family therapist (rarely found together in one person) (http://tinaschermersellers.com/ @TinaSSellers). I’ve interviewed her here: http://soulation.org/jonalynblog/?s=tina+sellers
    – “The Dance of Anger” by Herriot Learner – best guide for working with in-laws and parents.
    – “Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions” by Dan Brennan – the theological/psychological reasons for male/female in marriage and beyond @DanBrennan
    – “Finding Your Equal in Dating and Marriage” – http://soulation.org/memberships/product/finding-your-equal-in-dating-and-marriage-an-egalitarian-view/
    – Harry and Sally Are Wrong: Why Cross-Sex Friendships Need to Happen – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXZVD0wWdcI
    Those last two are me with my husband.

  • BobP3

    We couldn’t agree with you more!
    http://www.permanentpassionatepartnership.com

  • BobP3

    We couldn’t agree with you more!
    http://www.permanentpassionatepartnership.com

  • I have no marriage resources to add to this, but I will say that if you end up doing something like a conference, might I strongly suggest it being online/livestreamed as well as affordable (i.e., pay-what-you-can kind of thing). And Vineyard people love doing conferences so you’ve got some great possible resources there on how to get it all set up… definitely keep me posted. The last Vineyard USA/global conference was at my home church & my mom (a pastor in an awesome 40 year egalitarian marriage) was one of the key (if not *the* key) organizers within our church for the conference.

  • I have no marriage resources to add to this, but I will say that if you end up doing something like a conference, might I strongly suggest it being online/livestreamed as well as affordable (i.e., pay-what-you-can kind of thing). And Vineyard people love doing conferences so you’ve got some great possible resources there on how to get it all set up… definitely keep me posted. The last Vineyard USA/global conference was at my home church & my mom (a pastor in an awesome 40 year egalitarian marriage) was one of the key (if not *the* key) organizers within our church for the conference.

  • Courtney Raymond

    Sarah! I am so excited! With engagement on the horizon, my love and I are already wondering how we’re going to do simple things like find egalitarian pre-marital counselors in our heavily-Southern Baptist geographical area (we both graduated from Cedarville University). We talked excitedly with one another and some of our friends about your post last week and I’m so looking forward to sharing the upcoming resources with him!

  • Courtney Raymond

    Sarah! I am so excited! With engagement on the horizon, my love and I are already wondering how we’re going to do simple things like find egalitarian pre-marital counselors in our heavily-Southern Baptist geographical area (we both graduated from Cedarville University). We talked excitedly with one another and some of our friends about your post last week and I’m so looking forward to sharing the upcoming resources with him!

  • Georgina

    Are you aware of The Marriage Course? It’s come out of the same church as the Alpha Course – Nicky & Sila Lee are amazing. Don’t know if it’s made it’s way across the pond or not: http://www.themarriagecourses.org

    • Yes it really is approachable, respectable and great for Christian or non.

    • I have a lot of respect for the Gumbles and for Alpha so I’m so excited to hear they have a marriage course!

      • Julianne

        I’d like to add my praise for the Alpha Marriage course. My husband and I have done it and my parents run it at our church in Ontario. It’s great as individual couples, small groups or larger groups (if there is space to talk as couples). Great content and approach.

  • Georgina

    Are you aware of The Marriage Course? It’s come out of the same church as the Alpha Course – Nicky & Sila Lee are amazing. Don’t know if it’s made it’s way across the pond or not: http://www.themarriagecourses.org

    • Yes it really is approachable, respectable and great for Christian or non.

    • I have a lot of respect for the Gumbles and for Alpha so I’m so excited to hear they have a marriage course!

      • Julianne

        I’d like to add my praise for the Alpha Marriage course. My husband and I have done it and my parents run it at our church in Ontario. It’s great as individual couples, small groups or larger groups (if there is space to talk as couples). Great content and approach.

  • I would LOVE to speak at a conference like this! My husband and I were a united team with Jesus as our leader for Keith’s two battles with cancer and his leaving us for heaven. Now it’s my mission to encourage couples to pursue strong marriages. You can read our story at BeckyLMcCoy.com/About

  • I would LOVE to speak at a conference like this! My husband and I were a united team with Jesus as our leader for Keith’s two battles with cancer and his leaving us for heaven. Now it’s my mission to encourage couples to pursue strong marriages. You can read our story at BeckyLMcCoy.com/About

  • For those looking for a marriage retreat, Worldwide Marriage Encounter is an excellent one. Although it is run by a Catholic organization, the weekends are open to all denominations. Our Anglican church recommends the retreats. It’s so refreshing to not have to deal with all the patriarchal teachings that you’d so often hear at a Christian marriage retreat.

  • For those looking for a marriage retreat, Worldwide Marriage Encounter is an excellent one. Although it is run by a Catholic organization, the weekends are open to all denominations. Our Anglican church recommends the retreats. It’s so refreshing to not have to deal with all the patriarchal teachings that you’d so often hear at a Christian marriage retreat.

  • There is a huge need to connect the towers and mainstream people in a way that’s user friendly. Tim & Anne Evans have been at this for 38+ years. They are working on a curriculum to launch in 2016. Check out their articles & such at CBE (Christians For Biblical Equality) http://www.cbeinternational.org/search/node/tim%20and%20anne%20evans.

    • Do you have any resources to recommend that are safe or inclusive for women who experienced domestic abuse specifically? I’ve long admired your work on Breaking the Silence so would like to make sure we include and are sensitive to that issue.

      • Sarah, yes! Thanks for remembering those who have experienced abuse. I have posted helpful resources here: http://astore.amazon.com/peaandsafinth-20 Just realized I haven’t updated this since 2011 (yikes) & so many helpful resources have come on the market. Will update that. 🙂

  • There is a huge need to connect the towers and mainstream people in a way that’s user friendly. Tim & Anne Evans have been at this for 38+ years. They are working on a curriculum to launch in 2016. Check out their articles & such at CBE (Christians For Biblical Equality) http://www.cbeinternational.org/search/node/tim%20and%20anne%20evans.

    • Do you have any resources to recommend that are safe or inclusive for women who experienced domestic abuse specifically? I’ve long admired your work on Breaking the Silence so would like to make sure we include and are sensitive to that issue.

      • Sarah, yes! Thanks for remembering those who have experienced abuse. I have posted helpful resources here: http://astore.amazon.com/peaandsafinth-20 Just realized I haven’t updated this since 2011 (yikes) & so many helpful resources have come on the market. Will get to that. 🙂

  • Carley Evenson

    I love that this topic is being discussed more and more! Being a Christian in the Minneapolis, MN area and researching this topic, the organization Christians for Biblical Equality has been an invaluable resource, particularly the blog. Website: http://www.cbeinternational.org/

  • Carley Evenson

    I love that this topic is being discussed more and more! Being a Christian in the Minneapolis, MN area and researching this topic, the organization Christians for Biblical Equality has been an invaluable resource, particularly the blog. Website: http://www.cbeinternational.org/

  • Can I simply say how much more I respect you for this decision? as you wrote, “people always love to start a new non-profit instead of coming alongside of existing non-profits that have already done the hard work and put down roots, who have something to teach us all. It’s sexier to start a new thing, I get that, but I don’t think the Kingdom of God is always about the slick and sexy new thing.”

    Thank you for being a voice to give this empowerment and to provide an open door and a seat at the table.

  • Can I simply say how much more I respect you for this decision? as you wrote, “people always love to start a new non-profit instead of coming alongside of existing non-profits that have already done the hard work and put down roots, who have something to teach us all. It’s sexier to start a new thing, I get that, but I don’t think the Kingdom of God is always about the slick and sexy new thing.”

    Thank you for being a voice to give this empowerment and to provide an open door and a seat at the table.

  • Sarah! Thank you so much for your voice and words on this issue! So grateful for your writing and work. I SO resonated with what you said and I have also found a severe lacking in resources for marriages that are within the faith context but more progressive. I was terrified of getting married due to my patriarchal background. But I’m happy to say I’ve been married 3 years and we are all about egalitarian and equality. In fact, I can’t really handle christian marital books or christian marriage conferences. They make me squirm (or I just chuck the book across the room…or walk out of marital workshop) All that to say that I am a Marriage and Family Therapist and have found a few books from my studies to helpful. One book is called The Family by Jack O. Balswick and Judith Balswick. They are pretty progressive and integrate theology. “Becoming an Authentic Sexual Self” is my favorite chapter I think. After that, Sex God by Rob Bell was really good, most books by Dr. Cloud and Townsend on boundaries and differentiation within a martial context and I’ve liked Harriet Learner however she’s not big into integrating theologically and I don’t agree with her on everything. As you can see my list is a bit narrow so I’m excited to see the full list! Thank you so much!!!

  • Sarah! Thank you so much for your voice and words on this issue! So grateful for your writing and work. I SO resonated with what you said and I have also found a severe lacking in resources for marriages that are within the faith context but more progressive. I was terrified of getting married due to my patriarchal background. But I’m happy to say I’ve been married 3 years and we are all about egalitarian and equality. In fact, I can’t really handle christian marital books or christian marriage conferences. They make me squirm (or I just chuck the book across the room…or walk out of marital workshop) All that to say that I am a Marriage and Family Therapist and have found a few books from my studies to helpful. One book is called The Family by Jack O. Balswick and Judith Balswick. They are pretty progressive and integrate theology. “Becoming an Authentic Sexual Self” is my favorite chapter I think. After that, Sex God by Rob Bell was really good, most books by Dr. Cloud and Townsend on boundaries and differentiation within a martial context and I’ve liked Harriet Learner however she’s not big into integrating theologically and I don’t agree with her on everything. As you can see my list is a bit narrow so I’m excited to see the full list! Thank you so much!!!

  • Hey, whenever this whole egalitarian marriage conference/resource page/whatever thing happens, could you please include a section debunking the myth that the purpose of marriage is to make you holy? : ) We see this idea harming marriages on the mission field too.

    That idea seems to run in the same current as complementarianism. Anyways, I actually made a bunch of folks mad by publishing this article on the topic: http://www.alifeoverseas.com/the-purpose-of-marriage-is-not-to-make-you-holy/

    Of course, my wife wrote a better piece on marriage here: https://trotters41.com/2015/08/13/our-journey-to-finding-joy-in-marriage-and-the-things-we-lost-along-the-way/

    Thanks so much for writing and blogging and giving folks a voice. I really appreciate it. Have a great day!

    • Ugh. I know. That language is so frustrating.

    • Lydia Smith

      Jonathan, thank you so much for writing that post! I read it when you first published it, and failed to comment, but it was so encouraging to me as a single girl, because I feel so jaded about waiting for marriage when I only/often hear that it’s supposed to be for “sanctification” and not equally and more so for my joy! Thanks 🙂

      • Hey, Lydia! I’m so glad that article was such an encouragement! Thanks for the comment! Yeah, I’ve talked with lots of folks with similar fears, and it’s just so sad. For many, marriage has become a spectre, and unfortunately, Christians haven’t really helped with that! Wow, I’m so sorry that’s the message that’s been communicated. Hopefully stuff like this will begin to tip the scale back a bit. : )

  • Hey, whenever this whole egalitarian marriage conference/resource page/whatever thing happens, could you please include a section debunking the myth that the purpose of marriage is to make you holy? : ) We see this idea harming marriages on the mission field too.

    That idea seems to run in the same current as complementarianism. Anyways, I actually made a bunch of folks mad by publishing this article on the topic: http://www.alifeoverseas.com/the-purpose-of-marriage-is-not-to-make-you-holy/

    Of course, my wife wrote a better piece on marriage here: https://trotters41.com/2015/08/13/our-journey-to-finding-joy-in-marriage-and-the-things-we-lost-along-the-way/

    Thanks so much for writing and blogging and giving folks a voice. I really appreciate it. Have a great day!

    • Ugh. I know. That language is so frustrating.

    • Lydia Smith

      Jonathan, thank you so much for writing that post! I read it when you first published it, and failed to comment, but it was so encouraging to me as a single girl, because I feel so jaded about waiting for marriage when I only/often hear that it’s supposed to be for “sanctification” and not equally and more so for my joy! Thanks 🙂

      • Hey, Lydia! I’m so glad that article was such an encouragement! Thanks for the comment! Yeah, I’ve talked with lots of folks with similar fears, and it’s just so sad. For many, marriage has become a spectre, and unfortunately, Christians haven’t really helped with that! Wow, I’m so sorry that’s the message that’s been communicated. Hopefully stuff like this will begin to tip the scale back a bit. : )

  • Anna Howard

    I wonder if there would be room for those of us in same sex relationships. I could see that we have perhaps some unique situations but on the other hand I feel like we have same issues and need help just the same. Any thoughts?

    • Yes, inclusion is my heart here especially since same sex relationships are pretty underserved in most church contexts. I haven’t come across any resources that are specific to same sex relationships or even inclusive yet so if you have any to recommend, please share!

      • Anna Howard

        Rob Bell book Zimzum of Love was a great help to us although not geared specifically inclusive. Now you have me on a path to research the subject. Thank you for responding.

  • Anna Howard

    I wonder if there would be room for those of us in same sex relationships. I could see that we have perhaps some unique situations but on the other hand I feel like we have same issues and need help just the same. Any thoughts?

    • Yes, inclusion is my heart here especially since same sex relationships are pretty underserved in most church contexts. I haven’t come across any resources that are specific to same sex relationships or even inclusive yet so if you have any to recommend, please share!

      • Anna Howard

        Rob Bell book Zimzum of Love was a great help to us although not geared specifically inclusive. Now you have me on a path to research the subject. Thank you for responding.

  • Suzanne

    As an almost married girl (80 days to go) I found this resource from Donald Miller very helpful. https://www.kajabinext.com/marketplace/courses/1321-meaningful-relationships-pre-marriage/lessons/10757-introduction

  • Suzanne

    As an almost married girl (80 days to go) I found this resource from Donald Miller very helpful. https://www.kajabinext.com/marketplace/courses/1321-meaningful-relationships-pre-marriage/lessons/10757-introduction

  • Ken Nichols

    I manage a FB page that some may find of use regarding this topic. Actually I CO-manage it with it’s creator, former CCM artist Wendy Francisco, wife of CCM artist Don Francisco (“He’s Alive”). She created it specifically because she ALSO saw a huge lack of “promotion” for this kind of marriage relationship. I hope people find it useful.

    https://www.facebook.com/equality.in.christian.marriage/

  • Ken Nichols

    I manage a FB page that some may find of use regarding this topic. Actually I CO-manage it with it’s creator, former CCM artist Wendy Francisco, wife of CCM artist Don Francisco (“He’s Alive”). She created it specifically because she ALSO saw a huge lack of “promotion” for this kind of marriage relationship. I hope people find it useful.

    https://www.facebook.com/equality.in.christian.marriage/

  • This is wonderful. I can not wait to dive into all the resources you share. I recently published a book on long distance marriage, Finding Joy: The Year Apart That Made Me A Better Wife. Would love if you included it in your list. Thank you.

  • This is wonderful. I can not wait to dive into all the resources you share. I recently published a book on long distance marriage, Finding Joy: The Year Apart That Made Me A Better Wife. Would love if you included it in your list. Thank you.

  • Nancy Roe

    Hubby and I loved this one! A lot of valuable practical wisdom.. http://www.amazon.com/Love-You-More-Everyday-Strengthen/dp/0310257387

  • Nancy Roe

    Hubby and I loved this one! A lot of valuable practical wisdom.. http://www.amazon.com/Love-You-More-Everyday-Strengthen/dp/0310257387

  • Michelle G

    Thank you so much, Sarah, for listening to and valuing the voices of those reaching out to you for help and empowerment around marriage. I’m so looking forward to see what God does with this. I grew up in traditions that deeply believed in and taught complementarianism. The last few years God has been healing wounds and showing me the freedom and love that he has in store for his people – both men and women. Now, as a young single, I would so desperately love someone who is older and wiser to lead me to new resources, tools, examples.

  • Michelle G

    Thank you so much, Sarah, for listening to and valuing the voices of those reaching out to you for help and empowerment around marriage. I’m so looking forward to see what God does with this. I grew up in traditions that deeply believed in and taught complementarianism. The last few years God has been healing wounds and showing me the freedom and love that he has in store for his people – both men and women. Now, as a young single, I would so desperately love someone who is older and wiser to lead me to new resources, tools, examples.

  • This is really exciting! I’m looking forward to seeing where this leads!

  • This is really exciting! I’m looking forward to seeing where this leads!

  • Tamryn

    Awesome! I’m excited to see these resources! 🙂

  • Tamryn

    Awesome! I’m excited to see these resources! 🙂

  • This is great and very encouraging. Thank you. I’m currently finishing the edits for my marriage book tentatively titled Beautiful Change: How the Gospel Transforms Marriage. To be released Jan ’17. I write on marriage, leadership, and parenting for Today’s Christian Woman and Gifted for Leadership (among others). Almost all articles are also on my site http://www.dorothygreco.com/holy-resignation/ (this particular piece is the genesis for the book). I’d be most grateful for any partnership or support. Blessings.

  • This is great and very encouraging. Thank you. I’m currently finishing the edits for my marriage book tentatively titled Beautiful Change: How the Gospel Transforms Marriage. To be released Jan ’17. I write on marriage, leadership, and parenting for Today’s Christian Woman and Gifted for Leadership (among others). Almost all articles are also on my site http://www.dorothygreco.com/holy-resignation/ (this particular piece is the genesis for the book). I’d be most grateful for any partnership or support. Blessings.

  • The Equally Yoked series is still up on my blog–thoughts on marriage from a variety of wonderful egalitarian individuals and couples (including Sarah Bessey!). http://www.jennyraearmstrong.com/category/equally-yoked/

  • The Equally Yoked series is still up on my blog–thoughts on marriage from a variety of wonderful egalitarian individuals and couples (including Sarah Bessey!). http://www.jennyraearmstrong.com/category/equally-yoked/

  • I”m reading Malestrom right now and it’s good so far! She also talks about the damage of patriarchy in churches, and how we must move past this. So not directly marriage, but definitely should be a part of the conversation :).

  • I”m reading Malestrom right now and it’s good so far! She also talks about the damage of patriarchy in churches, and how we must move past this. So not directly marriage, but definitely should be a part of the conversation :).

  • Taija Haller

    Thank you for recognizing this need for conversation in the church and your desire to lift up the people already doing this sacred work and the resources they’ve created!

    My personal recommendations are below:

    “#Stay Married” blog and podcast (http://staymarriedblog.com/)
    Michelle and Tony Peterson are amazing at presenting advice, scenarios, and food-for-thought for the practical aspects of sustaining a loving and gracious marriage. Posts are short and sweet, often humorous, and readily accessible. They are also very diligent in lifting up other resources for strong marriages!

    “Families Where Grace in in Place” by Jeff VanVonderen (http://www.betterworldbooks.com/families-where-grace-is-in-place-id-9780764207938.aspx)
    My husband and I read this while we were dating. It goes into a bit of theology (I absolutely loved the chapter on “being filled with the Spirit” as a preamble for the submission passage of Ephesians 5 and what it means in the Greek sentence structure) but is mostly filled with practical scenarios. We chose it from Rachel Held Evan’s post, “Additional Resources for Mutual Submission” (http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/mutual-submission-resources-marriage-books-egalitarian)

    Anything by John Gottman and the Gottman Institute is pure gold in terms of immediate, practical value in strengthening marriages. Great resources: conferences, books, DVDs, you name it, they’ve got it. (Even a Board Game!) (https://www.gottman.com/)

    For more theological roots, I usually turn to CBE International’s articles (http://www.cbeinternational.org/) or related series/posts by Rachel Held Evans (such as her “Week of Mutuality” series: http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/mutuality-2012-posts?rq=egalitarian)

    That covers the resources I usually turn to for practical advice and/or theological thoughts. But that leaves out the deepest part of my heart, the spirit of the matter. And when I need to be lifted in my spirit, I turn to your posts. Sarah, your voice brings breath, life, and courage… all of which we need for our marriages to flourish. I love reading your testimonies of what “love looks like” for you and Brian throughout the years, because they themselves are prophetic signposts for us. They dismantle fear and make way for courageous hope in our hearts. I have read and reread your post, “In Which {Love Looks Like} Room to Change,” countless times because of how it frees my heart from fear and reminds me what courageous love looks like. We need the prescriptive resources, yes, but we also need the power of testimony. Testimonies open the heart for the Spirit to do the deep work of transformation so that we are able to implement the practical advice and think through the theology. I so appreciate your desire to affirm the work that is already being done and come alongside those doing it, to amplify their voices. But know that your voice, in your lane now, is powerful as well.

  • Taija Young

    Thank you for recognizing this need for conversation in the church and your desire to lift up the people already doing this sacred work and the resources they’ve created!

    My personal recommendations are below:

    “#Stay Married” blog and podcast (http://staymarriedblog.com/)
    Michelle and Tony Peterson are amazing at presenting advice, scenarios, and food-for-thought for the practical aspects of sustaining a loving and gracious marriage. Posts are short and sweet, often humorous, and readily accessible. They are also very diligent in lifting up other resources for strong marriages!

    “Families Where Grace in in Place” by Jeff VanVonderen (http://www.betterworldbooks.com/families-where-grace-is-in-place-id-9780764207938.aspx)
    My husband and I read this while we were dating. It goes into a bit of theology (I absolutely loved the chapter on “being filled with the Spirit” as a preamble for the submission passage of Ephesians 5 and what it means in the Greek sentence structure) but is mostly filled with practical scenarios. We chose it from Rachel Held Evan’s post, “Additional Resources for Mutual Submission” (http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/mutual-submission-resources-marriage-books-egalitarian)

    Anything by John Gottman and the Gottman Institute is pure gold in terms of immediate, practical value in strengthening marriages. Great resources: conferences, books, DVDs, you name it, they’ve got it. (Even a Board Game!) (https://www.gottman.com/)

    For more theological roots, I usually turn to CBE International’s articles (http://www.cbeinternational.org/) or related series/posts by Rachel Held Evans (such as her “Week of Mutuality” series: http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/mutuality-2012-posts?rq=egalitarian)

    That covers the resources I usually turn to for practical advice and/or theological thoughts. But that leaves out the deepest part of my heart, the spirit of the matter. And when I need to be lifted in my spirit, I turn to your posts. Sarah, your voice brings breath, life, and courage… all of which we need for our marriages to flourish. I love reading your testimonies of what “love looks like” for you and Brian throughout the years, because they themselves are prophetic signposts for us. They dismantle fear and make way for courageous hope in our hearts. I have read and reread your post, “In Which {Love Looks Like} Room to Change,” countless times because of how it frees my heart from fear and reminds me what courageous love looks like. We need the prescriptive resources, yes, but we also need the power of testimony. Testimonies open the heart for the Spirit to do the deep work of transformation so that we are able to implement the practical advice and think through the theology. I so appreciate your desire to affirm the work that is already being done and come alongside those doing it, to amplify their voices. But know that your voice, in your lane now, is powerful as well.

  • Jennifer Clare Tomlinson

    I literally just whispered to my computer “I love you Sarah Bessey”….when I looked at some of the links that people have been posting, my heart just exploded with excitement and joy! I didn’t know things like Christians for Biblical Equality existed, or that there were so many resources that deal with like violence against women and abuse, which is very much on my heart having survived a 10 year long abusive marriage and I’m now in a very loving, respectful, empowering and equal partnership Jesus centred marriage. So thank you for this. Thank you for being open to being a conduit for all of these good things to flow through you to us. I’m in a Bible study about marriage right now that is not depicting the kind of marriage I want or believe that Christ wants, so these are great resources!! Can’t wait to see it all come together.

  • Jennifer Clare Tomlinson

    I literally just whispered to my computer “I love you Sarah Bessey”….when I looked at some of the links that people have been posting, my heart just exploded with excitement and joy! I didn’t know things like Christians for Biblical Equality existed, or that there were so many resources that deal with like violence against women and abuse, which is very much on my heart having survived a 10 year long abusive marriage and I’m now in a very loving, respectful, empowering and equal partnership Jesus centred marriage. So thank you for this. Thank you for being open to being a conduit for all of these good things to flow through you to us. I’m in a Bible study about marriage right now that is not depicting the kind of marriage I want or believe that Christ wants, so these are great resources!! Can’t wait to see it all come together.

  • Michelle Kime

    Flame of Yahweh: Sexuality in the OT by Davidson. Very long and technical, but presents a strong case for egalitarianism.

  • Michelle Kime

    Flame of Yahweh: Sexuality in the OT by Davidson. Very long and technical, but presents a strong case for egalitarianism.

  • Yay! I’m still hoping for that marriage book in the future one day, dear. If God chooses marriage for me, I’ll come knocking and asking for all your resources and prayers. xo.

  • Yay! I’m still hoping for that marriage book in the future one day, dear. If God chooses marriage for me, I’ll come knocking and asking for all your resources and prayers. xo.

  • Danielle Shaub

    SOOOOOOO beyond excited to see this!
    Two books by pastors who believe in empowering women in the church and in their marriages.
    Kris Vallotton- “Fashioned to Reign”
    Danny Silk- “Powerful & Free: Confronting the Glass Ceiling for Women in the Church”

    I find these are really helpful for men who are unwilling/ able to hear these things from women.

  • Danielle Shaub

    SOOOOOOO beyond excited to see this!
    Two books by pastors who believe in empowering women in the church and in their marriages.
    Kris Vallotton- “Fashioned to Reign”
    Danny Silk- “Powerful & Free: Confronting the Glass Ceiling for Women in the Church”

    I find these are really helpful for men who are unwilling/ able to hear these things from women.

  • Heather Klein

    Hi Sarah and all her readers!

    I’m the Connections Coordinator of a church of about 3,000 in San Diego, California. (Basically I help people get connected in anything NOT a Sunday morning service. So small groups, serving, classes etc.) I also help plan our yearly marriage retreat. For the last few years, we’ve just had our own pastors lead it. Part of the reason is due to our budget – a number of our people don’t have the money for a several hundred dollar retreat – and partly because we are an Egalitarian church, but our pastors were formally complementarian. This means that while our male pastors are amazing, they grew up and made connections with the complementarians. They simply don’t know of any Egalitarian Marriage Retreat leaders to reach out to. However, this year we are really feeling like we need some outside influence and help.
    So – for Sarah and all her readers – could you post some recommendations for people we could hire?? The retreat is in June in Palm Springs. OR if you’re one of the people on here who posted about their books or podcasts and resources, send me a link to you speaking and some of your work. I’m trying to compile a list of potential options.

    Heather Klein

  • Heather Klein

    Hi Sarah and all her readers!

    I’m the Connections Coordinator of a church of about 3,000 in San Diego, California. (Basically I help people get connected in anything NOT a Sunday morning service. So small groups, serving, classes etc.) I also help plan our yearly marriage retreat. For the last few years, we’ve just had our own pastors lead it. Part of the reason is due to our budget – a number of our people don’t have the money for a several hundred dollar retreat – and partly because we are an Egalitarian church, but our pastors were formally complementarian. This means that while our male pastors are amazing, they grew up and made connections with the complementarians. They simply don’t know of any Egalitarian Marriage Retreat leaders to reach out to. However, this year we are really feeling like we need some outside influence and help.
    So – for Sarah and all her readers – could you post some recommendations for people we could hire?? The retreat is in June in Palm Springs. OR if you’re one of the people on here who posted about their books or podcasts and resources, send me a link to you speaking and some of your work. I’m trying to compile a list of potential options.

    Heather Klein

  • Sarah, we can never give enough encouragement and effort when it comes to marriage! I wrote “Pearls for the Bride” when my daughter recently got married… it’s a mix of practical tips, humorous anecdotes, and Biblical principles, all wrapped in a mother’s (not too overbearing) hug! I know it’s nigh on impossible for you to picture your little ones getting married, but trust me, it happens in the wink of an eye! I would be more than happy to mail you a copy if you are interested… I’m just down the road in Kelowna 🙂 http://laurathomasauthor.com/project/pearls-for-the-bride/

  • Sarah, we can never give enough encouragement and effort when it comes to marriage! I wrote “Pearls for the Bride” when my daughter recently got married… it’s a mix of practical tips, humorous anecdotes, and Biblical principles, all wrapped in a mother’s (not too overbearing) hug! I know it’s nigh on impossible for you to picture your little ones getting married, but trust me, it happens in the wink of an eye! I would be more than happy to mail you a copy if you are interested… I’m just down the road in Kelowna 🙂 http://laurathomasauthor.com/project/pearls-for-the-bride/

  • Marlena Proper-Graves

    A piece I wrote for Hermeneutics was very well-received by those dating and married alike:
    ‘He’s Just Not a Spiritual Leader,’ and Other Christian Dating Myths http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2012/november/hes-just-not-spiritual-leader-and-other-christian-dating.html?visit_source=twitter

  • Marlena Proper-Graves

    A piece I wrote for Hermeneutics was very well-received by those dating and married alike:
    ‘He’s Just Not a Spiritual Leader,’ and Other Christian Dating Myths http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2012/november/hes-just-not-spiritual-leader-and-other-christian-dating.html?visit_source=twitter

  • This is brilliant! Totally agree there’s no need to always be starting stuff & God’s got loads put out already! This word ‘collaboration’ has always ring true to me – I long for it in church & marriage… But it’s been so hard in our world of Solo-dom! May this effort truly be in its time & element!! Bless ya!

  • This is brilliant! Totally agree there’s no need to always be starting stuff & God’s got loads put out already! This word ‘collaboration’ has always ring true to me – I long for it in church & marriage… But it’s been so hard in our world of Solo-dom! May this effort truly be in its time & element!! Bless ya!

  • Jill

    Watched this story of transition

  • Jill

    Watched this story of transition

  • Lindsey Cornett

    I can not WAIT to hear what you have to share. One thing that first came to mind is Sexy Marriage radio, a podcast about sex within the Christian marriage relationship. I have only listened to a few episodes but found them so helpful and encouraging (and honest).

    THANK YOU, thank you!

  • Lindsey Cornett

    I can not WAIT to hear what you have to share. One thing that first came to mind is Sexy Marriage radio, a podcast about sex within the Christian marriage relationship. I have only listened to a few episodes but found them so helpful and encouraging (and honest).

    THANK YOU, thank you!

  • Amy

    I love Sheila Wray Gregoire’s ministry. Her blog is called “to love, honor and vacuum”. She is a marriage blogger who has so much insight and wisdom about marriage.

  • Amy

    I love Sheila Wray Gregoire’s ministry. Her blog is called “to love, honor and vacuum”. She is a marriage blogger who has so much insight and wisdom about marriage.

  • Elizabeth Bailey

    I don’t know if it’s already been said, but my two cents is that it *might (maybe not) be worthwhile to look into ways that the collaborative effort (whatever form it takes) could make a serious effort to be inclusive to gay Christian couples who exploring the notion of doing life together even thought they may be against same sex marriage/sexual relationships and are therefore not traditionally “married.” This might not be the place for that, though, and that’s fine, but I think there’s certainly a huge need for something like that (more broadly, probably not within the confines of what you’re working towards, I think there needs to be a lot more gracious room left for people who aren’t straight to sort through what living faithfully to God in the reality of their identity looks like, but that’s beside the point).

  • Elizabeth Bailey

    I don’t know if it’s already been said, but my two cents is that it *might (maybe not) be worthwhile to look into ways that the collaborative effort (whatever form it takes) could make a serious effort to be inclusive to gay Christian couples who exploring the notion of doing life together even thought they may be against same sex marriage/sexual relationships and are therefore not traditionally “married.” This might not be the place for that, though, and that’s fine, but I think there’s certainly a huge need for something like that (more broadly, probably not within the confines of what you’re working towards, I think there needs to be a lot more gracious room left for people who aren’t straight to sort through what living faithfully to God in the reality of their identity looks like, but that’s beside the point).

  • Sher

    I’d recommend The Center for Relationship Education (www.myrelationshipcenter.org) and their annual retreat, the DIY Marriage Experience (www.DIYMarriage.org). It’s more research- and skills-based but they also partner with area churches to do marriage workshops etc.

  • Sher

    I’d recommend The Center for Relationship Education (www.myrelationshipcenter.org) and their annual retreat, the DIY Marriage Experience (www.DIYMarriage.org). It’s more research- and skills-based but they also partner with area churches to do marriage workshops etc.