Coffee time with Ese & Kunle Daniel - Marriage Course coordinator, Alpha Nigeria
Kunle and Ese Daniel are into marine services. They have been married for thirteen years and are blessed with four children. They are responsible for training churches, groups and couples who are interested in running the Marriage Course and other Relationship Central Courses, which are; Marriage Preparation, Parenting Children, and Parenting Teenagers Courses.
What is the Marriage Course?
Ese: The Marriage course is a tool designed for enhancing and equipping marriages. It comprises of seven sessions of topics which are foundational to the success of any marriage.
What makes the marriage course unique is that it’s not imposing or intrusive, the couples have the course manual, they work through and discuss together. The discussion between the couple remains with them, they are not required to openly say anything.
The discussion between the couple remains with them, they are not required to openly say anything.
Each session runs for about two and half hours per week, and It runs for seven weeks.
The topics include; Building strong foundation in marriage, Act of communication, Resolving conflicts in marriage, The power of forgiveness in marriage, Impact of family - past and present, Good sex, and Love in action. Then there is an optional session which is actually for couples that are separated, maybe the husband is a military man or works offshore, to help them cope with the time of separation. At the end, there is a marriage party where guest can invite friends to come and listen to how the course has impacted their marriages and then create awareness for a new course.
Who is the marriage course for?
Ese: I believe it’s for every couple who want to invest in their marriage. There was this friend of ours that attended one of our courses at Victoria Fellowship Church in Lekki, who said someone asked her what would she be doing on a particular Saturday, and she said she would be attending a Marriage course, and the person replied '‘I didn’t know your marriage is having issues'’. So people tend to think that the marriage course is for repair of broken marriages, but, NO, the Marriage Course is designed to strengthen marriages that are doing well, and for those that are not doing quite well, it gives us means of resolving those issues giving us problems. Even, for marriages that is at the brink of separation.
It's therefore, for every couple.
Why the need for the Marriage Course?
Ese: It’s just amazing to know that for everything we do we always learn it, for instance, I am an engineer, I went to engineering school to learn Engineering and I understand it, but nothing like that for Marriage. Most times, we find out we are not really equipped to build the marriage. You only get advice from people who are already in the journey.
Therefore, we see the Marriage Course as a tool to address the gap, and you realise that you are not just affecting lives but impacting future generations. Because when a marriage is successful, you feel the effect on the children and their children.
Impacts in terms of transformation
Kunle: It’s been amazing, we have had couples who for some years were not able to articulate some of the issues they were having in their marriage and then they came on the course and on the topic of impact of family, past and present and some of these issues were flag and they were able to address it and that was the point of good shift for their marriage. And we have had one that was a case of physical violence and abuse in the marriage though subtle but when they came on the marriage course, looking at love language made the husband to see that his approach to his wife, although, subtle, is abusive and wrong.
And the course is gaining momentum in many churches, denomination and individuals homes
For a church that is interested in the marriage course, what would it take them to get started?
Kunle: They first need to be trained, then they need to get the resources
Advice to people and churches
Kunle: First, Don’t see the marriage course as an alternative to what you are doing, but see it as a tool that can complement what you are doing. Life is a learning process, you might be doing things right and quite successful but I think it is healthy to be opened to other things so far you know it will add value to the couples in your church and the ministry of the church. Also, it is a very light tool, it’s not imposing and not demanding, it looks at the essential ingredient of marriage in ABC format, you don’t have to be learned to understand it, because it is very basic.
I will advise any church considering using the Alpha marriage course as a tool to supplement what they are already doing because it can only add to what they have already and not deplete.
And if any church or couple want to know or get trained to run the marriage course we would be glad to help, we are just phone call or email away
You can reach the Daniels through this email – Esealphamc@gmail.com
For more information on the Marriage course, check http://www.themarriagecourses.org/ or contact the National Alpha Office