Enriching Your Marriage

A course developed by Doug and Geneve Utley

This is a five-part plan to help you and your partner enrich your marriage.

Remaining married is hard enough; statistics show about 50% of marriages end in divorce. When there are additional stressors, such as COVID-19 restrictions, vulnerabilities show.

Shanghai divorce lawyer Steve Li says his caseload increased 25% during the city’s lockdown. When the virus hit, on the eve of the festivities, extended families in many cities had to endure an additional two months trapped under the same roof. Counsellors in the UK and Australia noted a rise of over 40% in marital disputes. Fortunately, COVID-19 has not affected us very much, but even we (Doug and Geneve) have had our stresses and strains – you would think we would have this figured out after over fifty years of married life together!

So why is this happening when the evidence of the benefits of long-term marriage are so clear and well researched? It is well documented that marriage gives health (loneliness is a health hazard), is better for children, gives more satisfying sex, and leads to better financial outcomes. Marriage has some compelling runs on the board!

We are not going to look at what goes wrong, instead we will explore how you can add value to your marriage. You may already ‘know’ this information but are you experiencing the full benefits?

The areas we have chosen to look at are:

• Appreciating each other and showing gratitude
• Communicating with each other
• Communicating with God
• Complementing each other – in good times and not so good times
• Celebrating together

This is our gift to you. You can use it however you wish. We think doing all parts is best and they should be spaced out with about a week between them. That would mean about 3-4 weeks altogether. However, even just doing a part will be helpful. But please don’t dabble and ‘immunise’ yourself from getting the real thing! Do whatever you choose thoroughly. The important exercises and video links are in the text. You may print copies for yourselves as you process together if that would be helpful.

Our prayer is that you will experience a real boost in your marriage.

May you overflow with wisdom, success, gladness, peace and fun as you live the years together.

Download your copy of the course here.



* Doug and Geneve Utley are long-time members of our Labouring Community. They have been involved in University and International Student Ministries, starting in UNSW in Sydney and then moving to Monash in Victoria. Now in their ‘retirement’, they continue to be committed to sharing the gospel in their local community in Melbourne. 

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