Relationship Advice Unfiltered

Kensington Church

Kensington Church

One out of a billion
Sam Franjione, Assoc. Student Ministries Director, Orion Campus
I’d say that some of the best advice I received related to romantic relationships happed when my wife and I were dating in college. I was reading the book “Young and in Love” by Ted Cunningham. The author talked about how before the Internet, options for a spouse were limited by proximity. Depending on how far back in history, there were only a handful of people in the pool of options for a spouse because of the size of school or town. Even as recent as 50 years ago, the selection pool may only be a few hundred people. Back then, people said “yes” to one and said “no” to a few hundred. Arguably, this ratio made the “saying yes” to one person easier.




1+1=1
Thaddeus Stewart, Student Ministries Coordinator, Troy Campus
I don’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said in the world of math, 1+1=2. However, when it comes to God’s equation for marriage and kingdom-centered relationships, the equation becomes 1+1=1 (Genesis 2:24). One cannot enter a relationship—especially one as important as a marriage—without recognizing their brokenness, surrendering it to God, and allowing Him to shape us as human beings.

Leave margin
Rebecca Sassak, Discipleship Administrator
First thing that comes to mind is advice I received as a new mom. This advice was from a wise woman with older children who was several steps ahead of my new parenting journey. It gave me freedom and peace.

She said when you are a new mother, you get a lot of advice and opinions. Most of which you do not ask for. Everybody has an opinion and offers suggestions. It’s okay to say, “thank you,” smile and move on. You are not obligated to act on the advice you receive. In fact, your gut, the team of people you choose to put around yourself, and prayer will guide you as to what’s best for you and your child. Trust yourself.

Another nugget I hold close is something shared in Bible study about 10 years ago and I immediately wanted it myself. It’s easier during some seasons, and I now realize it’s a filter to test if I’m balanced. “I try to live my life in a way that always leaves margin to be available for a friend that needs me.” As a result, I do not celebrate the “busyness” of my calendar and I aim to separate my identity from all the “doings” in my life.

Assume the best
Pam Woloson, Help Bank Director
My husband and I have been married 28 years this March. The best words are this:
Always assume the best of your spouse. Always.

God chose you
Melissa Thwing, Social Media & Marketing Manager
A recent podcast episode on Risen Motherhood said something that changed my perspective on my relationship with my daughter. I wished I heard it way earlier in my parenting journey. It sounds so simple, but the timing was perfect, and the truth hit me hard. “God chose you to be the mother of your child because he knew there was no better person for the job. He chose you.”

Love one another
Mervat Denno, Guest Services Coordinator, Troy Campus
“So I give you now a new commandment: Love each other just as much as I have loved you. For when you demonstrate the same love I have for you by loving one another, everyone will know that you’re my true followers.” John 13:34-35 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Studying your partner
Melodie Lange, Database Administrator
The best thing my husband and I did while we were dating was read books together to truly get to know one another. Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships by Chip Ingrim, Personality Plus by Florence Littauer, Wild at Heart by John Eldredge, and Captivating by Stasi Eldredge, to name a few. These started fantastic conversations about who we are at heart. Not the typical dating kind of conversation about our favorite color, food, or vacation spot. The books encouraged us to ask deep questions of each other like “What role did your mom play in your household and what subconscious expectations do you have of me because of it?” We took a deep dive into studying each other and what marriage was. You go to college for years to study for your job, but not many people take the time to study their partner that they’ll be with for a lifetime.

Insert your name into scripture
Charlotte Kelly, Discipleship Director, Orion Campus
When thinking about relationships and how to act in love, I read a challenge that has helped me.

Here’s the challenge:
Start your day by reading 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, but with a twist. Insert your own name where it says or refers to love. If you get to a point where you stop and can’t honestly make the statement with your name inserted, stop and pray about what you can do to be more loving. So, I would start the verses below with

“Charlotte is patient, Charlotte is kind. Charlotte does not envy…”

The only man on earth
Linda VanDerGraaf, Kid Care Director
In my small group we read a book on marriages and one thing that our whole group resonated with is this:

“Treat you husband as if he is your Adam. He’s the only man on earth and there is no other.” When remembered, it is quite impacting to the soul. I guess this could go both ways: husbands, treat your wife as if they were your Eve!

Wind in my sails
Chris Cook, Director of Care Ministries
When I was single, I had a couple come alongside me. As I was dating, the husband always reminded me “you are looking for someone to be wind in your sails and not an anchor.” The lady pictured below is that person for me.

Second, I am reminded over and over again by the words of Dallas Willard regarding the spiritual life and applying them to relationships of all kinds: “The spiritual life is about not getting what you want all the time.”

Producing vs consuming
Arthur Harvey, Student Ministries Intern, Orion Campus
My mentor’s words have had a big impact on my life. He said, “You can know within yourself that you have taken a step into manhood when you realize you are known for what you are producing rather than what you are consuming.”

For me, producing looks like asking questions or being involved in conversation rather than sitting passively. It’s showing love to random people on a walk or neighbors. When everyone is being hypnotized by a screen, I break the cycle and bust out a fat puzzle or board game.

Go back a few steps
Stacy Mallard, Guest Services Coordinator, Clarkston Campus
After 36 years of marriage, a common marriage idea we have always disliked is that ‘someone has to make the final decision’ in your home or family. If you get to the point where there is a ‘final decision’ and you are at an impasse, you have missed something along the way of getting to that point and need to go back a few steps until you are in agreement.

We started so very young on this journey—fun fact: we met at church camp! I know the advice above came from the great mentors and examples of strong marriages we’ve seen along the way. We’re still pretty crazy about each other.

What do you mean by that?
Steven Tomczyk, Breakaway Director, Clinton Township Campus
As I have worked with students over the years, I have heard so many of them tell me about how in “love” they are with their significant other. Somewhere along the journey I started responding by asking “what do you mean by that?” I am almost always entertained by how quickly their response turns from trying to define the word, to realizing that they don’t actually know.

This isn’t just a teenage experience. Age does not bring immunity with this blindspot. Our culture uses the same word for expressing “I love pizza” as it does for expressing “I love my spouse.” So much of what we come to believe about “love” subconsciously comes from the media we consume, so when two people coming from two separate journeys begin a relationship, the chances of them having the same definition and expectations of what “love” is are probably zero. In other words, not being on the same page about what “love” means is like trying to play football with someone who is trying to play hockey. No one is going to win.

Rather than being a couple that simply says, “I love you” to each other, be a couple that has also asked each other “what do you mean by that?”

Empathy first
Emily Tank, Graphic Design Intern
I think in any kind of relationship with another human, empathy is critical. God has been teaching me to work toward an understanding of people so that I can respond in a way that connects with them. It is not just simply about doing unto others as you would want to be treated, but about how THEY would want to be treated—which looks so different from you sometimes. Understand that steps of courage for them can look differently than you and applaud them when they take those steps.

Pick your battles
Jennifer Troeger, Director of Database Services
The best advice I received (and share repeatedly) especially with parenting is “Pick your battles, because they all aren’t worth winning.”

Short, sweet, and so true!

Baseball analogies
Ryan Morrill, Kkids Director, Orion Campus
I just heard Louis Giglio talk about father on the Carey Nieuwhouf Podcast. He compared how having a good father in life is like having a backstop in baseball. It allows you to throw your fastest, craziest pitch where you don’t have to worry about running down the street after the ball for five minutes when you miss. Having grown up as an only child, with a love for baseball while living in a hilly neighborhood, I could totally relate to this visual. I want to be a dad who is going to be there for my kids, not to rescue them but to bump up against in case things go a little wild or off the mark as they take risks when they throw down in life.

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Steve Andrews

A Tribute To An Ordinary Man

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Titus 1

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness– 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior, 4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. 5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. 6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless– not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. 10 For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach– and that for the sake of dishonest gain.

Other Helpful Passages:
Ephesians 4
1 Corinthians 12-13
1 Peter 5
2 Timothy 2:2

December 24 Services
December 24 Services
December 24 Services
December 23 Services
December 24 Services
December 23 Services
December 24 Services
December 23 Services
December 24 Services

Grief Recovery

At Kensington’s Grief Recovery support group, you can find hope and healing after the loss of a loved one. It’s a place where you’ll encounter caring people who can empathize with your pain because they’ve been through it themselves.

Troy Loss of Spouse Workshop |  Aug 27 (One day only) 
Troy campus | 1-3pm

Orion Loss of Spouse Workshop | Aug 27 (One evening only) 
Orion campus | 6:30-8:30pm

Troy Grief Recovery | 13 weeks | Sept 17–Dec 10 (Tuesdays)
Troy campus | 1-3pm*

Orion Grief Recovery | 13 weeks | Sept 17–Dec 10 (Tuesdays)
Orion campus | 6:30-8:30pm*

Surviving The Holidays Workshop | Nov 19 (One evening)
Orion campus | 6:30-8:30pm

*You are encouraged to join us on any week. Sessions are self-contained.

Find a Grief Recovery group near you: griefshare.org

Kensington Visitation

Our dedicated volunteers bring encouragement and prayers of faith to those who are in local hospitals, medical centers, recovery centers and homebound. If you or someone you know would like to be blessed by such a visit, email visitation@kensingtonchurch.org or call the Troy Campus during business hours at 248-786-0600.

Pastoral Care

Members of our Pastoral Care Team are trained by the nationally known Stephen Ministry program and are compassionate listeners who walk alongside others to provide skilled and distinctly Christian care in times of need. They can’t promise to have all the answers, but they can promise their focused support. To receive care from one of our Pastoral Care Team members, call us at 248.786.0600 and ask for a Campus Care Provider – they can get the process started.

Interested in joining our Pastoral Care Team? Email us for more info.

1 Timothy 3

Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. 8 In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. 11 In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. 12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. 14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

Other Helpful Passages:
Ephesians 4
1 Corinthians 12-13
1 Peter 5
2 Timothy 2:2

Retreats

Podcasts

Websites

Subscriptions

Marriage 365

Married People

Growing In Marriage

Prepare Enrich

Subscriptions

Marriage 365

Married People

Growing In Marriage

Prepare Enrich

Books We Love

Preparing For Marriage

Marriage Prep

Before the Last Resort

Marriage Restoration

Vertical Marriage

Marriage Growth

Secrets of Sex and Marriage

Intimacy

Men Only/For Women Only

Marriage Growth

Smart Step Family

Blended families

The Meaning of Marriage

Marriage Prep

The Power of a Praying Wife

Marriage Growth

The Power of a Praying Husband

Marriage Growth

The 5 Love Languages

Dating

Love and Respect

Marriage Growth

Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away

Marriage Restoration

101 Questions To Ask Before You Get Engaged

Dating

Newlywed Couple's Devotional

Newlywed

365 Connecting Questions

Connecting

Fierce Marriage

Marriage

Children's Programming During Services

Troy

5pm | 12/23
Birth–PreK programming

7pm | 12/23
Birth–PreK programming

11am | 12/24

Birth–PreK programming

1pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

3pm | 12/24

Birth–PreK programming

5pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

Orion

5pm | 12/23
Birth–PreK programming

7pm | 12/23
No children’s programming

11am | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

1pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK and Elementary programming

3pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK and Elementary programming

5pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

Clinton Twp

5pm | 12/23
Birth-PreK and Elementary programming

7pm | 12/23
Birth–PreK programming

11am | 12/24
Birth-PreK and Elementary programming

1pm| 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

3pm| 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

Birmingham

11am | 12/24
Birth-PreK programming


1pm | 12/24
Birth-PreK programming

Traverse City

2pm | 12/24
No children’s programming

4pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

Clarkston

10am | 12/24
Birth-PreK and Elementary programming

12pm | 12/24

Birth-PreK programming

Marriage and Blended Family

The Marriage Course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Strengthen your communication and gain a deeper understanding of your partner. The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.
REGISTER

The Blended Family Workshop addresses the confusing roles and boundaries involved in blending families and identifies why parents so often struggle in blending their efforts. Find a community of people who are contemplating blending a family or are “in the trenches” building and growing their blended family!
REGISTER


Please email 
marriage@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Spiritual Formations

Discover rhythms and practices that can help us abide in the love, grace, and hope of God, where our lives can be transformed. Explore some of these practices together with others who are pursuing the same. To find out more, please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org.

Birmingham Campus

We are offering a time for our congregation to gather after the 10am service for prayer in the Groves Auditorium, 20500 W 13 Mile Rd, Beverly Hills, MI 48025.

On Sunday evening, Dec 5, parents of high school and middle school students are invited to the second half of our Edge gathering at Genesis Church, 309 N Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067, at 6:15pm. We will have a breakout to equip parents in caring for themselves and processing pain with their children in times of tragedy.

Parents & Student Resources

Parents – self care is critical. It’s important to do your own processing with another adult so that you can be more present as your child processes. Here are tools that you can use to get you started.

Podcast

Helpful Blogs

Other Materials

Counselors Are Needed After Tragedy

“The aftermath of the Oxford shooting tragedy will undoubtedly result in traumatic symptoms and experiences across our communities for quite some time. Healing the brain through evidence-based therapies is absolutely possible with clinical guidance. There is a valuable village of Trauma Therapists with collective resources standing by for Oxford, for both direct and secondary survivors to engage in therapy. Until then, we honorably hold a sacred space, as students, families, staff and school partners continue to mourn.” -Laura Azoni, LMSW, Founder of Sanctuary Services

Orion Campus

We believe that unity at this time is more important than ever. Several churches in the area are partnering together to offer space for students to begin the process of healing.

We will have several grief and trauma specialists on site this Sunday evening at our Orion Campus (4640 S Lapeer Rd Lake Orion, MI 48359) from 5-6:30pm and will have a night of prayer, worship and an opportunity for students to process with each other.

Tate Myre Funeral:
Monday, 12.6 Visitation 1 to 8pm
Tuesday, 12.7 Visitation 10-12pm and funeral at Noon

Clinton Township Campus

We will be offering a time for our congregation to gather after each service for a time of corporate prayer in the Greatroom. Prayer will be offered at 10:15 am and 12:15 pm. (25000 Hall Rd, Charter Twp of Clinton, MI 48036)

This Sunday at 3:30 pm as a community we want to gather, pray and mourn together. We are all looking for answers and wondering why tragedy happens but we can find hope and peace in Jesus. 

Troy Campus

Join us Sunday night, December 5th for a Community Prayer Vigil at Kensington Church at 6:00 pm. Invite friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to come together for a time of hope and prayer. 

Following the Vigil, at 7:00 pm, there will be breakouts for students and for parents to process and be equipped in caring for themselves and those around in times of tragedy.

Marriage Classes

What grows marriages? Focusing on the two of you and being in community!
The Marriage Course includes seven sessions, designed to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Some couples do the course to intentionally invest in their relationship, others are looking to address more specific challenges. Either way, the course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help you build a relationship that lasts a lifetime. The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.

Please email marriage@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Financial Compass

Financial Compass is designed to help you discover the freedom found in wisely managing the resources God provides. To find out more, please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org.

Bible Basics

Whether you are brand new to the Bible or have been reading it for decades, Bible Basics is a course that will help you understand the overall flow of the Bible. Over the course of several weeks, learn how the Bible came from the original writers to the English versions we have today. We’ll look at the big-picture story of the Bible and how all the individual books add to the whole. We’ll even learn a little about the history of the Jewish nation. But most of all, we’ll grow in our awe of the amazing author of this amazing book!

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Clarkston

Clinton Twp

Orion

Troy

What is my purpose? What value does the Bible have in my life? How do I pray? How can I grow in confidence to share my faith? These are the big questions that are at the heart of what it means to have a relationship with God. Alpha is a space to explore life’s big questions, to say what you think and to hear other people’s points of view. Over ten-weeks you will explore and discover while listening to weekly topics, participating in table discussion, and developing community. Alpha courses meeting in-person gather around a meal.

You don’t have to come for the whole series—just check it out for the first session and see what you think. No pressure.

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Orion

Troy

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For additional questions, please contact giving@kensingtonchurch.org or call 248.786.0637

GROUP LEADER DEVELOPMENT