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.

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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Experience a closer connection with God and His presence in your life while meeting others who are pursing the same.  Explore rhythms and practices that can help us abide in the love, grace and hope of God.

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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.


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 with any questions.

Financial Peace University (FPU)

Financial Peace University (FPU) is a catalyst to help people live in financial freedom and enable them to have a posture of openhandedness. We have witnessed numerous Kensington families experience life change as a result of applying Biblical truths to their personal finances. The real blessing is seeing people create lives of margin that allow them to hear and respond to the Lord’s calling on their lives.

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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!

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Clinton Township




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.

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Together Again

updated June 23, 2021

It’s been life-giving to be in-person for our weekend services since last July when we reopened. If you haven’t yet, we invite you to join us in person sometime soon.

Reservations and ticketing have been discontinued at all our campuses.

Masks are optional at all services, events, and ministry gatherings for kids, students, and adults. We know that everyone needs to make the right health decisions for themselves and their family, so if you feel comfortable removing your mask, you may. And if you’d like to continue wearing a mask or face covering, you may do that as well. This is a personal choice that only you can decide what is best for yourself when attending in person at Kensington.

If you are sick, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have possibly been exposed to COVID-19, please plan to stay home and participate in our services via our many online streaming options.

At the start of the pandemic, Kensington’s Executive Team commissioned a group of staff members as a COVID Task Force to establish protocols and procedures for the safety of our church community. Thanks for sticking with us throughout all the changes and adjustments over the past 15 months.

We’re grateful to be together again!