by Ole Andersen
For over two years it has been a desire to make John Gottman’s ‘Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work’ available in Norway. An intensive partnership was developed with the National Family department in Norway, who needed a solidly-founded platform and springboard to launch this material in the nation. In turn, YWAM Family Ministry (Norway) became partners in this project. On 27 October 2017, we gathered 225 participants in Oslo, to become certified trainers in order to spread this material throughout the country. The group consisted of a good mix of Family therapists, Family counsellors and a solid group of Family Ministry co-workers from all over Norway.
‘Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work’ is a flexible marriage seminar that can be used in a variety of settings. It is founded on John Gottman’s research-based principles which focus on strengthening the positive aspects in the relationship rather than focusing on what is not working. Enhancing the ‘love map’ between husband and wife, building friendship and leaving room for your spouse to influence you, these are some of the foundational elements in the material.
David Penner of the Gottman Institute led us through the day with great enthusiasm, inspired teaching and great role-plays with his wife. He is also the author of the Biblical reference guide for the Gottman material, which is a great help as it blends the Gottman research on relationships with a Biblical perspective, in order to build stronger relationships.
We believe this material will be a valuable tool for Family therapists, counsellors and workshop facilitators all over Norway. Family Ministry Norway are excited that we were able to be part of throwing this stone in the water, trusting God will cause the ring effect of this event to touch and transform hundreds of marriages in Norway and beyond.