Hosted by Pastor Edward Robinson of Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church, those in attendance considered lessons from the Creation story that had implications for how they do marriage and family relationships.
Pastor Robinson is one of the longest-tenured pastors of the same church in the region — 35 years. Pleasant Grove is a leading African-American congregation in Cleveland.
Robinson and his wife, Edwina, have led by example, having been married 45 years.
The church, in partnership with Family Matters Bradley, conducted the Saturday morning seminar as a community outreach.
Drs. John and Su Vining lead Family Matters Bradley as a nonprofit agency tasked with education and training. A major focus of the agency is improving family relationships.
Insight into the “not good of being alone” was covered by Vining as he drew implications for marriage and parenting.
The material for the Building Relationships seminar was drawn from two of Vining’s books. The need for attachment in significant relationships was taken from his latest book, “Becoming Childwise: Discovering the Heart of Parenting.”
Vining exhorted the crowd to invest in their home relationships as a priority. The context for such relationships is the biblical idea of covenant, which he deals with in “Covenant Marriage: Stronger Than Contract, Deeper Than Commitment.” He also emphasized these principles have much to offer in how congregations live out the Gospel.
“Family life as well as church life rests on relationship. The future of our marriage, the future of our children, the future of our churches depend on us getting relationships right,” Vining said.
Vining is an ordained bishop in the Church of God. He is a member of the clinical counseling faculty at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, where he directs counseling practicums and internships.
He and his wife also lead Youth Counseling Service, a nonprofit, licensed mental health counseling agency in Cleveland that serves the Ocoee region. He is the author or editor of more than 20 books.
The attendees learned three basic purposes of marriage: 1. Spouses are to be the primary remover of their spouse’s aloneness; 2. Spouses are to be spiritual protectors of their spouse; and 3. Spouses are to be the primary supplier of their spouse’s emotional needs. These purposes are to be lived out in parent-child relationships as well.