by Jayna Richardson
A Chinese couple attended an Art of Parenting® (AOP) course together—the first parenting course they had ever taken. Like many couples, clashing views on parenting produced significant tension in their marriage. The group leaders challenged this couple to spend time dating and discussing homework questions. The couple went on eight dates while they were involved in the AOP course, and by the end of the study, they realized they had grown to love working together as a team. They also grew in confidence in leading their son. This couple went on to lead their own AOP small group. And members from their group have started their own AOP small group—making four generations of small-group participants within a matter of months!
This is one of the ways God is working through couples in China—by calling ordinary men and women to pass on the message of hope and help for families that they themselves have received.
FamilyLife’s Art of Marriage® (Chinese version) and Art of Parenting small-group video studies have only recently become available in Chinese, but couples are already expressing their appreciation and need for biblical materials like these that provide practical help for their families. And they’re eager to share these tools with their friends and neighbors.
Will and Suzy Brown, international FamilyLife representatives for China, led a Zoom small group using Art of Parenting for 15 key Chinese couples in April 2020. They challenged these couples not only to attend and learn for their own families’ benefit, but also to take others through the curriculum. Many of the couples went on to start their own groups, including Brian and Stephanie. Brian and Stephanie led a group of 20 couples through AOP via Zoom and challenged these couples to lead others too. Within three months, over 100 couples became involved in the third generation of groups stemming from the initial April training. Brian and Stephanie also continue to travel to churches to introduce the Art of Parenting.
Some of these groups start by watching Like Arrows—an inspiring movie that shows the power of family and the hope we have in Christ. As one Chinese woman watched this movie with her husband and child, she reported that it brought her to tears. She was convicted to do more gospel ministry through parenting outreach and to trust God to change generations of Chinese families.
The Browns are grateful to be a part of what God is doing to call families to Himself in China. “There are so few resources within China that are biblically based and designed to help families and marriages,” Will Brown said. “FamilyLife has been able to fill a great need in families there with these courses and with the key couples we are training.”