Walk into Bia and and her husband Mekkel’s home before Easter, 2014, and there’s a good chance you might have been able to sense the tension of a couple often at odds. Having both been surrounded by failing marriages that ended in divorce their whole lives, it was getting harder to even remember what it was like to feel anything but discontent in their relationship.

“I felt that I had hit rock bottom,” says Bia, “Every aspect of my life was becoming poisonous due to my sadness, anger, and bitterness—including my relationship with Mekkel. We both knew that something was missing. And in order to better ourselves and our lives together, something was going to have to change.”

They soon began attending Grace Church and almost immediately both decided to follow Jesus. But they were nervous about taking their next step and joining a life group.

Life groups are small weekly meetings happening around the south shore aimed at helping people find their purpose in God by applying Biblical teachings to their lives.

Bia says, “There were times we were hesitant, laying out the pros and cons, and other times we were extremely confident and willing. After a few roller coaster rides, we finally realized that we couldn’t pick and choose what we wanted to follow and what we wanted to keep the same,” says Bia, “We started by (attending) our first life group.”

The life group Bia and Mekkel joined gathered in a place that was by no means extraordinary. This particular group didn’t gather at a home, but in a meeting room at the Grace Church Avon building. Bia and Mekkel would soon discover that while the meeting place wasn’t extraordinary, the couples attending very much were. In fact, their marriages were like nothing the two had ever encountered before. Not because they never fought or experienced tension, but because they had learned to work through the tension and become stronger together because of it.

“The married couples we met in our life groups were the first examples of Godly marriages we had in our lives,” says Bia. “It was comforting to see how even Christian marriages struggle, but it is their faith and hope in Christ that strengthens the relationship. We began to feel much more confident in our marriage with these friendships.”

They began to feel themselves changing. “Each week, we couldn’t wait for our life group. After each discussion, we would drive home with so many practical steps and nuggets of truth that we could implement in our marriage right away,” says Bia.

She continues, “What we loved about our discussions is that we would focus on our own individual spiritual growth and struggles and then come together in how it affected our marriages. By doing this, it was easier for us to have self awareness of our own faults. Doing this would naturally diminish our pride and blaming of each other making our marriages stronger and a lot more fun!”

Years later, the thought of divorce for Bia and Mekkel is in the rear-view mirror. Today, one might describe their marriage as thriving. “Our marriage,  parenting, friendships and our confidence in Christ is best now after we joined life groups than it has ever been before. Our walk with Christ feels much more natural and strong with great company!”

Interested in learning more about life groups? You can do that right here!