Henry and Alex Seeley, who founded The Belonging Co church in Nashville, say the lockdown has affected each of them differently, and offered advice on how to work through challenges and any unresolved tensions that have been brought to the fore during the quarantine.
The couple moved to Tennessee from Australia in 2012 and began leading their congregation six years ago after starting off as worship leaders. Now their worship team consists of some of the biggest names in worship music today. During the state lockdown in response to the coronavirus, the couple have had to navigate leading services online and hosting small groups with their church members.
Henry and Alex Seeley shared with The Christian Post how they’ve been keeping their marriage strong during the quarantine and offered practical advice for couples whose marriages are struggling in this season.
The interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
Christian Post: Stay-at-home orders can be challenging for couples who are trying not to take their frustrations out on each other. How have you been able to navigate married life in this season?
Henry: We just celebrated 22 years married. I think the further into marriage you get, the more you just realize the sacrificial element to marriage. I think that really is the essence of it. The further you get into marriage, the only way your marriage can not just survive but actually thrive and flourish, is when you are constantly from that heart posture of serving each other and not looking at what are my needs right now, but how can I serve? Obviously with that, when there’s an equal balance of that, everybody’s needs get met along the way; you do it with a different expectation.
For Alex and I coming into this season, we’ve kind of worked from home. The last five or six years, we haven’t even had an office where our church offices are right now because our team has outgrown the space and so we work from home quite a bit, anyway. Before that, I’ve always had a studio from home, so I’m kind of used to being at home a lot. So I think we’ve really worked out and just got used to that kind of flow anyway in life.
I think during this season, thankfully it hasn’t really affected us in a negative sense too much. I’m a bit of an introvert, so being at home for a month straight, that’s no big deal. Alex has had some hard days where it’s like, “I just need people, I need more people than just my immediate family.”
Alex: I haven’t been frustrated at my husband or the kids. I’ve been frustrated, but I’ve had a husband who’s been sensitive to understand “My wife needs people; my wife, she’s highs and lows.” So because we’ve had a strong foundation in building who we are as a couple, this actually hasn’t disrupted our normal. When there has been a moment, I’ve been pre-warning people so that people don’t take it personal.
I think what it’s (quarantine) been doing, it’s been revealing the foundation of what marriage was built on. It’s a real great indicator to see whether it was built on true relationship and conflict resolution and honoring, serving one another or whether the business of life masked a lot of our issues. I think it’s a really important time for family and marriages to get it right. I thank God that honestly, I think we’ve had one fight, it was more of a meltdown, in the 42 days that we’ve been locked down.
CP: What advice do you have for couples in crisis on what to do to reestablish that foundation the proper way?
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jeannie Law