Working on a Marriage? (Check the Foundation)

Bride_groom_1Think with me for a moment about how a Christian might think about marriage in 2006.  Then I want to make four practical suggestions which might be helpful.

 

Some Christians might vote.  Many of us did that recently, expressing our opinion that marriage should be reserved for men and women.

 

Some Christians might try to create a marriage where there is lots of warmth, encouragement and intimacy.  There is much to be said for that.

 

Some Christians might not know what to do with what we see in Scripture.  Come on… As I heard one lady say, “You don’t expect me to do the submission “thing” do you?”  On the other hand, there are many husbands who are just confused as to what they are supposed to be doing.

 

So how are we doing?  According to George Barna, there is very little difference in the divorce rate among Christians and non-Christians.  Among non-Christians, approximately 35% of those who have ever been married are subsequently divorced.  Among Christians, approximately 35% of those who have ever been married are subsequently divorced.  That is one of every three people.  The average age in which people typically experience their first divorce is somewhere in their early thirties. 

 

George Barna says regarding his findings:

You can understand why atheists and agnostics might have a high rate of divorce, since they are less likely to believe in concepts such as sin, absolute moral truth and judgment. Yet the survey found that the percentage of atheists and agnostics who have been married and divorced is 37% – very similar to the numbers for the born again population. Given the current growth in the number of atheists and agnostics, and that the younger two generations are predisposed to divorce, we do not anticipate a reversal of the present pattern within the next decade. (Born Again Christians Just as Likely to Divorce As Are Non-Christians).

 

Somehow, our faith is not penetrating to the extent that our marriages and families are impacted.  The healthiest families ought to belong to Christian people.  Yet, I want to argue that we are not simply trying to create healthy families.

No, there is something larger and more fundamental to who we are as Christ-followers. 

 

Notice that Paul’s teaching regarding marriage, child rearing etc. (Colossians 3:18ff.) is prefaced by a teaching on discipleship.

 

Are You Interested?

 

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col. 3:17)

 

Christians address marriage by starting with the foundation.  (We want to start with our mate. 

If he would just…
I am so frustrated with her…
If he would only see…
Why doesn’t she do better?) Yet, unless I grapple with the issue of my obedient faith, I will miss what God wants me to really experience in marriage.  Now here are four pratical suggestions which are rooted in Col. 3:17. 

 

  • Make Jesus the Lord over your marriage
  • Give over to him both your words and your behavior.  What you say and how you act toward your spouse matters.
  • Determine that your marriage will be all about Jesus and not all about you.
  • Keep a spirit of gratitude to God regarding your marriage (instead of a spirit of entitlement).

 

Some people will immediately say, "But he/she won’t do that!"  Yes, that is difficult.  But may I encourage you to simply follow Jesus whether she/he does or not.  If you do, you will have done what matters most.

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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