I’m working on a book focused on the need for churches to have a proactive marriage strategy. In a way only writing can, it is bringing me back to the basics. When I say basic, I mean borderline, embarrassingly basic. Like this basic question, a question someone in my field should have nailed cold:
Why should churches have a marriage strategy?
Potential Answer One: Because marriage is the reflection of Christ and the Church.
If this is the case, then shouldn’t the church do everything in its power to ensure that reflection makes Christ and the Church look really great? Marriage is important because it points to something even more important; how much God loves His people.
Potential Answer Two: Because marriage greatly impacts children
As I have visited churches all over the country, one thing is clear: the church cares about kids. Just check out the kids’ space/wing/facility/amusement parks of most churches. What better gift can we give to a child than helping their parents have great marriages?
Potential Answer Three: Maybe the church shouldn’t help marriages.
A lot of churches aren’t doing anything proactive to help marriages. Maybe that’s because they subconsciously or consciously think it’s not the churches place or area of expertise. Maybe we should continue to leave it up to professionals like counselors and/or parachurch organizations.
While I can’t argue potential answer three as a good answer, I have and do argue the case of potential answer one and two. But the answer I think is the best, is none of the above.
Why should the churches have a marriage strategy?
My answer: Because marriage is a spiritual issue.
Of all three biblical purposes for marriage: functional (Genesis 2:18-25) sacramental (Ephesians 5:22-33) and transformational (Ephesians 5:15-33), the purpose of transformation seems superior to the other two purposes. This purpose of marriage and the purpose of the church is the same: to make people more like Jesus and draw them closer to God. It makes sense really. When marriage isn’t working it robs people of their best possible relationship with God. If you are passionate about children and their faith, then empowering marriages is a must. Family is the platform on which God builds faith. Faith effects family. Family effects faith.
What’s your answer to the question: Why should the churches have a marriage strategy?
After serving as the director of MarriedLife at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, Ted recently started an organization called MarriedPeople. MarriedPeople partners with Orange to create resources and training tools for leaders who work with married couples. Ted lives in Cumming, Georgia, with his four favorite people: his wife, Nancie, and their three children. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.