Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Time to Get Serious

I did not grow up in a Christian home.  However as I look back the environment was such that it very well could have been based on Biblical principles.  From my vantage point my father appeared to love my mother deeply and my mother seemed to respect my father greatly.  I now know that appearances aren’t always what they seem.  Fast forward.

1Corinthians 10:31
Over the past several years my appreciation for a Christian marriage, not in name, but in actuality has increased immensely.  You’re probably thinking “well of course, you’re a pastor of marriage, you work in a church.”  Let’s just say I’ve grown into the job.  I am begrudgingly willing to admit that a non-Christian couple can have a good marriage but I strongly suspect that if they do, they are applying Biblical principles without realizing it.

Actually I am getting more and more entrenched in my opinion that the purpose of marriage is to glorify God, not to make each other happy or fulfill one another’s desires, etc.  1Corinthians 10:31 tells us that whatever we do we are to do it for the glory of God.  It would only make sense that marriage would be in the category of “whatever we do.”

“Why is the divorce rate among Christians the same as for non-Christians if that is the key?”  Identifying one’s self as a Christian is not the key. The key is where is the person’s heart?  God is the sole judge of who is and who is not a Christian.  Matthew 13 and Matthew 7:23 give some indication that not everyone that thinks they know Christ as Lord actually does.  Is there evidence of the fruit of the Spirit? Does the couple spend time in the Word and in prayer, individually and together?  Would the couple’s check book and calendar suggest they were Disciples of Christ? Are they more other-centered today than they were two years ago, Etc.?

Stephen Arterburn has written a book entitled The 7 Minute Marriage Solution.  I will now commit one of the all-time unforgivable acts.  I’m going to tell you how the book ends.  In the last chapter, sixteen, Steve gives us his formula for transforming your marriage into one that honors God.  It starts with a focused seven minutes.  During a seven minute period he instructs the couple to read a devotional together, read a verse or two from Scripture, discuss it, and pray together.  He is not adverse to the couple spending more than seven minutes but that is a start.  Apparently he has co-authored a thematic Bible and may have even structured it in a way that takes you through this seven minute process.  I just ordered a copy, I’ll let you know how it goes.

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