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Monday, February 28, 2011
This past weekend I had the privilege of being part of the teaching team for our church’s weekend marriage retreat. It was a fun and refreshing to get away to a beautiful mountaintop location, and I believe the 25 couples who chose to invest their time and effort into their marriages will see fruit in their relationships in the weeks, months and years ahead.

I made a bold statement during one of my teachings. It was something to the effect that:

The church should have such radically different and better marriages than the world at large that people get saved by observing Christian couples in action.

That is not an elitist statement. I don’t say that because I think Christian’s are inherently “better” people or any such nonsense. We are all just a bunch of imperfect humans saved by the generous grace of God.

We Know the Designer

The reason I say that Christians should have the best marriages because we, as followers of Christ, have the inside track. We have a personal relationship with the one who designed and ordained it!

I believe that we have access to wisdom and revelation from the very heart of God concerning marriage in general, and our own marriages in particular. We can pray, “Lord, show me how you see my marriage,” and listen to discern his reply. God sees in each of us the potential he created us for, and he sees in our marriages that same kind of potential. Tapping that picture has great power to propel your marriage forward toward that end.

We Have the Template

As if it wasn’t enough to know the marriage designer, he gave us a template for marriage by sending his Son, Jesus, to be our Bridegroom. We are the very bride of Christ, and the Bible makes it clear that we can learn a great deal about marriage by observing the love relationship that Jesus has with us.

Jesus Made the Way

Not only did Jesus model the marriage relationship for us, but he died and rose to make a way for our marriages to get back to the Garden. Eden was a place of perfect intimacy between Adam and Eve and had an atmosphere where total nakedness (literal and figurative) was not tainted with any form of shame or fear or sin. Jesus provides us access to the grace necessary to get back to Eden.

The Real Statistics

There is a common misconception about there being no difference between marriages inside and outside the church. I’ve even made allusions to that falsehood myself. The truth is slightly different:
By The UVA National Marriage Project

Clearly, among those who regularly attend church together marriages are both happier and stronger. However, my whole point in this post is that we shouldn’t simply be marginally happier and less prone to divorce.

God designed marriage to be a reflection of his love for us and his desire to have an intimate relationship with us. We desire intimacy because we are made in his image, and he does too. If we only could tap into the reality of this truth and learn to love each other like Jesus does: selflessly, completely, and unconditionally, without precondition or expecting anything in return!

Here’s a little video I put together as an illustration for this weekend’s lesson on intimacy.

YouTube link:

What a strong testimony to the amazing love of God a church full of those kinds of marriages would be to the world!


Andrea Frazer said...

What I like about your posts, Scott, is that you provide so many perspectives from theological to stats. I tend to write more slice of life and wonder if I should be less opinion oriented and more "try these tips on for size" instead. Food for thought for sure. Thanks for another great post and congrats on a great retreat.

Scott said...

Thanks Andrea. It's funny, because I often wonder if I should write more "slice of life" type posts. Ha!

Strong Man said...

Well said. Culture should not be our guide, God should be. Therefore followers of Christ should be dramatically different from others. I love this verse along those lines from 1 Peter 2:9

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy enation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of gdarkness into his marvellous light"

By the way--a church-supported marriage weekend sounds like a great idea. Would you consider sharing more about what happened, how it worked and was paid for, and what it was like?

Scott said...

Thanks, Strong Man. I'll email you separately about the details of our marriage weekend. It is a great investment by the church into the marriage of the congregation, and I highly recommend it.

Tom and Debi Walter said...

Thank you for lifting the purpose of marriage to the place where Christ wants it. It's all for Him. We live and love in light of His love (period). We believe if couples would really see this as a conviction, it would propel them to work out their differences rather than accept them as "irreconcilable". We found your blog through The Generous Husband blog and are glad we did.

Personally, we like the theological bent on your posts. There are too many "slice of life" posts. You are holding up the Truth and this is where freedom comes.

May you be blessed in all you do.

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