Thursday, November 29, 2007

Marriage

Today has been set aside, at least in our Presbytery, as a day to pray and fast for our pastors, elders and deacons, their wives, and their marriages. I have been hearing story after story of Christian marriages coming apart. Pastors and leaders are not immune to this. What happened? How did these marriages that seemed so right at the beginning go so wrong?

Can you think of a better way to attack the church, distract it from it's mission, and make it unusable? I believe Satan knows this is a great way to suck the life out of a church; attack the leaders' marriages. Marriage is an earthly picture of God's love for us. The church is the Bride of Christ. Satan can undermine the church's message by destroying our marriages.

The world we live in places no value on fidelity, on commitment to marriage, on staying pure until you marry that one person who you will spend the rest of your life with. Television and movies and popular heroes constantly portray to us, and to our children, those life styles that are inconsistent with scripture. Our culture is focused so much on individual freedom that we no longer think of anyone but ourselves. What "I" want is all that matters. Pornography is on the rampage. You can now view it in the privacy of your own home, and it is addictive. It takes away something that should only belong to your spouse. My satisfaction, my desire, my needs are supposed to be fulfilled in my spouse; not in fantasy with a picture or a movie.

Christians, we are under attack! We must face this head on, eyes open. If we do not, we will lose some of our soldiers. You cannot fight a war without, well, without fighting! How do we fight? Start with the one thing that should precede everything - prayer. Pray for your own attitudes and actions, and your own spouse and marriage. Pray for your church leadership and your pastor, and their wives and marriages. Don't think they are immune because they look like they have it all together, even good marriages need to be prayed for and protected. Then take steps to strengthen and protect your own marriage. Pray together, stay in the Word (yourself and together), and communicate. Communicate on a deeper level than planning your week or talking about what the kids have done. Talk about what matters in your life, your dreams and disappointments, your struggles and your victories. Talk about money, and lack thereof. Spend time with other married couples, including older couples, who can encourage your marriage.

For the sake of God, of His Son who gave His life for us, His bride, we must strengthen and protect our marriages. We must hang on. Please do not perceive this article as judgment or an attack if you have been through a divorce; this is a call to preserve what we have, to fight back and not let Satan have the victory in this battle.

Trust God and fight to protect what He has ordained.

Rebecca A Givens, 11/29/2007
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