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home : faith & community : connect with us May 26, 2016

4/30/2014 11:14:00 PM
Pastors' corner
Marriage and Family

The foundation of any community is the home. So as followers of Christ, we should be driven to do whatever it takes to divorce-proof marriages, to strength families, and to encourage those who face the extra demands of being a single parent.
The biblical DNA of marriage is seen in the following three verses:
• Hebrews 13:4 - "Let marriage be held in honor among all ..."
• Ecclesiastes 9:9 - "Enjoy life with the wife of your youth ..."
• Genesis 2:24 - "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh."
God wants us to build marriages that not only start strong but finish strong. He wants our marriages to not just survive, but thrive - to sizzle, not fizzle.
I was intrigued recently by this quote:
It takes guts to stay married.... There will be many crises between the wedding day and the golden anniversary, and the people who make it are heroes. - Howard Whiteman
We need more heroes who finish strong. And, if your marriage is struggling, it's not too late to change. This is true even if you're in the second half of your marriage. A major study on aging sponsored by AARP said that old people can change their behavior up to the day of their death (The Second Half of Marriage by David & Claudia Arp, pg. 28). So old dogs can learn new tricks!
What couples need to do is develop a sense of we-ness. Couples who see themselves as part of a closely knit team will overcome the inevitable storms and frustrations that come in life. So marriage partners need to do things together - like make the bed together, take walks together, garden together, and serve together. The stronger the sense of we-ness there is in your marriage, the stronger your chances of being happy together.
So find something you both like to do together - and do it!
Dr. John Gottman, professor of psychology at the University of Washington, in his book Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, writes, "For a marriage to last there must be at least five positive interactions for every negative one between partners." That's a 5-to-1 ratio!
He also says the more stressed we are, the less patient we are with each other. So part of having a good marriage involves simply reducing the level of stress in our lives. Time pressures can cause stress. Children can cause stress. Money problems can cause stress.
Wise couples learn to recognize when they are experiencing stress, and share that with their spouse in helpful, not harmful ways. If you find yourself snapping and snarling at your partner, that is a good sign you are under too much stress!
For those of you in the second-half of your marriage, I want to encourage you to "adopt" a younger couple and invest time with them. You may want to go on double-dates together.
Let's be a community committed to building strong marriages and families, because if there is one area that is under attack today, it is the home!

Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Craig Rayment
North Shore Bible Church

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