Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Do Christians Focus Too Much on Marriage?

on August 23, 2013

I have heard more than a couple times people criticizing some Christians and churches for focusing too much on the God-given and God-designed union of marriage. I’ve heard people make statements like, “oh it’s all about marriage at that church” or “they elevate marriage too much.” I wanted to address the issue of why marriage is an important topic to discuss, but first I’d like to talk about why there are people who seem to be offended by too much marriage talk.

People like myself, who feel called to the ministry of marriage, may sometimes struggle with being understanding of a person who seems almost anti-marriage. The truth in most cases is those who have a hard time with a church or a group focusing a lot on marriage  are usually people who are single, widowed or in a lonely, struggling marriage. It’s important that instead of getting frustrated, we understand that these ladies are going through pain. Perhaps hearing about marriage all of the time and seeing married couples always clinging to each other causes them to long even more for that relationship. Perhaps it makes them mourn for a lost love. Even worse, it reminds them that they feel trapped in an unloving marriage. Sometimes there is a problem with the church not meeting the needs of ALL the members. The singles and widows need focus too. They need ministry and opportunities to serve too.

I think I understand their perspective more so being a woman who has struggled with infertility. While children are such a blessing, and I was always happy for a sister in the Lord who had a baby, there was also such hurt and longing in me that it was sometimes difficult to be around pregnant women or people with babies. It was hard to see the children being such a focus when I couldn’t have any. I’m so grateful now for my precious little girl –  a gift straight from God! I do, however, see how a single person or widow would feel neglected and hurt by a church family that focused all its attention on marriage.

That being said, while I feel we should not neglect or ignore anyone, there is an important place for marriage. Here are some reasons why marriage is an extremely important issue to focus on:

1. Marriage is Gift from God: God focuses a lot on relationships in the Bible, and He speaks a great deal on the topic of marriage. He created marriage in the book of Genesis and He make it sacred. He made it to be a lifelong covenant, and in Malachi 2 we see that God hates the act of divorcing. When Jesus is asked about divorce in Matthew 19:8, He said that divorce was allowed because of the hardening of hearts, but from the beginning it was not so. God never wanted divorce. That’s why marriage vows typically say “til death do we part”, and yet to some 41-44% of couples who marry today, those are just empty words.

2. Christian marriage produces godly offspring: In talking about marriage Malachi said, “But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring.” Malachi 2:15a. Christian marriage is important to the youth of this generation. According to the US Census Bureau, grown children of happily married parents are about 14% less likely to divorce their own spouse. Of all children, close to half will witness the end of their parents’ marriage and, of those kids, half of them will witness the end of a parent’s second marriage as well. According to an article by the Huffington post, children of divorce are seven times more likely to suffer from depression. Also, of all the adolescents in substance rehabilitation clinics, some 75% are from single-parent homes. Similar statistics are true for prison. Marriage is important because a godly marriage is good for children.

3. Marriage is a reflection of our relationship with God: Ephesians 5 and other parts of scripture show us that earthly marriage is a reflection of the relationship of Christ and the church. We are the bride and He is the Bridegroom. “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” Revelation 21:9

4. A godly marriage is a requirement for church leadership, elders/pastors and deacons. (Titus 1:6, 1 Tim 3:2, 1 Tim 3:12). A man whose home in not in order should not be serving in church leadership until he puts things right. That means a wife who is not living her life according to God’s statutes can disqualify her husband from leadership by her conduct. Does this mean that a man has to be married to serve? We don’t know if the emphasis of the verses in on the “one” wife or “husband”. In other words, is it important that he’s married, or just that he only has one as opposed to many? Well, God said that it wasn’t good for man to be alone and he needed a helper. On the other hand, Paul said that some are called to singleness. So, the answer is: I don’t know. What we do know for certain is that if a man is married, and he wants to serve in ministry, he should have his home in order.

5. Sex: That’s right! “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:2 According to God’s Word, sexual intimacy is only good and right inside the union of marriage. Today more and more couples choose to live together and put off getting married. They are living in sexual sin because marriage has lost its place of importance to much of the younger generation. Today people are shocked when two virgins in their twenties get married. It’s rare for people to hold onto their purity. So it’s important to focus on marriage and to teach the young people that sex is only okay inside marriage.

There are many more reasons that marriage is an important topic, but this is quite a long blog already. While we need to be careful not to exclude singles and our widows, we also need to focus even more on the union of marriage. We know that it’s important to God, so it should be important to us too.

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5 responses to “Do Christians Focus Too Much on Marriage?

  1. You are right.
    We should rejoice in every marriage and work hard to help each other preserve and protect our marriages.
    Those who hate marriage are in a sort of divorce–divorcing themselves from God’s holy sacrament called marriage.
    It is a picture, it is the essence of salvation, the essence of our relationship with Christ. We should all love marriage, even when we are not married.
    Well, I’ve gone on long enough on this topic! 🙂

  2. Valeri Barnes says:

    Very good post Chelsea. Marriage is so very important, but as you said, and I appreciate you pointing it out, there are many of our sisters in Christ who are deeply hurt by a marriage and, while you didn’t mention those who are divorced, may have been left by their long time husbands. I see it more and more today. We must have compassion on the walking wounded. It doesn’t mean they are a lesser Christian. Remember, anger and hatred very often finds its root in fear. Many of these sisters are afraid to be vulnerable again by remarrying. I can certainly identify with being hurt by a long time husband and being afraid of marrying again for fear of it happening again. Ministering to the divorcees, widows, and singles is important in the church, but I think it’s been neglected in many bodies of believers. Perhaps that’s a good start in helping people heal who are anti-marriage.

    • Absolutely! I agree. I think it is an area that is neglected. We have to make sure no one is neglected to be ministered to in the body and we also need to continue to work on the issue of marriage. Hopefully, through prayer, the sharing of God’s Word in love, and His grace, we can save some (not all) of these marriages and there will be fewer women out there suffering from the effects of divorce. I know not all marriages are salvageable, but there are definitely some that are, so focusing on it is a good thing as long as we don’t leave the singles, widows and divorced individuals out.

  3. William says:

    Awesome message Chelsea, I am proud to be your husband!

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