Christian couples need to see marriage as an unbreakable covenant. It needs to be the non-negotiable component to marriage. Somehow, we have forgotten that marriage was meant to be a lifelong commitment.
My young granddaughter during the Covid pandemic determined what she wants to be when she grows up—she wants to be married. So, when she visited me, I let her try on my wedding dress. Her great-grandmother first wore that dress almost seventy years ago, and perhaps one day she will wear it too.
With her mom and dad both working from home during the lockdown, my granddaughter was able to see marriage in a whole new way. She watched her parents lovingly divide chores and help each other through months of hardship. Though her child-eyed view of marriage is incomplete, she can still sense the joy of having someone by your side and the comfort and stability that brings.
We need to inspire our children to desire marriage and begin developing the right attitudes that make marriage work best. Christian marriages can change the trajectory of our culture towards living faithfully, honorably, and loving well despite tough times. But we can’t do this until we change our Christian divorce rates that are equal to our secular counterparts. Half of our marriages fail.
I’m not a marriage counselor, but I work with children and teens who routinely deal with the fallout from broken homes—or homes that were never whole to begin with. If we want better outcomes for our children, we need to realize the power to change the next generation begins in our married homes.
A Christian marriage counselor was once asked, “How do you know if you married the right person?” He responded, “Whose name is on the marriage certificate? That’s the right person.” We need to work through the hard places. My husband and I lost our farm, re-built our finances, had two premature babies, and, despite that, were stronger because of it.
I’ve talked with kids who feel responsible for their parent’s anger and disappointment in marriage. What would be better is for children to see parents working together through life’s challenges—and doing so without the backdoor being open to divorce. Leaving the backdoor open only makes it easier for things to get in that have no place in our homes.
As Christian parents we can offer stability, comfort, and the power of faith as we work through our issues. We aren’t perfect and neither are our marriages, but when a family remains together, the next generation is stronger too. They learn how forgiveness works in the closest relationships we have.
With my experience of over 40 years of marriage, I advise these things for Christian couples:
- Avoid entertainment choices that celebrate sin.
- Choose to spend quality time together instead of faulty substitutes (like TV).
- Plan to share your life together without an exit strategy.
- Raise your children with honesty about your own failures.
- Celebrate marriage and encourage your children and their friends to see it as the blessing it truly is.
- Most importantly, introduce your children to God and help them develop their own walk with Jesus.
One other thing Christian couples can do is to mentor other couples and inspire young adults to marry for life. Hopefully, my granddaughter can remain inspired, but it’s up to us. It’s a worthy goal and one that God will bless. Can Christian marriages save our nation? Yes, they could, but the real question is: will we do the work to make our marriages last?
Karen Farris saw the need to help underserved kids while serving in a youth ministry that gave her the opportunity to visit rural schools on the Olympic Peninsula. She now volunteers her time grant writing to bring resources to kids in need. She also shares stories of faith in action for those needing a dose of hope on her weekly blog, Friday Tidings.www.fridaytidings.com