Something is different about our church these past few weeks. It is usually busy, but the past few Sundays it’s been nearly impossible to find a parking spot. There are always filled seats but this month we can hardly find two together (especially near the end… a necessity with baby boy). There are always many filling the lobby area, but lately we have to squeeze through.
What’s the source of this busy time of our church? A marriage series.
Each time our pastor, Pete, speaks on marriage I immediately see a huge growth in our numbers. I hear of more people contacting the church for help and more asking others about the sermons. It’s amazing to see so many show up for a single topic and it makes me realize more than ever that there is a need.
A need for more talk about marriage, a need for more direction for husbands and wives, a need for reminders that it can get better, and a need for guidance on how to make it all work.
The divorce rate in our churches is the same as it is in the secular world and I have found that people are sometimes less likely to share of their troubles at home when they are regular attenders of a church because it is unfortunately believed that appearances matter more. “Christians can’t have problems!” “Don’t you go to church? And you struggle with that?”
Friends, there is a need. A need for being genuine and a need for help with our marriages. How can you meet this need?
First, be real and be open. I am amazed at the e-mails, texts, Facebook messages, calls, etc. that I have received since starting this blog. I have been even MORE amazed at how that number grew when I started sharing personal marriage stories and struggles here. Yes, we have had porn struggles in our marriage, and guess what most of my weekly e-mails are addressing? Porn. Wives from around the world have written me for help with what to do when their husband is struggling. Do I feel qualified? No. But allowing God to use my own experiences for His glory has been anything short of amazing.
Second, reach out. How often do you ask your friends and family how their marriages are? To be honest, I can struggle with this one sometimes. I may ask how my friend and their husband are, but it’s rare that I say “How’s married life?” Unless they are newly weds… because that’s just what you ask those “youngins”, right? There is nothing more heart-wrenching then finding out that someone you know is getting a divorce and you knew nothing had ever been wrong. Will you be the one to save a couple from divorce? Maybe, maybe not. But being intentional with those we are close to and asking them the hard questions will give them opportunities to seek help and to share what is on their hearts. It also gives the opportunity for them to ask you as well (go back to being real and open) and for you to have an outlet to share and discuss your own marriage in a positive and loving environment.
Lastly, volunteer. When your church asks for volunteers to serve you might think of serving in the nursery, in the parking lot, or maybe at the welcome desk. But have you ever considered helping out in a pre-marital class? Or even being available to mentor a younger couple? Maybe you could lead a small group of married couples? There are many opportunities in churches to help with marriages within the congregation. If your church lacks in the marriage ministry department, find a pastor and ask what you can do to help. Every church has marriages that need guidance and love to flourish. How can you be a part of that?
I know that my church is not the only one in which people will crowd the building to hear more about marriage. Couples are hurting everywhere, and we have the power to help because we have a God who not only came up with the idea of marriage, but one who CARES for the relationships of His people. Pray for your church, pray for the marriages around you, and ask the Lord what you can do to help. You don’t have to be a pastor speaking on marriage, or even a blogger who writes on it every week. You simply need to be available.
To listen to the AWESOME marriage series at my church, go HERE and click on the “To Love and To Cherish” videos. There are also audio versions under the resources tab. You will not regret it!