Kyabram Free Press

For marriage advice, turn to God

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Recently at our church we have been speaking a lot about marriage.

I’m about to marry a young couple whom I have been preparing for marriage and we are currently in the middle of a sermon series on marriage at our church.

Why speak on marriage, and why work hard at making marriage better?

Sadly, the stats are not good for those who choose to tie the knot. In Australia 33% of marriages end in divorce. Not great odds. It seems there are many forces that work against those who choose to marry.

Couples can have great intentions with high hopes but lack some of the basics such as communicat­ion skills, conflict resolution and leaving parents and cleaving to one another.

I also wonder if it is just too easy to ditch out on marriage, to throw in the towel when things get a little tough. We can separate and divorce over ‘irreconcil­able difference­s’. How many of these ‘difference­s’ could be worked through to avoid the personal pain and broader impact that divorce brings on families and society?

Is there another way to approach marriage that gives greater assurance of success?

Fortunatel­y, the Bible has some great wisdom on this matter, and we do well to put aside any biblical prejudice and have a read. We could well discover some time-honoured truths that can still guide us today.

The Bible begins describing a marriage union of man and woman and ends using a marriage metaphor when Christ the ‘groom’ receives his ‘bride’, the church, to great celebratio­n. Throughout the pages of the Bible many references are made using the marriage metaphor.

You see marriage is God’s big idea. It was not instituted by mankind; it was given to us as a blessing from God and to be used to reflect the relationsh­ip that God wants with us.

God’s unique plan for marriage begins with man and woman made in his likeness. This gives us dignity and purpose knowing that there is something about us that reflects the Creator.

Secondly, God lives in relationsh­ip as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and wants an intimate relationsh­ip with us. Living in the image of God means we also do best in relationsh­ip. We are designed for monogamous intimacy within marriage.

Finally, this means that a man and woman become one together. The Bible says, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.’

This must be the most miraculous dimension of God’s design for marriage. Only God can cause two different people to become so compatible that they become one.

Can I encourage you to rethink God’s unique design for marriage and may this be a blessing for you.

Pastor David Lloyd Community Church Kyabram

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