Posts Tagged ‘Divorce’

marriage care

Posted: January 22, 2011 in Marriage
Tags: , , , ,

I will be honest.  I’ve been avoiding this topic.  I guess mainly because I don’t want anyone to think that I’ve got it figured out.  Maybe we can make this collaborative?

I am concerned and my concern is growing.  It seems I have more and more friends whose families are struggling – families that are involved in church, even in ministry.  As I drive around town, I see more and more churches with banners for Divorce Care.  Don’t get me wrong – I think that’s a great idea.  I think the church ought to be the place where hurting people can go to find acceptance, unconditional grace, and healing.

I guess I just want to see churches doing at least as much – probably more – for marriage care as they do for divorce care.  You know, the whole “ounce of prevention” thing?  I’m sorry, but the annual marriage weekend doesn’t add up to an “ounce of prevention” when it comes to marriage.

Why is the church struggling so much in this area?  I’m not a psychologist or a counselor and I didn’t even sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night.  But I do have a few ideas.

  1. I think it’s obvious that the family is a high priority target for our spiritual enemy.  What quicker way to distract a church – or even destroy a church – than to tear families apart, especially the families of those in leadership.  I have no problem saying that this is a spiritual battle.
  2. All too often, church is a place where we feel like we have to hide our problems and put up a false front.  Nobody is perfect, but for some reason, there is pressure to act like you are.  I heard a speaker recently say that “if the penalty for disclosure is the same as the penalty for getting caught, I will hide until you catch me.”  That’s kind of how it works in church.  The result is that we have no “small” problems in church, only “big” ones.  We don’t hear about the kid struggling with depression, until he takes his own life.  We don’t hear about the girl experimenting with drugs, until she’s an addict.  We don’t hear about the couple struggling to communicate, until they separate.  We’ve got to be able to admit that we’re struggling and ask for help before our problem or weakness takes us over the edge.  And I think it has to start at the top.
  3. Church has become a place where we mind our own business.  It’s not cool to get involved in someone else’s problems.  We’re into the “one another” passages when it comes to loving and serving and encouraging.  But as a church, we’re also instructed to admonish one another, confess our sins to one another and be accountable to one another.  Jesus even gave us instructions to do this correctly.  This can only happen where there is commitment.  When people get “offended” at church, they usually just move to another one. But if I know that I am loved and accepted and that my friends want what is best for me, no matter how badly I screw up, then I can allow others to speak into my life.  That’s dangerous, but it’s the kind of church I want.

So, let’s collaborate.  What will it take to become that kind of church?  What have you tried that worked?  What are your big ideas? Let’s hear it!

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