Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

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!