With all of the worthy causes in the world, why should you spend your time and talents to help in strengthening marriages? Cicero gave a good answer some 2000 years ago. He said, ‘The first bond of society is marriage.’
We believe Cicero had it right. Marriage is the foundation of the family, and the family is the foundation of society. If we strengthen marriage, we strengthen the family, we strengthen the children and we strengthen the community.
If your goal is to help improve the world, strengthening marriage is one of the best places to start. (This quote comes from the booklet, “Strengthening Marriages in Your Community: 101 Ideas to Get Started.”)
We whole-heartedly agree! Marriage is portrayed throughout the Bible as a living picture of Christ’s love for the church. How much more could you please God than to improve your own marriage? Continue to work on your marriage relationship so it reflects the love of Christ. And then reach out to help others to improve theirs, as well.
Strengthening Marriages: What’s the Motivation?
We’ve been repeatedly asked the question, “Why do you spend so much of yourselves helping marriages?” And our answer is: It’s because the love of Christ compels us. If there is one less child crying him or herself to sleep tonight because God has used us to help their mom and dad get along better, it makes it worth every bit of time, energy, and money we’ve spent. We consider it a privilege to participate with God in this awesome ministry.
But there is so much more that needs to be, and could be done. That’s why we’d like to share some ideas. We’re hoping you will find some that you could use to strengthen your marriage and others around you.
The first few we’ll be sharing comes from the booklet mentioned above. It was put together by the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education. You can order individually or in quantity at http://www.smartmarriages.com/grants.html.
Here are a few of their suggestions:
- Celebrate the anniversaries of your family and friends with the same enthusiasm that you celebrate their birthdays. Give gifts, cards, parties, surprise parties —all the bells and whistles.
- Ask radio stations to hold a contest for the most creative and/or least expensive marriage date.
- Ask your congregation or daycare to sponsor a date night for married couples. Include childcare.
- Give marriage education books and classes as wedding, anniversary, birthday, and baby shower gifts.
- Provide information on building strong marriages at bridal showers. [We have quotes you could use on this web site.]
- Hold a Marriage Fest in your community [or church]. Have games, food, and marriage education booths.
- Set up an e-mail service that sends out marriage strengthening ideas on a weekly basis. [You can send ours to those on your list.]
Some additional tips to help your marriage and to reach out to help others are:
- Work to be a good role model for everyone to see (including those in your home). Show them through your loving actions what a difference Christ can make in a marriage.
- Make sure your church and community libraries have a good supply of marriage strengthening resources available.
- Make sure there are marriage strengthening classes taught at your church from time-to-time. You may even consider being a teacher.
- “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.
- “Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything, set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say.” (Titus 2:1-8)
- Consider mentoring another married couple with your spouse. Be an investment couple in the lives of others. (We have articles that could help posted on this web site in the “Marriage Counseling & Mentoring” topic.) If your spouse doesn’t want to do this, ask God to show you a younger (same sex) person you can mentor.
- Ask other married couples to get together with you and your spouse and go through a marriage Bible study, or view a marriage video. We even have an article on this web site titled, “Use Our Web Site for a Small Group Study” that could give you some ideas.
- Write a marriage strengthening article to submit where God leads you. [Marriage Missions is always looking for additional articles and testimonies that can minister.] Or you can go onto a web site that has blogging capabilities (such as Marriage Missions). Share some words of encouragement to help others in their marriage journey.
- Ask God to help you to see opportunities that come your way so you invest in your own marriage. Also ask God to help you invest in marriages around you, that could use the encouragement.
“Let us not become weary in doing good. For at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.“ (Galatians 6:9-10)
“Therefore encourage one another, and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.“ (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
May the Lord bless your marriage and help you to pass the blessings on to others,
Cindy and Steve Wright
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(INDIA) Happy Marriage Day!