A recent article in the Texas Baptist Standard highlighted a study by a Baylor professor which revealed that Evangelicals are divorcing at a higher rate than those who claim no religion at all. Which raises the question; are we preparing our children for marriage? I think the answer to that question is no.
The guilty party in this case is both the local church and the parents. First, the number one obligation of parents is to raise their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). Of course, this necessitates that both parents are together and that they themselves are serving the Lord in sincerity and truth.
The current culture war that is being waged on marriage is attempting to eradicate gender differences and make Fathers and Mothers irrelevant. Research, however, shows that both males and Females bring something valuable and irreplaceable to the raising of children. Second, parents must not only model a covenant marriage, a lifelong commitment to the well-being of each other, but teach their children how to be a husband or a wife. Many young people that I have counseled prior to marriage have never discussed matters of the home.
Who will do the laundry? Who will cook? How will the bills be paid? Parents, by failing to engage their children with household chores and tasks, are simply fueling the divorce rates in this country. Third, parents must model reconciliation. As believers, we have been reconciled (Rom. 5:11; Eph. 2:13-16) to God though we were formerly children of wrath (Eph. 2:3). Thus, we now have been given a ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18). When our children see us, fathers and mothers, practicing forgiveness and reconciliation they will make this a part of their marriage life instead of following the world’s example which is to seek a divorce.
Finally, we cannot forget the local church’s role in this. Are churches teaching and preparing young people for marriage? We have lots of marriage conferences for married people, but what about conferences and workshops preparing young Christians for marriage. Marriage is about fulfilling our purpose in God’s creation (Ge. 1-2; Matt. 19:4-6).
When we understand marriage in this way, then our marriage is not just about us, but it is about our life as it is being lived before the presence of God. God is and must be the center of marriage. The Sun is the center of our solar system. As a result, the planets and moons all rotate in a harmonious unity. The same goes for marriage. When God is the center, then husbands and wives will live in a harmonious unity with the One and true God who revealed Himself in Jesus of Nazareth.
Are we preparing our children for marriage? posted by Dr. Ray Wilkins