Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Burden for Marriages!!

(This is a long post, but please read it!)

I am burdened for marriages!!
This is a burden that has been strongly increasing in the last 1-2 months. My heart is heavier than it has ever been for them. The number of marriages under attack at CCF right now is higher than it has ever been (or at least higher than we have ever been aware of). "I'm in the middle of a divorce" seems to roll off of people's tongues as easy as "I subbed my toe." This breaks my heart and troubles my spirit!

While we were at the Drive Conference 2 weeks ago, we heard a man share about his burden for marriages. He said this:
  • In the 80's every church needed a youth ministry to be a thriving church with a future.
  • In the 90's it become popular that every church needed a thriving children's ministry to be a successful church.
Then, he made this point:
  • We can have the most amazing youth and children's ministry under the sun, but if Mom and Dad are a wreck and the home is falling apart, it will not mount to a hill of beans!
  • This proves the thing we always hear: The church cannot raise and disciple your kids, they can only assist YOU in doing it. Home will matter more than church any day of the week!
Look, let me just put it out there. In just our (small) church, I am currently aware of more than 10 marriages in big trouble. Then there are all the people that would never tell us anything and keep it hidden. Then, add to that all the people that have been impacted by divorces that have already happened! Run all that math, and I am willing to venture to say that way more than half of Capital Christian Fellowship has been stung by the pain of marital attack and divorce. That is an epidemic issue, folks! I am seeing this through some very different lenses these days.

I am not the kind of guy to sit and do nothing. We must act! I'm racking my brain, hitting my knees and asking God what he wants us to do!! Some of the things that I am considering and praying about for us as a community are:
  1. Increase awareness among the body. (this blog post is a step)
  2. More Teaching and Preaching on God's design for healthy marriages.
  3. Perhaps launching a Small Group for people who need marital restoration.
  4. Fasting for marriages!
  5. Intense and devoted prayer for marriages!
  6. Married Life Live event on May 30th at 8pm! (This is AN initiative, not THE answer)
  7. Professional Christian Counseling referrals made available.
  8. Intense marriage healing events suggested.
Some fights are won with one stone (David vs. Goliath). Others require an arsenal. I see this battle as one that "...is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Eph. 6:12)

I have thrown out some thoughts here and some possible tactics for engaging this. I am really in the middle of seeking the Lord on this!! What are your thoughts? What is in your heart? What may the Lord be saying to you on this? Please join me in this conversation. Leave a comment.

8 comments:

Tricia said...

Noah and I our both sharing this burden and we care. We would love to be a resource to anyone that needs help. We do not have it all together but we love marriage and would love to help you love marriage again.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have dealt with so many issues in our marriage. The enemy tries to make it seem like you are the only one who has issues, you are all alone. It does at time take an arsenal of prayers, spiritual gifts, WORD etc...it takes fasting, it takes...I am excited about this and can't wait to see God move in the lives of marriages all around us.

Pastor Noah said...

Babe- I LOVE what you said! And YES! I agree!

Anonymous- Amen!

Anonymous said...

It is comforting to know CCF has a pastor who cares deeply about the members. These are brilliant ideas to promote healthier marriages.

I learned is it okay, to share the burdens. It is okay to cry out for help. It is not a sign of weakness but a sign of a new beginning.

In the past, I thought I was strong enough and I could deal with the issues alone. I convinced myself that I did not need to involve anyone in my personal affair, after years of hurting and smiling on the outside; I realized I could not do this alone.

Thanks Pastor

Anonymous said...

i don't think you have to go to a "christian" counselor to get help. i think that getting help in the first place is a start. there are lots of great counselors and therapist that don't meet the "christian" title. it just needs to be someone whose is wiling to help.

my opinion...

Pastor Noah said...

Anonymous #3- Thanks.

Anonymous #4- I agree with you in part. I think that it is fine to go to a non-Christian therapist as long as you are ALSO seeing Christian leaders/counselors that can bring balance. Too often, when people only visit "secular" helpers, they are missing out on the faith perspective and the role of God in their healing. This must be a part of it.

Anonymous said...

As you know, Bernie and I have a passion for marriage. This year we launched our ministry, Crossing the Bridge Ministries, where Marriage Matters (the name of a series of workshops/mini-retreats we started last month). God placed this on our hearts a few years ago and we have been planning and building since. Our goal is to help not only those marriages that are experiencing major challenges, but to help strengthen ALL marriages long before they get to the desparate stage.

I think marriage should be celebrated and recognized when the going is good to give support and encouragement as couples live out their lives.

We are with you all the way!!

Cydne

Anonymous said...

Yes, we need to come together on this. I like your ideas. Within the past year or so, four families immediately connected to me (relatives and dear friends) have all experienced spiritual attack in the marriage and home...holding on seemingly by a thread. I have been praying for marriages. Great to learn of Bernie and Cydne's ministry!

Alexine