Churches will be no stronger than the individuals and family units that comprise them. Many Christians have experienced the heartache of seeing friends and loved ones struggle with broken marriages and fractured families. How can we be more proactive in strengthening marriages and families? How can we do more to help homes before they are shattered? Here are a few suggestions, offered humbly and with the sincere prayer that congregations will seek to implement them.
- God-Centeredness in a marriage and home must be biblically spoken about, defined and illustrated often. God has a place in many Christian marriages and homes but often it is not the preeminent place!
- At least a quarter-long class should be devoted to marriage/parenting every year or two.
- Provide excellent free reading materials and DVDs on these themes and consider it an investment in the future.
- Ask your preacher to preach on marriage & family an average of 1 time every 3 months.
- Inaugurate a mentoring ministry. Titus 2:3-5 and other passages support this on an individual and congregational basis. Younger ones ask; older ones humbly give wise counsel. Both will be strengthened and encouraged.
- Elders and their wives (in every church) must personally “own” this opportunity for mentoring. And leaders simply must spend time getting to know and praying for those precious souls placed by God in their care.
- Secure the services of a biblically qualified marriage & family counselor for those occasions when a referral is needed, and due to the complexity and severity of sins within the home, there will be occasions it will be needed.
- Budget financial assistance for those who may need it for counseling.
- Make the congregation aware of excellent marriage and parenting seminars within driving distance.
- Leaders and preachers must be looking for indications of marital stress and family difficulties and be positive in responding before they worsen.
- A Marriage / Parenting Seminar is suggested at least every other year.
- Churches could provide free childcare at pre-determined times and dates to allow couples the financial freedom to have special time together while also providing a safe, wholesome environment for kids.
Regardless of how great a marriage and family may be, God can improve it. And regardless of how broken a marriage and family may seem, God can make it better as each one humbly looks to Him and His will, repents of hurtful behavior and honors the relationship in a way that brings glory to God (See 1 Corinthians 10:31).