Praying for Marriages
It was Max Lucado who said “God created marriage. No governmental subcommittee envisioned it. No social organization developed it. Marriage was conceived and born in the mind of God.” Out of the mind of God, the intimacy of a trinitarian God, came marriage. The story of marriage is so prominently woven in God’s story with humanity, God took the first two chapters of the Bible to ensure we captured it.
The creation of male and female in his image is the fullest expression of God’s image. To see male and female is to have the best glimpse of God. Then God charged the male and female to be fruitful and multiply, giving us the fullest expression of intimacy. (Gen 1:27, 28) To come together as male and female is to have one of the closest trinitarian God experiences possible – one being, distinct and different, yet still entirely self-giving towards one another.
We then learn the names of the male and female, Adam and Eve, as the writer of Genesis retells the creation story with an added emphasis of the man and the woman. It was not good for man to be alone, God who lives in constant community of being, knew the man would need someone who shared his being as well. Thus, in the first act of creation that God did not by way of himself, Eve was brought forth through the shared relationship of Adam. This established the first covenant in the Bible – marriage – one man, one woman, for one lifetime: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” (Gen 2:18)
Marriage is the bedrock that God used to bring forward all other human entities – all other relationships. It was through marriage we would know intimacy, work, purpose, and all the other spectrums of human relationships. It was in the first marriage where “they felt no shame.” (Gen 2:25) From Genesis to Revelation, marriage imagery of a husband and wife is also the oldest and clearest image of God’s relationship with his creation and Christ Jesus with his bride, the Church.
So why five paragraphs retelling what so many of us already know about marriage? Since, chapter three of Genesis, marriage has found itself in a war. My friends at communio.org say of the United States “Americans – especially young Americans – are falling away from faith at alarming rates. The primary factor behind the mass exodus from religion appears to be the collapse in family structure.”
- 40% of all births in the United States occur outside of marriage.
- 54% of children born in the U.S. reach their 17th birthday without a mom and dad in the home.
- 25% Americans hold no religious affiliation — among millennials 40% hold no religious affiliation.
At Stadia we say, “we won’t stop until every child has a church.” It goes without saying, we mean “we won’t stop until every child has a church family.” With much grace intended, the best place for a child is in a good Jesus-centered marriage. Good marriages always reveal God, bring stability, and usher in grace. Another statistic worth knowing: Millennials from married homes are 78% more likely to attend church than peers from unmarried homes.
Marriage works. It is not easy and sometimes it can be complicated. Again, exceeding grace is intended. Yet, from the beginning of the bible until the end, marriage is shown to be one of the preeminent ideas to come from the mind of God. There is plenty in the middle to share wisdom with how a husband is to love his wife and how a wife is to love her husband. I trust you’ll do the concordance search for wisdom.
For now, I have a friend who often says of the children of God “the more you tell someone who they are … the less you have to tell them what to do.” Maybe of marriage it could be said “The more you tell someone from where it came, the less confusion there will be of its value.”
This month we are praying for marriages. We continue to pray in the spirit of Luke 11:9, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” This whole section of scripture comes from the disciples asking Jesus to teach them how to pray. (Lk 11:1)
Jesus then postures their hearts to pray to their heavenly Father about what’s important to him and what’s concerning their hearts. Marriage is concerning our hearts in Stadia. If marriage is a preeminent idea to come from the mind of God, it explains why it has been in a war since Genesis 3, the enemy only comes to still, kill, and destroy.
But not today, would you Ask, Seek, and Knock in prayer with me on behalf of marriages:
- That ministry teams, elders, and Christian couples throughout Stadia churches would work to have forgiveness and trust in their marriages.
- That God would give us eyes to see and serve the individuals, couples, divorcees, and married folks who need healing from marriages gone wrong.
- That the Church would fight to care well for marriages.
- That children would be cared for who have experienced hurt in a tough marriage or divorced marriage.
Sergio is passionate about being a follower of Jesus. A freshman in college when he came to faith, he knows well the impact of being a child without a church. Since meeting Jesus in 1999, he has served in ministry contexts that include the church in rural Kansas, an orphanage in Mexico City, Mexico, church planting in Nashville, and his alma mater Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO. Additionally, he spent 10 years in different health care and business settings, during which he earned an MBA from Lipscomb University. Sergio is most surprised by God’s grace given to him through his wife, Jackie, and their four children: Josiah, Lydia, Eliah, and Clara. He is excited to help resource the mission of Stadia and see to it that others have the blessing of experiencing the church, and what he is most grateful for in Jesus — a family.