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building a community to reach a community

February 15, 2013

Marriage

Yesterday was Valentine's Day, and if you gentlemen forgot or under delivered, read all the way to the end for your second chance.  If you nailed it, then read to the end for a great opportunity for some bonus points.  

This is also National Marriage Week. Lawton Jones wrote about the significance of this week on our "Life at Grace" blog. I am in my 31st year of marriage. I was 22 and my wife Cheryl was 19. That beautiful summer day on June 5, 1982 we began a journey of learning what we meant when we said, "I do." God places a high and holy calling on marriage. It is the only relationship God requires us to enter into with another human being. All other covenants in the Bible are between God and humans. I am growing and living at my best as a husband when I pursue the high and holy purpose of God in marriage. We live in a time where God's purpose for marriage is being diminished and at worst totally ignored. What does this have to do with you as a Community Group Leader? Well, you may not have this perspective, but you are involved in marriage enrichment.

As you gather for your group's study, social times, and service projects, you are providing couples with a chance to share together in spiritual life experiences. You enrich marriages when you are facilitating husbands and wives to grow individually and together as a couple. You are also enriching marriages by the example of your own marriage. One of the values I need to keep in mind as Cheryl and I lead a College Community Group is that we are doing pre-marital counseling by example. College young men in my group are watching me and hopefully learning a little something about how to love their future wives. The college young ladies are watching Cheryl and hopefully learning a little about loving their future husbands. Marriage enrichment doesn't just happen in your group when you do a marriage study, it is happening all the time. Let me encourage you to be aware of this and regularly take time as a leader to pray for the marriages of group members and that God will use whatever you are doing as a group to enrich the marriages in your group.  

I am sure it is obvious that I am writing on this topic to put in an unapologetic plug for our Married Couple Date Night next Friday night, February 22. Enthusiastically encouraging your group to join you and your wife at this event is a great way to do marriage enrichment as a group leader. I think I will go as far as to say, if you care about the marriages of your group members, you better have a good reason why you wouldn't come and wouldn't encourage them to come with you!!

Don't get upset. I love you and want the best for your marriage and the marriages in your group. We are planning for this to be a fun and meaningful time that will be worth prioritizing into your calendars. Keep your eye on the high and holy calling of marriage.  

Grace,

Tim

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