Monday, August 11, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Celebration of Marriage

Genesis 2:18-25

Susan Thomas, LCSW-R, FT

24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed.

We clearly see in these passages that God created man and woman in his own image. And God gave Adam a companion, a helper, a partner when God created Eve. This model of partnership is what God wants for the sacrament of marriage. God did not want us to be alone or self-sufficient.  Rather, he wanted us to have someone with whom we can share our joys, our sorrows; someone who can help ease our burdens and share in our successes; someone who is always by our side and who will share our lives with us.
In Genesis chapter 2, verse 24, God is very clear about his guidelines for marriage. That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” This means that once a man and woman are united in marriage, they must leave everything else  and be fully committed to one another. And this commitment means giving less priority to other things, such as career, hobbies and interests, being totally engaged in the relationship to their spouse. The couple become one as they leave behind their past and move into the future together. And as God blesses this couple with children, they become an even stronger unit as they learn to be more than a husband or a wife, as they become  parents to the children that they are given.
The statistics show that more than fifty per cent of marriages end in divorce and among Christian couples, this percentage is not much different.  We need to look at marriage as a life-long partnership, where a couple must stay committed in the good times and in the difficult times. Marriage is an opportunity for God to refine us and help us to develop Christ-like qualities that are pleasing to Him. A couple must learn to work together, to forgive one another, to put their spouse above themselves, to let go of their own desires and seek to make their spouse happy. Marriage allows the couple to develop fruits of the spirit such as kindness, gentleness, patience and self-control. They can live out these qualities with one another, with their children and ultimately display these qualities to others in our world.  If a couple can put God at the center of their relationship and they can trust God to go with them through this journey, they can share a wonderful life and fulfill the vision that God intended when he created the sacrament of marriage. 

Thought for the day:

Marriage is an opportunity for God to refine us and help us to develop Christ-like qualities that are pleasing to Him. 

Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank you so much for the gift of marriage.  You created this sacrament of marriage as a way to allow two separate individuals to come together and share their lives together, keeping You always at the center.  Father, Lord, we pray for all those who are experiencing pain and struggles in their marriages, knowing that through Your grace and mercy, true healing can come and their relationships can be restored. Lord,  help us to turn our marriages over to You and allow You to do a wonderful work in us, as You teach us how to truly love one another, the way that God loves each one of us. In Jesus name, we pray.  Amen.

Long Island MTC, NY