Faith and Values
A Message on the Kingdom approach to marriage
by Donald Lee
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Kingdom approach to marriage, if applied, will cut rate of divorce in churches
Just the other day, I was asked my thoughts on why I believe the divorce rate in the church is steadily climbing. I was also asked what I believe needs to happen to curtail its effects. What follows is my response:
Great question! If you get a chance, please Google “Real Daddy Radio,” which is a blogtalkradio broadcast (hosted by “Minister Wayne”) that featured the book, “Married to Commitment,” a powerful book on building and maintaining healthy relationships that I co-authored with high school classmate and prayer partner Brigitte “Bre” Eaton. When you Google the Internet radio program, look for the show titled “As It Is in Heaven” which aired March 21, 2011. I also address this issue on the show.
The Holy Spirit shares great insight on this and other such matters in “Married to Commitment,” which was published by Orlando, Fla.-based Xulon Press Christian self-publishing company. But a quick (but thorough) response to the questions is that people in the church came out of the “world” and its way of doing things.
Before they started going to church and pursuing God’s way of doing things, they selected mates based on criteria rooted in the flesh (which is the antithesis of what the Lord calls pleasing). Y’all know what I’m talking about, a woman who’s into a man because he has a “six pack” of an abdomen, wide chest, he’s popular in the community or he tells her everything that (on the surface) is soothing to her ears.
The brother hooks up with a woman because her figure is a 36”-24”-36,” she has hair (not extensions) that hang all the way down her back, she’s got gray eyes and “she’s the baddest thang in the club.” She likes what she sees in him physically while ignoring his financial irresponsibility. He loves the idea of being able to flaunt her around like a trophy; he has bragging rights to her.
They decide to get married “because we’re not getting any younger.” So, they get married, not out of love, but out of lust. Both have ignored all the red flags, the warning signs, that marriage between the two of them should be either avoided or put off until they were able to assess the situation in godly wisdom.
What happens, in essence, is when problems in the marriage surface, such couples tend to deal with those issues based on how they "feel" rather than yielding, or submitting, to the Word of God.
The problem with feelings is that they change from minute to minute, from day to day. But the inward witness of the Spirit helps us to develop the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23), which includes meekness and longsuffering, just to name a couple of its components. In other words, someone who bears the fruit of the Spirit refuses to allow their flesh (or emotions) to dictate to them their next move.
Lastly, people who were already in the church (and weren't in the world) must become more kingdom-minded.
That requires going beyond the "I-go-to-church-every-Sunday" mentality and engrossing one's self in the "I-live-my-life-by-Kingdom-standards" way of thinking.
When couples who are “going through” in their marriages apply Kingdom principles to their relationships, they’re exemplifying transformed minds, which ultimately dictate to them how to handle conflict the way Christ would have them to.
When God's people get better acquainted with that way of thinking (Romans 12:1,2), we'll see the divorce rate in the church (whatever that rate may be) take a hit. Again, please Google the blogtalkradio program, “Real Daddy Radio,” to hear the interview Minister Wayne did with me about the book “Married to Commitment”.
It is of the utmost importance that married and engaged couples go through extensive, Word-based marital and pre-marital counseling, respectively. And I highly recommend “Married to Commitment” to church leadership, a book that can heavily impact both their marriage and singles ministries.
Donald Lee is founder-pastor of Kingdom Living Christian Center, a nondenominational, multi-ethnic church in southwest Dallas that teaches the how-to part of walking by faith and experiencing the blessings of Christ through kingdom living. Pastor Lee also co-authors “Married to Commitment,” which can be obtained by calling Xulon Press toll-free at (866) 909-2665 or ordering it online at http://www.xulonpress.com or http://www.amazon.com.
“Married to Commitment” is also sold in local Christian bookstores. The ISBN number is 978-1-61215-779-5. Join Pastor Lee at 10 a.m. (Central Standard Time) each Sunday for the sowing of the Word and at 7 p.m. each Thursday for Bible study via Kingdom Living Christian Center’s new, toll-free teleconference line (760) 466-8123 (conference code: 279498#). You can also follow Pastor Lee on Twitter. He’s at @donaldj_lee.
Financial donations to this ministry may be sent to: Kingdom Living Christian Center, P.O. Box 211186, Dallas, TX 75211-4303.