For the most part, most of this survey turned out like I had assumed it would. Sadly, I think ministry to “normal marriages” in the church (ie ones that aren’t falling apart yet) is for the most part coming up very short in most of our churches.
You remember the old saying “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”? I think it may apply in this situation. Because most married couples in church feel the imaginary pressure to pretend everything is “fine” and not admit they may be struggling to understand their spouse, or even living in a dead or dying marriage, they don’t say anything, and therefore, get looked over.
So, the church goes on creating ministries for the seniors, youth, college students, young adults, women, men, children, etc, etc, all the while not realizing that the core of most of their congregations, are hoping they would offer some type of down to earth, usable, real-world instruction – on how to understand/live with their husband/wife on a daily basis. They’re desperately trying to figure out how to communicate effectively, how to fight fair, how to have a fulfilling and exciting sex life, and see their sexual relationship in the context God has designed it to be, how to deal with in-laws, how to keep their marriage fresh with young children – the list goes on!
As you’ll notice in the results below, sex is a HUGE issue that people feel the church needs to address MUCH more, and when it does, be done in a real world, usable way.
So what’s the point to all this? Am I just trying to depress everyone? Not at all. My goal is to inspire those of you who are interested in marriage ministry to STEP UP and offer to lead/host/teach a marriage class in your local church!
And before you start in with all the “I’m not a good leader” or “I’m not good in front of people” crap, remember, we’re starting with NOTHING in most churches. Even if you don’t feel like you’re the next James and Shirley Dobson, you’re WAY better than what your church has going now. Remember Moses? The guy who couldn’t speak without stuttering? God seemed to be able to use him alright. Or Sampson? Or Paul? Not exactly “picture perfect” people before God used them, but God seems to work best through people like that. People like you and me.
The need is GREAT! The church is only as strong as the families in it, and the families are only strong if mom and dad’s relationship is strong and cared for. It’s pretty hard to show the world God’s plan for the family/marriage, if we are dealing with the same issues they are, and not being any more successful at dealing with them. No wonder they’ve started to turn to Opera and Dr. Phil.
So, as you look over the survey results below, I want you to really take a minute and ask God, “Lord, is this something you want me to help out in?”. If it’s not something you feel led to help out in, then great! But if it IS something the Lord has laid on your heart, get with your pastor, or church board, or whoever you need to, and talk about starting a marriage building ministry in your church! Not only will you learn and grow in your own marriage, but you’ll have the privilege of watching other couple’s faces light up when they finally start to understand each other!
So ask yourself this question: Why not you?
Here are the results (there were 76 responses):