Thursday, January 20, 2005

Purpose and Marriage

Rick Warren, call him "Purpose Driven Guy," laid out God's plan for marriage in a recent essay. Warren says that, "God's plan for your marriage is wider and deeper than anything in your wildest, craziest dreams." Warren proceeds to make numerous shocking discoveries, such as, "You and your spouse were both planned for God's pleasure" and "Life is about relationships, not achievements." Talk about incisive, thought-provoking stuff! I can't wait for the marriage retreat!

After reading the entire essay, which was akin to having a frontal lobotomy, I still had enough wits about me to realize that Warren hadn't mentioned children as a purpose of marriage.

Writing in the bad old days when Christians read their bibles instead of apocalyptic fiction and looked to the scriptures for life's purpose, Martin Luther had this to say about marriage:

The purpose of marriage is not to have pleasure and to be idle but to procreate and bring up children, to support a household. Those who have no love for children are swine, stocks, and logs unworthy of being called men or women; for they despise the blessings of God, the Creator and Author of marriage.

Heck, forget Luther, consider the Word of the Lord in Malachi 2:15, where we read, "Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring."

Scripture says that children are a blessing (Ps. 127:3-5) from God, and that as parents we must train (Eph. 6:4), correct (Prov. 29:15), and instruct them (Deut. 6:1-9) in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

Several years ago, the Southern Baptist Council on Family Life reported that 88% of the children of Southern Baptist parents leave church at 18 and never return. Perhaps part of the problem is that Southern Baptist pastors write about marriage without even mentioning children.


Blogger ctroutma said...

Doesn't it drive you nuts that engaged couples go through months of counseling with these great pastors and come out knowing nothing about what marriage is! My sister-in-law just got married, and in talking (arguing) with us about children, she told us how her pastor had counseled them that they needed to wait till they were ready, and were established as a couple before thinking about having children. If you're not ready, WHY the heck did you get married then? The foundational purpose of marriage is very clear in Genesis, and although childbearing may not be the only blessing of a marriage, it sure is a pretty foundational one.

8:22 AM  
Blogger ctroutma said...

Oh, by the way, why is there an ad for divorce lawyers at the bottom of your page?

8:23 AM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Actually, I don't think ministers should marry people who say they aren't going to have children. You are quite right that our pastors seem to be letting us down here.

I had not noticed the advertisement before. About two weeks ago, I put a counter on the blog because I wasn't really sure if anyone was visiting and was hoping to get some kind of gage. Obviously, the free counter comes with a catch, which I assumed would be a link to the Precision Counter website, but alas, I seem to be advertising for divorce attorneys.

6:05 AM  

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