Feb. 24 - David and Theresa Mabry, A Case for Marriage
God loves marriage. He loves it so much so that He uses it as a primary image of His relationship to us. Marriage is important to couples, families and society as a whole, but it can be tough to navigate at times. This is one of the many reasons we are so blessed to have David and Theresa Mabry attend Newstart alongside us. The Mabrys are marriage coaches, relationship educators, engaging speakers, and all-around lovely people! In honor of National Marriage Week, we got to hear them speak on the topic of marriage on Sunday.
Scripture teaches that marriage was God’s idea and is a divine, not merely human, institution. For that reason, we are called to preserve and respect it. Marriage is far more than a human social contract; it is a divinely-instituted covenant.
But what is a covenant? In essence, a covenant is an agreement between two parties that is established before God as a witness, an agreement whose permanence is ultimately safeguarded by none other than God himself. While a contract is legally binding, a covenant is a spiritual agreement.
Gary Chapman, author of 5 Love Languages and Covenant Marriage says covenant marriages:
Are initiated for the benefit of one’s spouse.
Require unconditional promises.
Are based on steadfast love.
View commitments as permanent.
Require confronting and forgiving.
Don’t want to take it from Gary Chapman? Then let’s hear it from God Himself:
Ephesians:5:21-31 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
The bible speaks to:
The permanence of marriage: Marriage is intended to be permanent, since it was established by God (Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:9)
The sacredness of marriage: Marriage is not merely a human agreement between two consenting individuals, it is a relationship before and under God (Genesis 2:22).
The intimacy of marriage: Marriage is the most intimate of all human relationships, uniting a man and a woman in a “one-flesh” union (Genesis 2:23–25).
The mutuality of marriage: Marriage is a relationship of free self-giving of one human being to another (Ephesians 5:25–30). (Ephesians 5:22–24; Colossians 3:18; see also Genesis 2:18, 20)
The exclusiveness of marriage: Marriage is not only permanent, sacred, intimate, and mutual; it is also exclusive. (Genesis 2:22–25; 1 Corinthians 7:2–5)
So what actions do we take now? How can we live out a holy, covenant marriage in our own lives?
Honor the marriage covenant. Celebrate, enjoy, and work at your marriage every day. Push through, and grow from, every season of your marriage.
Support others in the joys and challenges of their marriages. Celebrate anniversaries alongside them, be aware of available resources for marriage and help people find them.
Recognize and promote great premarital preparation.
Model and teach the value of marriage with your children (including the benefits of waiting until marriage to cohabitate).
Here at Newstart, we love, value and support marriages. We are in the process of developing a strong marriage ministry to carry us into the future. We look forward to walking alongside couples as they consider marriage, as they enter into that marital covenant with God, as they celebrate milestones, and as they struggle through difficult seasons.
We want to be a valuable resource to help you strengthen and grow healthy, holy marriages. More information on this is coming down the road, but if you have any questions, need any assistance, or want to become a part of this ministry, reach out to the Mabrys, Bocks, or Englers.