How can we honour marriage in our church, in our wider community? Here are some ideas, that we have collected from around the nation and elsewhere to get you going:

Celebrate marriages within your church and wider community by holding events over receptions, luncheons, dinners etc maybe in conjunction with other churches in your area and also local business,media, shire councils etc. Maybe include the presentation on “What makes a strong Marriage” (part of The Marriage Course)or a film such as “Fireproof”. Honour marriages with a small gift, where their marriage has one or more of the following qualities:

  • Role Model ~ Honouring marriages that have had an impact on the life of the community.
  • Priorities Right ~ An award to recognise a couple(s) that have seen the priorities in their marriage and have made best endeavours to keep them.
  • Longevity Award ~ Recognising the couple in your church and or community that have been married the longest; this could be a “Hall of Fame” recognising all marriages for, say, over 25 years in length.
  • Business Couples ~ This recognises couples that have ‘used’ their marriage to create a new business/ministry that has served your community.

With all of these ideas/awards the couples will need to be selected by nomination to a committee and rules will need to be set, such as to exclude committee members or their spouses from being nominated. The nominations need to be completed prior to Marriage Week and will all be part of your promotion of Marriage Week.

Host a forum about marriage and relationships for young people in your church – get them to invite their friends from the community around you.

There are many quality resources that are available that your church can get involved with eg:

  • FamiliyLife Australia’s a “Weekend to Remember” or their “A day to remember” conference. They also have a small group resource “Together” which runs over 9 sessions. All these and more from their web site http://familylifeaustralia.com
  • Careforce Lifekeys under Allan & Helen Meyer have produced some excellent resources to build marriages and family. http://www.careforcelifekeys.org
  • Focus on the Family Australia have a range of books and programs to strengthen marriage and families. http://www.families.org.au
  • RelationshipCentral Australia (part of Alpha International) Many will have heard of the Alpha Course but it is not so well known that they produce some great material for building marriages and families. Find out more from their web site http://marriageandparenting.org.au
This is not a joke! On a Sunday in November 2011 a Pastor in New York started his sermon on “The Power and Pleasure of Romance” by reading verses from chapter two in Genesis and moved to quoting studies that showed that kissing is good for one’s heart and cholesterol level (we have also heard of reports that is good for the teeth also!).

The pastor told his congregation “This society, especially the religious society, sometimes puts a shame on nakedness, on romance, on love, on kissing … They make it seems(sic) as if it should not be talked about in church, something that should not be displayed in our society,..” In addition to preparing his message from the Bible, the pastor said that he found studies that show that any society that celebrates marriage, romance, and love is a “free and wholesome society.” He continued that he wants to shatter the idea that public displays of affection are wrong. “God created a desire for every human, every man and every woman, the desire for love and romance and until you are in a relationship with the opposite sex you will never be fully satisfied because God said it is not good for man to be alone,” he said during the sermon. “God wants us to be in a marriage and experience the fire of romance.” During his message, the pastor asked four married couples to approach the pulpit area and begin kissing as members of the church’s worship band played some R&B tunes.

The passionate kissing went on for five minutes and the winning couple was chosen by the loudest applause from the congregation. The winning couple received $50 to spend on a date night.

However would you take the challenge and give such a message and competion – we’d love to hear.

A good way of getting “press”!!

Our thanks to ChristianToday & NYPost

In this crazy world, spending quality time at the dinner table as a family has become a forgotten pastime. The secret to making dinner time quality time is the conversation and paying attention. Put a ban all things digital. Turn off the TV. Eat together and watch your family grow closer.
Dr Gary Chapman
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
I Corinthians 13: 4-8