In Touch – February 14, 2014
Posted on February 14, 2014 by under Touché,

Re: Missional Marriage

The only other Valentine’s Day I remember being away from Cathy was in 1994 when I was at a Promise Keepers pastors’ conference in Atlanta.  We thought it strange that this ministry, focused on relationships, should take husbands (they were mostly male pastors) away from their wives on this day, but Bill McCartney, the leader of Promise Keepers, promised that if we wrote a card to our wives he would send it.  Cathy and other friends never received their cards.

This Valentine’s Day we will be away from each other.  We will celebrate thirty years of marriage in June.  We were talking about a trip to Italy and we certainly spent a year enjoying the “empty nest”, but those plans and that nest flew out the window on August 20 when Andrew was in his accident.  It has been a challenge to live apart from each other, but as I have watched my wife in this time of hardship, I appreciate her beauty and grace more than ever.  She is a mom on a mission and that is as it should be.

Next week Cathy and I will be attending Missional Marriage, which is offered as a part of the Ridder process.  If Andrew was not in Holland we would not be going, but since we are there together we are able to attend.  It will be a great gift for us to be able to participate in this retreat at this time.  The title of the retreat is a foundational key to marriage. When marriage is understood as a part of the greater purpose of our lives, which is living into the mission of God, then marriage is not simply “what does this do for me?”, or, “how am I getting my needs satisfied?” A marriage must first look up to God’s purpose and then out toward the other to live into all that God intends it to be.

The promise of marriage has failed to deliver for many these days.  It seems that almost weekly I hear of challenges to relationships where promises are not kept.  As a church, we continue to ask “how can we help?”  I am pleased to share with you that one of our ChristCare couples groups is sponsoring a weekend at HRC on March 21 and 22.  No matter how long you have been married, I hope you will participate.

I know that the church has a vision to offer any marriage, whatever the circumstances. That is the vision of life living into the mission of God.   I am thankful for having few Valentine Days away from my wife and thankful for the mission that we share as followers of Christ.

Happy Valentine’s Day,