Below are some ideas on how you can celebrate and honour marriage. Before looking at those ask your self these questions:
If you are married:
- how do you honour marriage in your home?
- Do you celebrate your wedding anniversary or wedding anniversaries in your family?
- Do you pray together for your marriage and for each other?
Within the church we know some honour birthdays but do you honour wedding anniversaries?
Does the church have any pro-active programs in place aimed at strengthening marriages or for those who are to get married?
Are the youth taught about marriage and sexual purity?
After prayerful consideration of these questions here are a few ideas on ways that you can honour marriage, in the home and through the church that will help to create a ‘marriage culture’ and help to build marriages along the way:
Receptions, luncheons, dinners, film night etc.
Celebrate marriages within your church and wider community by holding events over receptions, luncheons, dinners etc. This could be in conjunction with other churches in your area and also local business, media, shire councils etc. 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. Rules will need to be in place, for example 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.
For Young People
Host a forum about marriage and relationships for young people in your church. Make it an open forum so they can to invite their friends from the community.
Become a Champion for Marriage
There are many quality resources that are available that your church can get involved with eg:
- Focus on the Family Australia have a range of books and programs to strengthen marriage and families.
- Power to Change (FamiliyLife Australia) has “Love that Lasts” or their “A Day Together” conference. They also have a small group resource “The Art of Marriage” and “Homebuilders” designed to be hosted in the home. All these and more from the Power to Change web site.
- Careforce Lifekeys under Allan & Helen Meyer have produced some excellent resources to build marriages and family.
- 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 Marriage Course web site. Make sure that you open “More Courses” from the menu to see all courses available to run or attend.