Have you ever thought of yourself as a PR agent? As the Catholic writer Joseph Bottum observed, we live in an anxious age. And right at the top of the list for many is anxiety over the sustainability of the institution of marriage. The word has gone out over the air waves that marriage is not a pre-requisite for a couple’s shared happiness and that marriage is whatever we decide it will be. May I suggest that marriage as God intended it to be needs some good PR people on the ground?
Those of us who believe in God’s word as truth, and in particular, His ideas on marriage, can learn something from the news world and the marketing specialists who carefully craft their messaging so as to make a compelling case for their product or ideology. While they are sending out a plethora of reporting on domestic abuse, the rights of self-identifying gender types, divorce statistics, and birth announcements for the offspring of yet to be married Hollywood couples, except for those fresh-from the honeymoon newlyweds, where in our culture do we hear about the fulfillment and joy of marriage as God designed it?
Here’s the challenge: Scripture tells us that our testimonies are powerful. (Rev. 12:11) With some forethought, the next time a conversation about marriage seems to be headed south, we can be prepared to do some PR work on behalf of what God intended to be the richest of human relationships. While we can’t promise perfection, we can be advocates for the relationship that God blesses with His Spirit. (Malachi 2:15) Here are a few talking points about the blessings and benefits of godly marriage:
- The security of being loved and of belonging to another.
- Someone with whom to frolic.
- A live-in sounding board and source of expertise and wisdom.
- Someone to lean on in crisis or after a bad day or a bad diagnosis.
- Someone to celebrate life’s big and little moments, without appearing boastful.
- An ideal place to learn the “one another’s” of life – a great cure for selfishness.
- Someone to come home to and to warm you.
- A partner with whom to share the joys and challenges of raising children who will continue a legacy of godly living.
- Guilt-free sexual satisfaction that is blessed by God.
- A place to practice “speaking the truth in love.”
- An opportunity to experience and celebrate the complementary distinctions of being created in the image of God, male and female.
- Someone with whom to laugh and cry about life.
- Help through the various seasons of life.
- Someone who knows your story and is for you.
- Someone with whom you can work toward shared dreams and goals.
- And when, at the end of life, one lays the other at the feet of Jesus, the blessing of knowing you were faithful to your promise, like God is faithful to His promise – finishing, perhaps not perfectly, but well.
What talking points can you add to the list? And with whom will you share them?