From Our Senior Pastor
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As we approach the end of our series, Sacred: God’s Design for Marriage, I want to share a few observations and thoughts of where we’ve been so far and where we’re headed.

I’m getting lots of good feedback about how people are taking to heart the challenges they are hearing in worship and in their Life Groups, and about the specific steps people are taking to see real change happen in their marriages. While there are no quick fixes, much of what we have studied are necessary catalysts to beginning the necessary changes that heal a marriage. And remember, knowing principles won’t change a marriage. Obeying God’s Word and following God’s design will! So keep it up! Don’t go on feelings, but go on trust – knowing that God’s way is always best.

Many of you have been married a lot longer than my 26 years, and yet here you are, week after week, listening, learning, and applying. What an encouragement you are! Some of you have the opportunity to mentor, coach, and otherwise influence a whole new generation in marriage. You have much to share and your words and lives will have great impact. And even if there is no one in your life to mentor in this area right now, your presence cheering and encouraging our married couples to grow in godliness, commitment, and joy is vital.  In a culture that – at best – misunderstands biblical marriage, and - at worse – despises it, you are helping make much of God and his great gift of marriage. Keep setting the pace!

For many people listening, these messages have been hard. Experiencing hurt and/or strife in their marriages now, or dealing with the despair and devastation of divorce from the past, these messages on God’s ideal for marriage can be difficult to take. I realize this and I hope you will stick it out till the end for the final message, “Not Quite What I Planned” on February 17th. I’ll talk about God’s word for those who are in a place they never thought they’d be. We’ll talk about what God’s grace means for your future. 

I’ve spoken with a few widows about the series as well. Missing someone you loved for so long and well is a pain I can’t quite imagine. Hearing about marriage has been bittersweet. You have been reminded of a spouse you love, and that brings back a flood of wonderful memories. You’ve also been reminded of a spouse that’s no longer here, and that stirs up a lot of sadness. Thank you for being here nonetheless and for championing godly marriages. 

So, for those of you for whom this series has been tough, thanks for sticking it out. Married, widowed, divorced, or single, you are a beloved part of the body of Christ and we are glad you are here.

Finally, the more I study and teach on the subject, the more I realize that these messages on marriage are really messages on Jesus. Jesus and his relationship with us, his bride, is not a metaphor for marriage. It’s the other way around. When we talk about God’s design for marriages, we are talking more about God’s design for salvation – how he loves us, chooses us, saves us, and sanctifies us, so that one day we can enjoy Him forever in heaven. Isn’t that something we all need to hear?

Will you plan to be part of our Celebration of Marriage on Sunday, February 10th as we celebrate the beautiful design and glorious gift of marriage?  We are going to enjoy a great meal together, laugh, maybe cry a little, be challenged, encouraged and blessed as we celebrate what God has done and is doing and will one day complete.  Godly marriages bless individuals, families, churches, communities, and nations. We all need to celebrate that!

I love my church family!

Pastor Pau