Posted by: Alton Rocker | December 21, 2011

What is the purpose of Premarital Counseling?

What is the difference between Christian Premarital Counseling and secular Premarital Counseling?

While the two will cover similar topics, Christian Pre Marriage Counseling will also take into account God’s purpose and plan for marriage.

All good premarital counseling will cover the “big 5”:

-         Marital Expectations

-         Communication

-         Conflict Resolution

-         Finances

-         Sexual Intimacy

Truly, no marriage can expect to flourish if the man and woman don’t poses adequate tools for dealing with the day-to-day difficulties of marriage.  If you are seeking pre marriage counseling, make sure the curriculum covers these 5 topics…at a minimum!

If you identify yourself as ‘Christian’, as a majority of US couples do, you may be interested in the ‘big 5’ as well as what God’s Word says about marriage.

During your counseling time, you’ll probably hear things like, ‘One man. One woman. For Life’ and you may discuss the biblical concept of ‘leaving and cleaving’.  You may also be advised that sex and cohabitation before marriage is contrary to God’s ideal for your marriage.

All said, Christian Pre Marriage Counseling has been created in order to ‘line us up’ with the pattern God has established for the covenant relationship of marriage.  Marriage exposes sin in our lives.  It exposes our selfish nature.  It exposes our inability to truly fulfill our spouse.  But, most importantly, it exposes our need for mercy, grace, and forgiveness.  One of God’s purposes for marriage is to show us just how much we need Jesus.

If you’re in searching for quality, Christian Pre Marriage Counseling, check out www.marriage101online.com for some great advice.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | October 5, 2011

Get Your Premarital Counseling Free!

That’s right!! FREE (after the discount)!!

Online Premarital Counseling with free digital workbooks!! Get the BEST in counseling and get all your money back!!

Couples without adequate access to quality, premarital counseling now have this fantastic resource at their fingertips along with the added benefits bestowed by the State of Texas to traditional premarital counseling.

We are very pleased to announce that Grace Products (Marriage 101, Letters from Dad, et al), is now a certified provider for the Twogether In Texas program.  Twogether In Texas is a state sponsored program that registers qualified providers to help couples receive premarital counseling.  The State of Texas recognizes the benefit of premarital counseling and the costly effects of divorce.  When couples complete an assigned course, they are issued a certificate to present when they purchase their marriage license.  They receive a $60 discount on their marriage license and can bypass the 3 day waiting period.  Convenient, affordable, 24/7 access, and solid biblically based teaching for just $59.

The M101 Online Course is now an official Twogether In Texas course.  

Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to http://www.marriage101online.com/products
  2. Put the Online Course in your cart, hit checkout.
  3. Fill out the registration page, enter the code 5ERL1 at the bottom.
  4. Then just check out.  The online course is just $59, a savings of $36.  
  5. View the sessions, fill in the course assessment form, and email it to us.
  6. We will verify completion and email back the  Twogether in Texas Certificate. 
  7. The $60 discount means you are actually getting the online course absolutely FREE!!

The M101 Online Course also makes a great wedding gift.

Of course any organization that is a state certified provider can use the Marriage 101: Back to the Basics curriculum for the purpose of state certification as well.  FREE premarital counseling!

This is the first ever, certified, Online Premarital Counseling Course. 

What do you think?  Are you ready to get the BEST in counseling at no cost?

Posted by: Alton Rocker | September 8, 2011

HOME TEAM – Unconditional Commitment

Custom jersey?  Check. 

Giant foam finger?  Check. 

Neon face paint?  Check. 

Even in a crowd of thousands, the bleacher creatures stand out.  No matter what you call them, you always know where to find these fiercely loyal fans – cheering on the home team with everything they’ve got.  Rain or shine, win or lose, the players can count on their unwavering support.
 
Can you and your spouse say the same thing about each other?
 
“I am yours and you are mine”.  What does that mean?  It means whatever we are going through – whatever challenges, whatever difficulties, whatever trials – we’re going to get to the other side together.  Every couple needs to know that there is a sense of unconditional commitment to one another.  We are the quarterbacks for the marriage.  In fact, as we stand back think about those issues that get in the way of our marriage, that get in between us, that cause us to go to different corners of the home, we need to realize that the relationship of marriage has got to be far more important than any issue that you’re going through.  When you are going through tough times say these say these words:  “My mate is not my enemy”.  There is a boundary, a sacred hedge, around your marriage and it is there to guard and protect you.  Remember these words – the relationship has to be far more important than the issue.

Below is a link to a powerful teaching by the Rosbergs on the issue of Unconditional Commitment.  Please take time to view it and send us your comments.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | August 16, 2011

Erosion Warning!!

Day after day, year after year, wind and waves beat against a pristine coastline.  Most people who travel the route are too busy enjoying the view to notice the subtle but relentless forces of nature. Then, eventually, the road signs begin to appear: WARNING:  EROSION!  What was once a beautiful sanctuary is now becoming a place of danger. 

The same is true of marriage.  The inevitable day to day disappointments of life can erode even the best relationships.  If only a map existed to help couples recognize and avoid the slippery slope.

GOOD NEWS! – IT DOES!  In the video below, Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg address the issue of natural erosion in marriage.  Their Marital Map offers an indispensible picture of the downward spiral, from simple disappointment and discouragement to emotional and physical divorce.  Together, they serve as seasoned guides, providing intentional strategies for preventing a serious fall, or climbing back to the summit of marital hope.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | August 5, 2011

50% Divorce Rate!!! Yes…& No

Friends, this is another article written by our associate Heidi Barrier.  Heidi works with our Twogether in Texas couples, helping them get a great start in the journey of marriage.

50% of all marriages will end in divorce, at least that’s what we’ve been told.  Not very good odds.  That may explain some of the reluctance young couples have in “tying the knot”.   While this statistic is basically true (many believe it’s somewhere between 40% & 50%), it’s also misleading.  Details are lacking.  All marriages are not the same.  Each marriage relationship has differing characteristics, such as age, income, education, ethnicity, and so on.  They are not on the same playing field.  You may find that for many couples marriage isn’t that risky.  The odds may be in your favor.

First, marrying at the “right” age can increase your odds for a successful marriage.   For example, men and women who are under the age of 25 are at higher risk for divorce (36% women, 38% men) but after the age of 25 the rate goes down (16% women, 22% men).  Obviously you can’t choose the time when you fall in love, but if you are on the younger side of 25, it may be beneficial to your relationship to hold off a little before you say “I Do”.

Second, the level of education that an individual has acquired may influence marriage stability.  A college educated women who is over the age of 25 has a 20% chance of divorce.  This is an interesting statistic because she has the ability to be financially self-sufficient and is likely not get “stuck” in a marriage due to financial limitations.  Whereas, women who are younger than 25, and do not have a college education, have over 50% chance of divorce.  Statistics show that older and more prosperous (usually college educated) individuals have a better likelihood of staying together.

Since financial stability and education promote marital success, individuals who do not have these advantages are more prone to divorce.  Minorities often fall into this category.  Black and Hispanic women, in particular, can have difficulty maintaining a lasting marriage.  Both have over a 50% divorce rate.

Cohabitation before marriage also increases the divorce rate.  Half of all marriages in the U.S.are preceded by living together.  A study byYale University found that cohabitating women were 80% more likely to divorce than women who had not lived with their partners before marriage.

Whatever characteristics that you and your partner may possess, there is one very positive way to improve your odds.  Studies show that couples who had at least six hours of premarital counseling had a 30% lower divorce rate than couples who didn’t.  We may not be able to change other factors that life has given us, but choosing premarital counseling is one proactive step that every couple can take to improve their odds for a long and happy marriage.

Take a look at this great clip from Dr. Gary & Barb Rosberg on what it takes to really make a marriage work.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | July 27, 2011

Differences: Blessing or Curse?

Question:  How are you dealing with your differences?
 
Whether you are already married or are in a premarital situation, it is important for couples to understand that our differences are God-given and are meant to compliment one another in Christian marriage.
 
Differences are a challenging but important aspect of a strong marriage. There are several important attitudes couples can adopt when working through these differences.
 
These include realizing differences have a purpose, the need to be teachable, the importance of seeking to understand our mate, and then learning to work together as one.
  
Differences are there for a reason.  God made us different so that we compliment one another.  It’s like a dance we learn over time. With a lot of practice, experience, understanding one another we can get the rhythm down.
 
The scripture is very clear about marriage and becoming one.  Genesis 2: 24 says:
 
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
 
There is a leaving and cleaving and becoming one, united.
 
To completely become one can take time. It will take adjustments along the way. What we need to have is a teachable heart and a teachable spirit.
 
As you are working through all these differences and expectations with each other there are a couple things to keep in mind.
 
First:

You are likely coming from two different backgrounds and that’s important.  Each of you may have very different expectations depending on what you have experienced in the past.  Kind that in mind when you are wondering why in the world your partner is doing or saying something that is totally foreign to you. 

Second: 

Pay Attention!  Stay tuned in.  You need to be an active listener and attentive to needs. What your partner needs one day may be quite different the next day.  So pay attention to their body language, speech patterns, temperament and moods.  No one said it was going to be easy being “one” and overcoming differences but it can sure be very interesting along the way.  

For more on this subject click the link below featuring Dr. Gary & Barb Rosberg.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | July 19, 2011

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find Out What It Means To…MEN

CoupleB-Smiling

Respect - Super Glue for Wives

R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  Those seven letters catapulted a preacher’s daughter from Detroitto the top of the Billboard charts; and decades later, when the Queen of Soul belts out her signature anthem, everyone knows exactly what she needs.
 
But what does respect look like for the average husband?

The answer might surprise his wife.  

One of the things we know is that women and men do, indeed, communicate differently.   Wives, do you really want to “connect” with your husband?  First, if you want to connect to him emotionally, you need to show him respect.  Some recent research on this area of respect and love cites that a man will choose respect every time over love.  And the Bible talks about that.  Paul knew that when he wrote to the Ephesians.  A man needs to love his wife; but look at the last part of Ephesians 5:33, it says, “And the wife must respect her husband.”
 
Wives, perhaps this describes your husband:  “He gets beaten up all day in the workplace, he’s a tremendous guy, a man of God, and he needs to be esteemed, encouraged, affirmed and blessed by you.”  But to communicate with him at the end of the day, if you really want to connect, don’t start by trying to engage his feelings.  If you try to unpack what he’s experiencing in his heart, you’re never going to get anywhere because most men don’t know where to go to begin to unpack that.  A man is wired to focus on his thoughts, ideas, visions, and what is going on cognitively.  When you encourage him in that, affirm him in that, and esteem him in that, he feels connected to you.  He will then have more of a willingness to take a risk to go down to the heart area.  He’ll begin to talk about some of those emotions. 
 
Now you may find that he only knows a couple of emotions – I’m mad, I’m sad, or I’m glad – that’s kind of how we’re wired as men.  Yet, as his wife – when you’re completing him, when you love him unconditionally – I want to encourage you to help him explore.  “Honey, are you frustrated?  Are you insecure about something?  Anxious?  Are you apprehensive?”  When you help your husband identify those needs, he will feel safe to move toward you. 
 
So you’ve connected to his thoughts, you’ve connected to his feelings, and now get ready wives – we know that you love this – you’re connecting to his NEEDS.  Just as a husband can learn more about a wife’s needs, when you ask a husband what he needs, be ready to hear something that may be different than you expect.  Maybe he needs some space.  Maybe he needs a hug.  Maybe he needs you to defend him.  Maybe he needs you to just say, “I’m here for you.  We will figure it out together and get to the other side.” 
 
For more on this subject click the link below.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | July 12, 2011

God is Great!!

Friends, I thought you would enjoy this amazing story that came in yesterday.  We don’t always get to hear how God is affecting lives with Marriage 101.  This story illustrates how our Lord is at work all the time to rebuild marriages and families.  Praise Him!

(Kenneth is using the Complete Couples Package that includes the Online Course, Marriage Kit, Couple Check-Up, and 2 workbooks) 

“My church received a fax about the Marriage Kit you were advertising. My wife is the secretary at the church. The reason I ordered this package is a long story but I will try to make it short. My wife and I are actually divorced. Our divorce was final a short time ago.

 Once the dust settled from the divorce, we both began to talk and realize we may have jumped the gun and been too hasty. She got your fax and thought the books and audio CD might be resources that would help us to work toward reconciliation. 

I went online and reviewed the Marriage 101 website and decided we needed more help than just the Marriage Kit. I saw the Online Course you provide and the Couple Checkup and felt they would be a great help.

 I stayed up until 3am Saturday morning watching the first session twice of the Online Course and really liked the content and the way you formatted the series. I am really looking forward to this and what it might do to help us reconcile. 

I want to encourage you folks to continue to fax this out to every church you can. This is material that is so important for couples. If you create anything else in the future, you keep my email address and let me know….I would like to look at it.”

A want to give a big “Thank You” to God for His work in people’s lives and to Ken for his willingness to share this story.  Below is a great clip by Dr. Gary & Barb Rosberg on forgiveness that relates very much to this testimony.

 

Posted by: Alton Rocker | July 8, 2011

Marrying Your Soul-Mate?

This article was written by our friend Heidi Barrier.  Heidi is a pre-marriage counselor and works with our Twogether in Texas couples.  She is also a certified Prepare/Enrich provider.  We appreciate her insight and know you will to.  We look forward to your comments.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Have you found your “other half”?

Your “soul-mate”? 

Many of us long to feel the excitement of finding the one person in the world that was made specifically for us.  The idea of a soul-mate is very romantic.  Novels and movies often tell of two lovers, tragically separated, that spend their lives searching to find one another.  Then, when they finally meet again, there is a rush of excitement and joy, because we all know that they will go on to enjoy a perfect life together.  But do they, really?

The belief in marrying your soul-mate has invaded popular culture and has replaced the traditional idea of marriage.  Traditional (or institutional) marriage is based on a union of respect, duty, obligation, and shared values.  Spouses believed that family cohesiveness and success was more important than individual desires.  This type of union encouraged stability and longevity. 

The soul-mate model of marriage is based more on the ability of a person to experience an intense emotional relationship.  The spouses’ emotional desires are paramount, even if it negatively impacts the family unit.  The problem with this marriage model is that is it impossible to maintain that high emotional intensity experienced in the beginning of a relationship.  Once the fire of love is no longer roaring, a spouse can become disappointed, disillusioned, and start desiring to experience that romantic high again…often with another “soul-mate”.

During the 1960’s, the traditional view of marriage slowly began fading in the culture.  With this change came ramifications that effected marriage, children and society.  For instance, in 1970, the marriage quality experienced by both spouses had fallen and the divorce rate had significantly risen.  Since 1974, over 1 million children a year have seen their parents’ divorce.  Furthermore, cohabitation has dramatically increased over the last 40 years-from 439,000 in 1960 to 6.4 million in 2007.

While the idea of marrying your soul mate may seem ideal, it is also unrealistic and could have serious consequences.  What is realistic is having a marriage based on mutual respect, shared values, and putting the family first.  With the effects of divorce being so devastating, having a lasting and stable marriage sounds pretty romantic to me.

http://www.californiafamilycouncil.org/institutionalmodelvssoulmatemodel

Posted by: Alton Rocker | July 1, 2011

“Connecting” – 4 times a day

There are four crucial times for daily connection in marriage
 
Visit any dealership and within minutes you’ll be faced with the temptation to run your hand along the body of the brand new sports car parked prominently in the center of the sales floor.  It’s sleek, shiny, and undeniably attractive; but any true auto aficionado will tell you it’s what’s under the hood that matters.  Those fancy foreign models are fun to drive, but they need extra attention; and if the engine isn’t firing on all cylinders, you’ll soon find yourself just spinning your wheels.
 
A great marriage is far more precious than a sports car; and it shouldn’t be just a fantasy.  Daily maintenance is a necessity.  Let’s look at four points of daily connection that will keep the relationship between you and your spouse running smoothly – and in the same direction!
 
Connection #1
 
The first time is before you even get out of bed in the morning.  What does it look like?  It’s before you’re really even out of the sheets.  Perhaps one of you awakens and thinks about the other person, and then says it out loud – “Lord, thank you for my spouse.”  

 Connection #2 

When one or both leave for work in the morning.  A kiss goodbye, a hug, and perhaps a simple prayer that God will give them a glorious day. You’re connecting, building a resiliency that will be needed in times of conflict and difficulty.

Connection #3 

It’s that critical time when we’re coming home from work.  You’ve been in the workplace all day, or accomplishing that impossible list of twelve things, and now you meet for that first time in over eight hours.  Some call it the Valley of the Shadow of Death, somewhere between 4PM and 7PM.  Things can go either way, it’s very touch and go.  We don’t want to take the wrong step here because it can cost the rest of the day, and perhaps tomorrow.  What do you do?  What do you say?  

Try this:  “I’m here for you, what can I do to help?”    

The first 60 seconds that a husband and wife connect at the end of the work day is the most significant part of the day and set the pace for the evening.  Shut down the Smartphone, take a deep breath, and focus on each other for a moment.  You’ll never regret it.

 
Connection #4: 

Right before you go to bed at night.  What woman doesn’t want to be kissed before she goes to bed?  Kiss your wife.  Go to bed at the same time.  Pray out loud – and it doesn’t matter who starts the prayer.  Hold hands discover that oneness together…When I think about those four times of connection and add them all up – by the end of the day, you’re growing deeper, more intimate, and more emotionally connected in your marriage.

When you are building that connection within your marriage, do you realize that you are building a resiliency for times of conflict or when marriage is really hard?  And it will be from one time to another, you count on it.   Build up your bank of connections now so that when times are tough you’ll have the credit to stop the foreclosure!   

 
Take a little time to view the clip below as Dr. Gary & Barb Rosberg go into more detail about these four “connections”.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | June 27, 2011

We Need Your Input!!

The Bible tells us that there is “nothing new under the sun”.  When it comes to dealing with difficult marital situations that is certainly the case.  Have you ever worked with a couple dealing with money problems, anger issues, sexual intimacy difficulties?  If so, please pass along your insight and share it on our blog.  Contact me at alton.rocker@gpcorporation.com to get your article posted.  In order to keep building strong marriages we need each other, please take the time to share your wisdom.

Marital Conflict?

Posted by: Alton Rocker | June 21, 2011

“Connecting” with your wife

“However, each one of you must also love his wife as he loves himself.”
Ephesians 5:33

 It happens without warning; static invades the conversation.  Missing every other word, you strain to hear and struggle to be understood.  Before long, you’re raising your voice, repeating key phrases – but it’s no use.  You’ve dropped the call, and you might as well be talking to yourself.
 
The limits of cell phone technology are all too familiar; but that frustration pales in comparison to miscommunication in a marriage.  Whether it happens in the middle of a crucial conversation or at the same spot every day, husbands can have a difficult time “connecting” on the right levels.  Women need connection on three levels, Emotional, Ideas, and Solutions.  Too often husbands jump to the solution level before the other two and the connection can get full of static.  In the video clip below, Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg (America’s Family Coaches) help couples strengthen their signals and take their communication to the next level.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | June 9, 2011

Weddings = $$$$$$

The Total Money Makeover

Join the drawing for this Best-Seller!!

Let’s face it.  As a man with three daughters I’ve had my share of experience with the cost of throwing a wedding.  To be honest, we are a very frugal family and our daughters are not extravagant so their requests were not a great burden.  Nonetheless, a wedding can be a serious financial commitment and if not carefully planned can put parents, and the “happy” couple, under monetary distress. 

Let me first share a story.  A close friend had a daughter that had always dreamed of the perfect wedding.  His wife also believed that nothing was too good for their princess. So he borrowed (and mortgaged) to get the money needed to make his daughter and wife happy.  The wedding was an amazing event, bridesmaids and groomsmen filled the sanctuary.  Ice sculptures and centerpieces were breath-taking.  A fully catered reception dinner with band and open bar at a beautiful ski lodge overlooking the valley below.  All the best for daddy’s little girl.  But soon enough the party was over, the band went home, the bar closed and the bride and groom were on their way to an all expense paid honeymoon to remember. 

Great story, now here’s the “rest of the story”.  Within two years the couple had filed for divorce, Dad was still paying for the wedding and Mom was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  The moral?  The amount of money spent does not translate into the longevity of the relationship.  Too many times I’ve witnessed the “event” take precedence over the significance of the “commitments” being made.  A simple public ceremony in front of family and friends, where the couple fully understands the vows that are stated, is far more meaningful and lasting than an extravagant, lavish affair that can overshadow the reason for the event in the first place. 

I’m not trying to sound “Grinch-like” and throw a wet blanket on a young girl’s dreams, (and many Moms).  It’s just that I have watched too many couples focus on the event instead of the relationship.  My advice is to slow down, take a look at what’s really important.  Is it really that important what shade the tablecloths are compared to the napkins?  Will it really matter 10 years from now if we went with the chicken instead of the prime rib?  Focus on the relationship, get some solid premarital counseling, pray together and don’t let the many distractions overshadow the meaning of the ceremony. 

By the way, I would really like your feedback on this article.  Comments, suggestions, or opinions will be placed in a drawing for a copy of the best-seller, The Total Money-Makeover, by Dave Ramsey.  Keep those comments coming and you could be the one to get this great book.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | May 6, 2011

Marriage & the Military

We received this comment on 4/25 about our premarital counseling M101 Online Course as seen in The Knot Magazine Online.  

“My fiancé and I began our premarital counseling sessions right away, and like a good book we couldn’t put it down. The lessons are very informative, encouraging and have helped us to grow as a couple. We talked a lot about the information in the lessons, like our roles and supporting each other’s differences and received a ton of things to think about and discuss further. We have enjoyed the lessons and spent countless hours discussing them. The discussions lead to other discussions and new goals for our upcoming marriage. Thank you so much for allowing us to go through this program. I especially want to thank all involved in Grace Products that made it possible for my fiancé in MN and I deployed in Afghanistan to be able to go through this together while not being in the same place. This has been an amazing opportunity for us. I shared this information with a couple of my co-workers here and they are looking into this program to help strengthen their marriage bonds while being deployed. My mother even asked me what the program consisted of and is now considering the program for my father and her to help reconnect and recharge their 33 year marriage… “

Many of us have friends and family serving in our military out of state or overseas.  If they are married or planning to get married, the Marriage 101 Online Course makes an awesome gift.  It really shows them you care about the long-term health of their marriage.

Also, if you’re currently active in the military, call us to see how you can earn $ by providing your colleagues with quality, affordable, online premarital counseling and relationship coaching.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | April 21, 2011

Give Your Spouse a “TAP”

Conflict Resolution

Is this a TAP?

Rev. 2:4 – 5 “I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.  Remember the height from which you have fallen!  Repent and do the things you did at first.” NIV

The TAP Principle

            When couples are first together there is an excitement and joy that permeates the relationship.  That excitement doesn’t just happen, it is created by the things we do and how we respond to each other.  Just remember to give each other a TAP throughout the day.  The three areas we forget most are Touch, Attention, and Pardon: TAP! 

  • TOUCH

            Early in our time together we look for ways to Touch.  A simple caress, holding hands, a shoulder massage, any excuse to make physical contact is looked for in the early part of a relationship.  This is not about Sex!  It is finding a way to make a small connection that says “I care about you.”  One counselor says that a great idea to fulfill the need for touch is to give your spouse at 60 second hug before you leave in the morning and when you come home in the evening.  Two minutes a day will help to make that connection.  If you are too hurried in your life to give two minutes to your spouse, then you have forgotten the law of first things. 

  • ATTENTION

            Attention is the second part of our daily tap.  Do you remember when you used to sit across the table from each other, gaze in each other’s eyes, and hang on every word?  Take time in your day to look each other in the eye and ask about the other’s day.  Your attention and concern is one of the most important things you can give in a relationship.           

  • PARDON

Finally when we started our relationship, we were willing to overlook the little transgressions that happened throughout the day.  Forgiveness and forbearance are the things that keep you healthy and keep the relationship alive.  Take a moment and Pardon the things that your mate has done so that you can look at them with your full attention and be willing to give a special touch.  All it takes is a little “TAP” for your relationship to stay on track.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | April 15, 2011

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

I know that not everyone wants to address the very controversial subject of same-sex marriage.   My attempt here is to begin a dialog that we hope will open it up to our friends. 

Opinions vs. Truth 

There is a broad spectrum of opinions concerning same-sex marriage.  But opinions are just that, “opinions”.  I am for the most part not interested in all of the opinions.  What I desire is fact, truth, and an authority higher than myself to determine an answer.  I do not claim to have all the answers but I have looked at this subject very carefully and believe there is but one serious conclusion.  Let’s take a look at the union of couples we traditionally call “marriage”.

A Biblical Perspective of Marriage

My initial reaction to same-sex marriage was why is this even an issue?  From the very beginning, starting in the book of Genesis, God points out His intent for human relationships.  Gen. 2:24 clearly states “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”, directly referring to Adam and Eve.

 It has always been God’s plan that the marriage relationship be a man and woman.  He did not stray from that in all of scripture.  Jesus made many references to the marriage relationship, always in the context of a man and a woman.  The apostle Paul in his early letters to the Church also mentions it several times, again as a “man and woman”. 

We can search from one end of the Bible to the other and not find a single instance of God recognizing a “marriage” as anything but a man and woman.  It did not even enter into the minds of the writers that God recognized anything else as marriage.

Other types of “unions” (man to man, woman to woman) were always condemned and never referred to as a marriage.  Call these relationships what you will (civil unions, life partners), but they are not a marriage in the biblical sense. 

Current Cultural Trend of Marriage

So why is there a constant drumbeat to legitimize same-sex marriage in our nation and the Church?

The answer is quite simple, sin.  

We have become so enlightened, wise, and sophisticated that we are now ignorant of the obvious.  Our desire to be “tolerant”, “open” and “inclusive” have blinded us to the plain truth that is right before us.  God’s Word has not changed but we seem determined to dissect and reinterpret it to the point of irrelevance.

Marriage is a sacred thing. We should reserve it for the intent God had from the beginning. Our nations founding fathers understood that, why do we find it so difficult?

More will come on this subject in later posts.  We would love to hear your comments.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | March 18, 2011

COHABITATION – Does it really work?

Cohabitation is an everyday reality in our society, as it is in most western countries.  More and more couples are opting to give their relationship a “trial run” to see if they are really compatible.  Others cohabitate simply because they deem official marriage as old-fashioned or don’t want the legal commitments that go along with wedding vows.  Whatever the reasons it is very common, about 50% of all couples before marriage, and continues to be a perplexing issue for those tasked with helping couples through their relationship problems. 

I am not going to address the moral, spiritual or legal implications of cohabitation in this article.  Those topics will be discussed later.  Let’s just look at statistics from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention.  A recent survey of 12,571 men and women between 15-44 years revealed some interesting facts.  The probability of first marriages ending in separation/divorce within 5 years is 20%, after 10 years the probability is 33%.  The probability of a “cohabitating” couple breaking up within 5 years is 49%, after 10 years it is 62%.  Bottom line is that couples are much more likely to have long term relationships when the commitment of marriage is involved over the act of just moving in together.  Regardless of your opinion concerning morals the hard facts show cohabitation does not prove to be helpful in maintaining stable relationships.  But what about those that use cohabitation as a stepping stone, a pre-cursor to the marriage, just a testing of the waters?  Statistics also show that cohabitation before marriage increases the likelihood of divorce and increases the incidents of physical abuse and depression.  Whereas those same factors all decrease when marriage comes before cohabitation.  We will approach other areas of this topic in future posts.  We look forward to your feedback.   Click below to view a great testimony from a couple that was cohabitating.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | August 20, 2013

BethMooreLPM

quoted from BethMooreLPM

Make peace with people as much as you are able. Even if restoration doesn’t = reconciliation, lay down the sword & let it be. Life’s short.

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