Ours is a society that loves the idea of romance. Whether we hearken back to the classics like Romeo and Juliet, or look to new takes on the story of love like William and Kate Windsor, modern humanity is infatuated with the consummate search for attraction. The current cultural lust for romanticism can be seen in the popularity of such television shows as The Bachelor and How I Married A Millionaire. We have perfected the art of seduction and the practice of pursual. We have been told that love means never having to say you are sorry, that men and women hail from different planets, and that while men possess wild hearts, women have a totally different love language.
In all of this, helpful as it might be, we have focused on the pursuit and dropped the proverbial ball when it comes to stamina and commitment. It would seem as though once the target has been acquired, the mundane, everyday existence of our lives leaves us with little necessity for continued attraction.
Yet in all of this gloomy fatalism there are relationships that thrive, stand the test of time, and become stronger and more vibrant as the years pass. These relationships, in the minority and shrinking in numbers every year, are generally based on strong foundations that throw off the shackles of a “relevant culture” for time honored traditions and structure.
At the heart of this success is hard work, a devotion to the sanctity of marriage, and a spirit of forgiveness. It is no secret that Christian marriages have a divorce rate that mirrors the secular world. While there may be some statistical fudgery that plays games with second divorces and the like, a casual observant will easy note that divorce in the church is at an epidemic level. This leads to an incredible challenge and opportunity within the construct of the local church for ministry upon ministry.
This paper will attempt to show how and why Christian marital counseling in the context of the local church is important, perhaps more now than ever before.