Grass-roots Marriage Movement

July 21, 2013

in Beyond the Marriage, Good Marriage, Grass-roots Movement

The other day I heard from a gentleman married more than two decades who said, among other things, that he and his wife “felt led to try to support marriages in our church, it grieves us when we see marriages fail simply because no one steps up to help them during hard times. In fact we have taken on counseling younger couples from time to time in our church that are struggling…” I replied, thanked him for what they were doing, and I said “it will take a grass-roots effort to change the marriage culture in our churches, communities, and country.”

Then in the comments on yesterday’s postPearl said, “My opinion, changing the church is going to take a grassroots effort. It’ll take utilizing every opportunity in real life to speak up in a gentle way. I know I’m a broken record but I truly believe it takes ladies mentoring ladies and men mentoring men.

Grass © antpkr and © tungphoto | freedigitalphotos.net

Other marriage bloggers have said the same, and the CMBA has discussed ways to bring about such a grass-roots movement to change Christian marriages for the better.

Here is the good news: You do not need years of training to help marriages! I am all for training, the more the better, but if you have a solid marriage and a desire to help others, you can make a difference. The next few Sundays I am going to write on this in an effort to give many of you the tools to help marriages in your corner of the world.

Are you in?

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Great tweet of the week:

Cuddling: how I shield my wife from divorce. @marriageworks

Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:

 

The Generous Wife

Just for Two ◄ Plan a private, romantic meal.
Take It Seriously ◄ Speaking of fighting for marriages…
We Should vs. I Prefer ◄ Be honest about your preferences


Intimacy in Marriage

A Common Sexual Communication Struggle and What to Do About it ◄ This is one of those you might want to carefully share with your bride.


mission:husband

Husbands: Ten Ways to Show Your Wife You Love Her ◄ More good reminders.


refine us

18 Things I Love about Trisha Davis (Happy 18th Anniversary) ◄ A great idea for an anniversary, or any time.
It’s Not Rocket Science ◄ Has life happened to your marriage?


The Romantic Vineyard

The Unselfish Server ◄ What kind of spouse are you?
I’ll Do It If You Notice ◄ I confess, I’ve been guilty of this one!

10 comments
Jason@SongSix3
Jason@SongSix3

I and my wonderful bride are most definitely "in", Paul!

janna94
janna94

I've had a recent change in my marriage, and my husband and I would love to help others, but we are at a loss of how, because of the intimate nature of our change.  For the most part, people aren't real open about their sex lives, especially if they aren't good.  I'm looking forward to seeing what you write, and hopefully it will help give us some ideas of how we can minister to others.

ForgivenWife
ForgivenWife

My strengths lie in working with women one-on-one (and writing essay-length comments on other people's blogs).

My best opportunities come in what I think of as pop-up ministry moments. For instance, I eat lunch every day with a group of women at my workplace. One of the women was talking about her husband's frustrations as they were installing curtains in their new home. She started to complain about his behavior and then caught herself, saying that she didn't want to speak badly about him. I commented on how great it was for their relationship that she spoke about him kindly when he wasn't even there. So we ended up with a completely unexpected conversation about marriage, respect, and the value of thinking and speaking well of our spouses.

Here's what I would find helpful in grassroots one-on-one marriage ministry:

--Facts (with references)! I'd love to be able to memorize some quick tidbits that I can drop into conversations. I read anecdotal evidence that it can take a certain amount of genital stimulation before a woman can achieve orgasm. I would love to be able to have that info handy and have a few links on stand-by to send to people if the topic arises. Or how so many of us say that many women don't desire sex until they've started having it--do we know that from personal experience, or is it also written somewhere? I want to become a Cliff Clavin of marital sex trivia.

--Links to blogs and articles, specifically categorized and described according to different issues. If a refused husband wants just one non-threatening link to share with his wife, what would be some good options? I usually send them to The Generous Wife, because Lori does short and sweet posts that are about attitude more than sex, and the posts are inviting and non-threatening. If a couple is dealing with ED, what are good articles and blogs for dealing with that? I'm thinking of a sort of annotated bibliography, with rich descriptions as more useful than a list of topics. (I'm an academic in my professional life, and I'd be willing to help put something like this together.)

--Suggestions for how to respond--individually and as a church--when we see a hurting marriage. One of my closest friends has been in a one-sided emotional affair that has developed over a period of two years. I would have loved to see a list of strategies or talking points I could have drawn on to help me support her in focusing on her marriage.

So, yeah, I'm in.

MarriageJourney
MarriageJourney

Totally agree with the grassroots movement notion.

Oh and I'm totally in!

Eleutheros
Eleutheros

"Are you in?" *Smile* Remember why and when you and Lori started the marriage bed and look around you now.

I see the 'grass roots' movement as far past its beginning and spreading more each day with every marriage blogger’s post and with every reader’s reply. Formerly sacrosanct religious beliefs about human sexuality and the marriage covenant are now able to be widely re-examined for truth by a multitude of Christians with the result being that their minds and then their hearts are changing for the better as the Spirit of Jesus confirms the challenges and they experience the delightful changes wrought in their marriages for responding, each in their own unique way, to the challenges that each is bringing to the others.

So, because the Spirit of Jesus is active in these Christians, I don't believe they are keeping silent about these changes, but are talking about them when they can and where they can, even as they seek out others to join with who understand the simple message that our sexuality was divinely inspired by, "the happy God" and is intended for pleasure; for to be human is to be sexual and that is not something to be quiet about.

Ya'll keep up the good work!

nginaotiende
nginaotiende

Paul, it's so interesting reading this today because I'll be talking about the same thing in my post tomorrow's (but from the before-marriage stand point, how ALL marrieds ought to start saving marriages before they start)

I'll be linking back to your thoughts here. Thanks!

MeganDoNotDisturb
MeganDoNotDisturb

If it really took having it all together to make a difference for the better in other people's lives I'd be the first to be disqualified! Looking forward to reading and learning from you.


Megan

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Eleutheros Thank you, my friend. It is amazing to see what God has done with our feeble efforts. What has been especially amazing is the message boards, which have taken on a life of their own. It's almost like the original Saturday night live,with a bunch of folks no one knew coming together, learning together, then going out on their own. (I can brag on the boards because they are not "my" doing. I helped provide a framework, but happened was God's doing as He brought in so many great people.)

Yes, many are speaking up, but we need more. My goal is to urge those doing something to do more, and for others to join in.

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