As I type this, polls are open across our country. People are voting here in of Epworth, as we host our neighborhood Polling Precinct, for the first time. But we know elections are larger than one day, with monies and months spent gaining support, getting out the vote, garnering endorsements, and even a little time spent going over the issues. State records show that as of today, contributions of $174,125 were made to campaigns from within the bounds of our local Zip Code, 31904, alone.
People give money and give time to campaigns because they believe their efforts will mean something. What if we approach other aspects of life with the same passion as political campaigns?
Our church, as of last month, has joined the ranks of 100 other local churches to campaign for a cause as important and critical as any in our country: healthy marriages. More specifically, we want marriages to get started in intentional ways that lead to sustainable, great, relationships. Because we know that the home is the very fabric of who we are.
We have joined a local, grassroots collaborative known as Right From the Start. In 2008, concerned community leaders came together to launch a community wide initiative designed to strengthen marriages and families in the Columbus Region. It is based on a highly successful model from Chattanooga, TN. In the end, Right From the Start seeks to increase, to a substantial degree, the percentage of children being raised by their moms and dads in healthy families. If we are successful in achieving this objective, fewer children will be at risk and our communities will be safer and better places to live and work.
Our church is committed to this sort of campaign. We are want couples engaged to be married to go through premarital counseling, in addition to the 2-3 sessions I expect of every couple marry, in order that they get started right. We want to offer classes, education, and inspiration to couples of all stages of marriage to continue to do the hard work of staying in a relationship. We do this because the scriptures tell us it is the very stuff of our souls. Jesus reminds us from Genesis that in marriage "two become one," (Matthew 19). Whether in singleness or marriage, we want every person to life abundantly. We believe this is a partnership that can better help that happen.
Grace and Peace to you, Scott