For the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about marriage and how to fight for your marriage and how to not fight for your marriage and how to keep ministry in your marriage and whatnot. As a husband, I’ve been loving it. Reminders on how to best love my wife are always welcome. But, as a youth pastor, there’s always the thought in the back of my head, “how does this apply to teens”.
Surprisingly, this series has been more important to teens than you might realize.
It’s indirect, but still incredibly important. It’s more of a message to parents, but teens are a huge part of the message.
Marriage is an example.
It’s actually kind of interesting to see, as a youth pastor. I’ll meet a student, spend some time getting to know them, and just by seeing how they act in certain situations, I can learn a lot about the parents’ marriage. Is there a student with a servant’s heart? Chances are, the parents’ marriage is one where they serve each other. Is a student easy to get along with? Chances are, the parents get along really well with each other. Is the student respectful of the opposite gender? Do they avoid gossip and treat others with respect? All of these things can offer a look into a marriage.
Something that we often forget is that our marriage isn’t living inside of a box where it can only effect the two people within it. The way we handle our marriages isn’t limited to us within the marriage. People see us, and more importantly, our children and any other youth that know us see us and start to form an opinion on what marriage is.
Ephesians 5:21-32 outlines how marriages should look for Christian households. Husbands and wives submit to one another, love one another, serve one another, and all around build up a relationship that not only shows love for one another, but also love for God. And because of the unfortunate separation of chapters, it would be easy to end right there. But Paul knows that marriage goes beyond a man and a woman, and Ephesians 6:1-4 is about how to bring up children. Paul is aware that marriages don’t live in isolation, they effect the entire family.
So, don’t just think of your marriage as worth fighting for, think of your family as worth fighting for. Or, better described, your marriage is worth fighting for on behalf of your family. The way that you treat your spouse will directly reflect on how youth around you will see marriage. As a youth pastor, I cannot emphasize how much this reflects on youth.
Your marriage is worth fighting for, not just for you, but for everyone around you as well.