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Covenant Marriage Resolution aims to raise standard for marriage

NEW ORLEANS (BP)–Why a Covenant Marriage resolution? Because no matter how much Southern Baptists talk about marriage, the statistics show Baptists aren’t taking it as seriously as 30 years ago.

The Covenant Marriage resolution is one more weapon for Southern Baptists’ as they amass an arsenal to fight for families. It recognizes that marriage is a sacred covenant between one man, one woman and a holy God, and that it is intended for life.

Tom Elliff, chairman of the Southern Baptist Council on Family Life, said too many people, including many Christians, have come to view marriage as a simple contract.

“A contract is based upon mutual distrust,” says Elliff. “A covenant is something you take a lot more seriously than a contract. In fact, the Bible says it’s better not to make a vow than it is to make a vow and not keep it.”

Phil Waugh, a representative in the Covenant Marriage movement for Lifeway Christian Resources, said couples need to understand that God placed them together as a couple.

God knew them as a couple even before they were born, and I think it’s important for a couple to celebrate the activity of God in their marriage relationship,” Waugh said. “God put them together for an eternal purpose, a kingdom purpose, and that’s what Covenant Marriage tries to emphasize.”

In partnership with several other ministries, Lifeway houses the Covenant Marriage Movement website (www.covenantmarriage.com).

Several states have begun to offer a Covenant Marriage option to couples, making it more difficult for them to get divorced and often requiring them to have extensive marital counseling before they tie the knot.

Ministers should be doing everything possible to assist couples in making marriage a covenant for life, said Danny Akin, chairman of the Resolutions Committee and also a member of the Council on Family Life.

“I realize many ministers are not acting courageously in this area,” said Akin, adding that some say they have so many divorced people in their church they can’t promote a higher view of marriage.

Yet, Akin said that’s the “best argument” for covenant marriage.
Tom Strode contributed to this report.

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  • Jon Walker