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The Ever-More-Difficult Marriage Sermon

In an age of divorce and remarriage, how can you preach graciously about lifelong commitment?

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I never used to speak on marriage. As a young preacher, I didn't have much personal experience in the matter, and I had grown up with parents who truly loved each other. I had no idea how stressful marriage was for many people.

As I began speaking about marriage, though, I discovered hurting people had been sitting in church for years, putting up a front, and wondering, Is our marriage abnormal? After a sermon on marriage, I'd hear, "It's so good to know we're not the only ones who struggle."

I concluded that most people want help with their marriage, even when they believe there's nothing more to do, so I decided to preach more intentionally about the subject.

The challenges

As I did, I found that it's easy to preach about marriage but difficult to do it well. And it's getting more difficult. One major challenge is how to make everyone in today's congregation feel included. Some have happy marriages, others have seen a divorce lawyer that week; some have been married three times, others have ...

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