Driving home from yoga, I noticed a big banner stretched between two
poles in the front yard of a church. The banner read: "Marriage
Series starts February 14. Fireproof Your Marriage." The banner
included a picture of a couple embracing each other surrounded by
orange, yellow and fire colored hues.
That sounds interesting. I wondered what they'll be teaching? And
what are couples supposed to fireproof their marriage against? What
are the "fires" that destroy marriage?
My mind did not stop there. I couldn't remember ever seeing a sign
encouraging people to take a course within a schoolhouse that would
fireproof their marriage. To my recollection, I have not seen a
single sign encouraging people to take any marriage course within
the courthouse or a government building that would fireproof
marriage. I've never seen a grocery store or department store
encouraging people to take their marriage series.
Have you ever seen a sale banner on a car dealership's pretty lawn
offering marriage fireproofing against any kind of burning flame if
you bought one of their cars? But I would think marriages that don't
burn up (or is it down) would be better credit risks and maybe even
I can see how marriage becomes the concern of religion in our
society. Stable marriages support and benefit the church or
synagogue or the mosque. Stable marriages bring stable families to
church, and children, who then become followers of that religious
way. That makes sense.
Corporations need stable marriages and families to buy their goods.
Law enforcement and government agencies rely heavily on stable
marriages to raise law-abiding citizens. "Fireproofed marriages", it
would seem, benefit every institution in our society; schools,
recreational environments, financial institutions and social groups,
not just religious organizations.
Friends of friends need their friends to have fireproofed marriages
or relationships. Every marriage or significant relationship that
goes down in flames damages social and friendship connections.
When was the last time your friends invited you and your significant
other over to their house for a series in marriage stability and
improvement because they were concerned how the quality of your
relationship might affect them?
In truth, my friends would be more negatively affected if my
marriage burned up than my church would be.
Only the churches stick their necks out to proclaim a stake in
stable, fireproofed marriages. Is it really that marriage is the
most sacred of relationships and therefore only the purview of
Marriage is no more sacred than a parenting relationship, a
friendship, a job or career relationship, or the relationship I have
with my tennis buddy, who provides me relief from this crazy world
that I don't get.
If all aspects of our society claimed a role in strengthening and
supporting marriage, what would that be like?