Here’s A Blessing to Use on Thursday!

By Bob Shank
November 20, 2023

Here’s A Blessing to Use on Thursday!

Listen to the commentary


Dear Marketplace Friend,

SLATE is a liberal-leaning web news outlet that moves from shock to shut-down when exposed to anything aligned with biblical faith. In their early attacks on Mike Johnson – now the Speaker of the House and fourth-in-line to the White House throne – his commitment to his marriage was targeted.

They quoted an Associated Press story from 2001 that addressed Mike and Kelly Johnson’s marital relationship: “The story explained that Mike and Kelly had entered a ‘covenant marriage.’ This meant that, prior to marrying, they had to undergo premarital counseling and sign a binding contract agreeing that they would divorce only in the case of abuse, abandonment, imprisonment of a spouse, or lengthy separation. A covenant couple, no matter how miserable, cannot simply decide to divorce.”

A “covenant marriage?” According to Christopher Suba, a family law attorney practicing in Texas and Louisiana, “The only people I have ever seen get one were all tied to some very close, religious-based community, so I think it’s faith-driven. I think people think it makes their marriage more serious. It shows you are just super, super committed to each other.”

Perhaps the easiest way to explain covenant marriage: it is the antithesis of a prenup marriage. A prenuptial agreement contemplates the end of your marriage so you can divide assets with forethought. A prenup marriage is a cultural contract between two people; a covenant marriage is a three-way spiritual link between a man, a woman and their mutual Savior.

In the view of the contemporary cultural elite – operating under the banners of the Fourth Estate – nothing could be more out-there and wacko than to declare one’s fidelity and finality to a marriage partner. Just one partner – for all of one’s lifetime – goes beyond the stuff of this generation’s imagination. Who would make such a declaration?

In just three states – Arizona, Arkansas and Louisiana – covenant marriage has been codified as an option for people willing to lock-in their family foundation. Each has framed this stepped-up style of matrimony with its own particulars, but they are similar across the board.

There’s a simpler moniker for that extreme option: it’s what the Bible calls marriage. No seminary training is required to make sense of Jesus’ overview as he quotes the first pages of Genesis: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6). SLATE would gnash their teeth if they interviewed the Son of God…

In this special Q4/2023 emphasis on the high-value dimensions of life – the Personal, Family, Professional and Kingdom categories – we’re challenging you to frame the plans for the new year, just around the calendar corner, that will advance on your most important points of progress.

Would you allow me to intrude into your family’s Thanksgiving table this week?

In the light of the unrelenting attacks – in the news and commentary feeds as well as the dramatic and comedic portrayals of life, both broadcast and streaming – that are working to destabilize the foundations of our historic American culture, how about speaking over this meaningful mealtime to confirm what you believe about the integrity and importance of marriage and family?

If you are marriedand your mate will be with you – here’s a gift to your clan that will be more valuable than anything you could gift them on Black Friday: verbalize your mutual commitment – echoing the distinctives of covenant marriage – and assure them that you intend to fulfill the “as long as we both shall live” promise you made on that amazing day in your earlier years. There’s no better gift!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bob Shank

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1 thought on “Here’s A Blessing to Use on Thursday!”

  1. Bob, this is another great encouragement! I have printed this and will have it read at our family Thanksgiving dinner. This is a wonderful way of reinforcing our values and commitment to God and to one another in front of our children and grandchildren. God bless you and your family on this Thanksgiving Day!

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