A Case for Focused Marriage Preparation for Young People in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
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The world is not hospitable to lifelong marriage. With a national divorce rate over 50%, divorce ends more marriages than death. Christian churches in America have recognized the fact and is trying to address it. Couples sign up for counseling, seminars, and retreats. And despite all the money spent to fix marriages, the divorce rate has remained level after decades of steady increase. Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) pastors recognize the same challenges. One avenue that has been underutilized is a preemptive approach. At the same time that young people are intensely preparing for college and for careers, the church can be intensely preparing them for marriage. Real preparation is more than simply giving young people the latest communication techniques or stress relieving habits, but it is developing and maturing their faith through Word and sacrament. Word and sacrament build up a faith confident of its status before God. A confident faith looks ahead to marriage as a way to live out its status. This project will do two things: 1) identify and refute the most malicious lies directed at single people and 2) suggest a few methods by which churches and ministers can intentionally combat those messages and supplant them with the messages of Scripture.