Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Let's Get Together

Today at work I listened to two sermons (I'm allowed to..which is sweeeeet). One was from New Spring Church in South Carolina. The other sermon was from Mars Hill Church in Michigan. Curiously they were podcasts from the exact same week (namely, last week) and they talked about exactly the same thing. So across the country...or diagonally the country...whatever, I'm not good at geography. What I'm trying to say is that it left me with a feeling of, "This is something to pay attention to. This is a problem and it needs to be addressed."

What both these pastors made very evident is that there is a HUGE generational gap spreading in our churches. Younger and older people are being split apart into different services, different events, and different small groups. And we're losing something. We're losing true community and we're losing the wisdom, understanding and experience of older generations.

Both pastors said something to the extent of, "There are people in this service who have been married for 40 years. And we NEED you. We have other people in this room who have been married for one year and are thinking of divorce. They NEED you. There are all kinds of things you have gotten through and us young folk could sure use a hug and a lifetime of experience from which to draw. It is vital that older and younger generations interact more."

I tell you what, I could not more whole-heartedly agree. It doesn't even need to be in the context of church. You got some neighbors who've been married a long time? Get to know 'em. They'll teach you things you didn't even know you needed to know.

As a married person I can say with weight that mentors or relationships with older people really matter when it comes to keeping a marriage together. There is so much that we haven't lived through yet and we desperately need to know how other people made it through. Sometimes solutions can only come from others because we get so stuck in our own endless circles of emotion and hurt, we need older, wiser couples to speak up and speak into our marriages.

Because honestly, our generation is not doing so hot with the whole marriage thing right now. We can agree on that right?

So if you're a younger couple, really be persistant in reaching out to older folks. A lot of people shy away from the word "mentor"....so just have them over for dinner and ask questions about their lives. I'm not saying to be sneaky...but really mentoring is by nature relationships between generations. So go get yourself a relationship.

If you're an older couple. Please, please, please put yourself out there. We young 'uns would love to have someone to talk to. To get to know. To hear about your life and what you've learned so far. We would really value your advice.

Let's do something about this together.

2 comments:

  1. I haven't listened to those specific podcasts, yet agree wholeheartedly about the generation gap problem in the Church. Here is where we are at though. My husband is a pastor of a dying church with only older people. And the older people, though they are really "nice", are extremely judgmental about the younger generation, of which we identify with more being in our early 40's. Do you have any advice for how to help the older generation make some of these realizations?

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  2. We have a "marriage mentoring program" set up in our church [Imago Dei in Portland, OR] that is great. It is set up to address this exactly. A younger couple is matched with an older couple [they have to be married 10 years or longer and apply, etc] and read Sacred Marriage and discuss the issues in the book, but also are just there as a touchstone of guidance. My husband and I both grew up with awesome, non-divorced Christian parents [for which we are lucky and very thankful for], but we live several hundred miles from any of them, and my father died before I met my husband--so it's really great to have a close, spiritually-aligned resource--not quite counseling, but better than a peer.

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Our goal of this blog is to share stories (both good and bad), thoughts and insights about our marriage and we would love for you to jump into the conversation.

The goal is to provide three things:
1) HOPE for struggling couples that they are not alone.
2) GROWTH in our marriages and our understanding of marriage.
3) ENCOURAGEMENT to keep loving your spouse unconditionally.