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What Will Fix the Marriage Culture?

Paul and Terrie Chappell, Authors of the New Marriage Guide ‘Are We There Yet?,’ Say Couples Must Keep God at the Center, Praying Together, Reading the Word Together, Worshipping Together and Serving Together

LOS ANGELES—A new article in National Review asks how the marriage culture can be rebuilt. One side blames socio-economic reasons—people aren’t financially stable enough to get married. At the same time, the other side blames the sexual revolution and feminist movement, saying it’s more acceptable and even easier to have children out of wedlock.

While both sides might make valid points, authors Dr. Paul and Terrie Chappell, who recently released a new travel-themed guide for marriage called Are We There Yet? Marriage—a Perfect Journey for Imperfect Couples,” see another problem with the marriage culture—God isn’t at the center of many unions.

“When it comes to marriage, there will always be bumps in the road and detours along the way,” said. Dr. Paul Chappell. “But overall, marriage really is an awesome journey. None of us have ‘arrived,’ but when you take two people who are committed to the Lord and to one another and surrendered to follow what God says about marriage, there’s no telling where that marriage can go. We must remember that the larger journey of the Christian life is growing in our relationship with God. Part of growing in your relationship with the Lord is growing in your role as a husband or wife. The most significant ways this intertwining of souls takes place is through spiritual growth together. It’s not just the one-time moment at the wedding. It is in the ongoing habits carried out day after day—praying together, reading God’s Word together, worshipping together, serving together, and living out God’s will with one another.”

In “Are We There Yet?” the Chappells remind that the journey of marriage is designed by God to be amazing and profound, and God wants couples to experience everything good that He intended when He created marriage.

“God did create marriage to be awesome,” Chappell added. “In the actual words of Genesis, He made it ‘very good.’”

The couple of 37 years points to the very first wedding in history, outlined in Genesis 2:18-24:

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

“This passage is so significant that it is referenced no less than four times in the New Testament, including by Jesus Himself,” Chappell writes in “Are We There Yet?” “There is so much truth packed into these few verses—truths about God, marriage, building a God-honoring marriage and loving your spouse. But if we learn nothing else from this passage, we see that although God designed marriage with purposes not fully disclosed in this passage, He did it, in part, with Adam and Eve’s pleasure in mind. It was God who said Adam shouldn’t be alone. It was God who made Eve. It was God who brought them together in a sacred union that would bring mutual satisfaction. Marriage originated in the heart of God who perfectly designed it and beautifully created it. As the originator of marriage, God set how it is supposed to function. It is through discovering and following His plan from the pages of Scripture that we experience maximum enjoyment from marriage.”

The Chappells write in “Are We There Yet?” that many people say “I do” with the assumption that marriage itself is a destination. But along the way, couples discover that, as wonderful as marriage may be, it is more of a journey than it is a destination. The Chappells’ new book focuses on the truth that a God-centered marriage can be a fulfilling destination rather than a frustration-filled trip.

Whether newlyweds or married for decades, husbands and wives will find truth in “Are We There Yet?” to help them clarify their destination, communicate their needs, grow as a couple and even shed some baggage along the way. With chapter titles such as “Paying with Foreign Currency,” “It’s a Two-Lane Highway,” “Roadblocks” and “Booking a Room,” “Are We There Yet?” explores topics from needs and communication to conflict and intimacy.

Read more about “Are We There Yet?” and the Chappells here. For more information on Dr. Paul Chappell and Lancaster Baptist Church, visit paulchappell.com or www.lancasterbaptist.org, or connect via social media on Facebook, Twitter or the church’s YouTube or Vimeo.