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Imagine, if you will, that if by right reading of the Bible and careful obedience to its most basic and foundational teachings, Christians could increase the mileage of any of their cars or trucks to over 80 miles per gallon ? even in the city! Why, if such a basic and humble Christian life could do that the world would beat a path to our door. Pastors would be swamped with interview requests by news organizations and the parking lots of churches would be full of every kind of car in every kind of condition ? all in the honest hope and search for what obedient believers in Jesus already had.

Now imagine, if you will, a similar scenario involving the same right Bible reading and the same careful living - only with the result being a quality of marriage unmatched by the world? These marriages would feature

Imagine, if you will, that if by right reading of the Bible and careful obedience to its most basic and foundational teachings, Christians could increase the mileage of any of their cars or trucks to over 80 miles per gallon ? even in the city! Why, if such a basic and humble Christian life could do that the world would beat a path to our door. Pastors would be swamped with interview requests by news organizations and the parking lots of churches would be full of every kind of car in every kind of condition ? all in the honest hope and search for what obedient believers in Jesus already had.

Now imagine, if you will, a similar scenario involving the same right Bible reading and the same careful living - only with the result being a quality of marriage unmatched by the world? These marriages would feature a husband who loved his wife like Jesus loved the Church and a wife who loved and respected her husband in a way that completed him as God intended. Why, a church full of such marriages would have couples beating the doors down to bring their relationships in all kinds of conditions.

You can stop imagining now. The reality is that the world isn't beating down church doors for our fuel economy nor our marital harmony. A well-known statistician, George Barna, reports that Christians have a higher divorce rate than atheists and agnostics. This reality should not be lost on those who rightly believe that marriage is under attack in our culture. It is up to the church to bring ammunition to those fighting the counterattack.

However, let's not just provide a few sign waving protestors, some meager money for legal appeals, and empty rhetoric about the how the world is going to hell in a hand basket (a basket whose handle has been woven by a lukewarm church). Let's stop following the world's pattern of competing to keep up appearances amongst each other so we can feel good about them thinking good of us. If your marriage has gone flat, research and find a good marriage enrichment conference and go to it. Men, suggest this to your wife ? they won't say no! If your marriage is in trouble then meet with your pastor or a trained counselor and listen to and follow their guidance right away.

Let's also stop pretending that we are leading the culture because they aren't following. For the most part, they don't buy, lease, borrow or rent our rhetoric. We must change before they do. They will change once we start getting better mileage out of our marriages.

Pastor Tim Davis, Copyright 2005
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