July 27, 2017
Volume 21, Number 25
For many years Kentucky Fried Chicken used a slogan in their advertising that said, “We do chicken right.” There was substance behind that saying, for KFC franchises can be found throughout the world.
That slogan came to mind when I read about eight siblings from Indiana. The Clinkenbeards have been married a combined total of 448 years; that translates into an average of 56 years per couple.
I am aware that being married many years doesn’t necessarily mean that a marriage has been a success. Still, the Clinkenbeards demonstrate a family expectation that marriages are meant to endure. Bill Clinkenbeard spoke for his family when he observed that marriage “is a lot of give and take – and a lot of love”. He and his wife, Karen, have been married for 59 years.
This family stands in stark contrast to trends we’re hearing about in America. We’ve heard for many years about divorce rates, but a more troubling statistic is that marriage itself is viewed by many as obsolete. A survey by the Pew Research Center in 2010 found that 39% held this view, as opposed to 28% in 1978. Cohabitation, not marriage, is the norm for many, and the numbers seem to be on the rise.
The Bible, of course, presents a different view of marriage. Hebrews 13:4 sums up the Lord’s ideal: “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” That “honorable” esteem of matrimony is suggested by the Clinkenbeards’ long-term marriages.
Jesus endorsed marriage when asked about His view on the subject: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two of them shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6).
A committed marriage based upon God’s principles will yield great blessings. Proverbs 5:15,18-19 makes that clear: “Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. … Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. … always be enraptured with her love.”
Like good physical health, marriages thrive when care is taken to nurture and care for them. But the payoff will be great: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22).
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
Copyright, 2017, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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