The King's Gardeners Ministries



Reverend Dr. S. L. Gardner, Washington State,U.S.

Director - Billie Sue Mills, Florida, U.S.

Shofar Watchmen Pointman - Lynne Londsdale, United Kingdom

Praise and Worship Leader - Adrienne Enghouse, Oregon U.S.

Articles used by permission or are public domain

Unbreakable Covenant

NEW YORK, N.Y. (EP) -- Two dozen national organizations with a combined constituency of about 31 million people have launched an effort to strengthen marriage in America. The Covenant Marriage Movement will challenge millions of Americans to sign a "Covenant Marriage Statement," declaring that their individual marriages are lasting institutions, despite rampant divorce. Couples will be asked to sign a statement about marriage: "Believing that marriage is a covenant, intended by God to be a lifelong relationship between a man and a woman, we vow to God, each other, our families and our communities to remain steadfast in unconditional love, reconciliation and sexual purity while purposefully growing in our covenant marriage relationship." The statement will be available in a number of forms, including keepsake cards, certificates, and through a web site. The new cooperative movement is the latest development in a campaign that has successfully passed covenant marriage laws in Louisiana and Arizona. Other states are considering covenant marriage laws; these give couples the option of choosing a more binding "covenant" marriage, rather than the typical marriage commitment that can be easily ended with a no-fault divorce. The Covenant Marriage Movement, however, differs from the developing laws. "The Covenant Marriage law has been recognition by government that marriage and its permanence are irreplaceable in a healthy society," explains Louisiana State Representative Tony Perkins, who is a member of the steering committee for the new movement. "Government can only foster an environment that favors the family; it can't create strong families. It is the faith community, which performs over 80 percent of marriages in America, that must give couples the tools need to succeed in marriage. The Covenant Marriage Movement encourages both the faith community and individual couples in their vital roles." The key to the movement is the grassroots movement of these organizations mobilizing people, says the Rev. Leo Godzich, president of the National Association of Marriage Enhancement, who is also on the steering committee. "It's not the politicians, the pulpits or the precincts, it's the people who will make a difference. We are challenging every couple in America to examine their definition of marriage in that it is more than a contract or convenience or even a commitment; it is, indeed, a covenant." The movement is beginning with 24 organizations, but the number of cooperating groups is expected to grow. Cooperating organizations include: American Association of Christian Counselors Assemblies of God Center for Marriage and Family Studies Christian Men's Network Covenant Keepers Inc. CrossLife Ministries Family Life Family Foundations International FOCCUS Inc. Focus on the Family Intimate Life Ministries Jack Hayford Ministries Journey to Intimacy LifeWay Christian Resources, Marriage Ministries International Marriage Plus Ministries Marriage Savers Moody Bible Institute National Association of Marriage Enhancement Promise Keepers Smalley Relationship Center Southern Baptist Association of Counseling and Family Ministry Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Y.M.C.S. (Your Ministry Counseling Services) Contact Information: (800) 268-1343 (EP -- Evangelical Press News Service) (Post date: May 23, 1999)

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