Christians are not spared from the challenges that married couples face. In fact, recent reports show divorce rates among Christian groups were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and, sadly, much higher than Atheists and Agnostics.
In Asia, Indonesia’s reform decade has also brought something unexpected: a tenfold increase in the rate of divorce.
“Around two million couples get married annually, and on the other hand, roughly 200,000 couples divorce annually. The divorce rate is 10 percent of the marriage rate, it’s very big,” Antara news agency quoted Nasaruddin Umar, the religious affairs ministry’s director general for Islamic public guidance in February 2009 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
All the more Kong Hee, senior pastor of City Harvest Church, felt the pressing need to address this issue on making marriages work in these trying times. The church must foremost be warned and taught about the dangers of unhappy marriages and how to avoid them.
In Singapore, after completing a series of teachings on “The Differences Between A Man And A Woman” and “Love Busters” in the first quarter of 2009, Kong goes on to bring the practical message of keeping marriages strong to Indonesia.
On 8 and 9 September 2009, Surabaya, Indonesia, a team of 24 comprising six church staff and 18 talented Indonesian members of City Harvest Church came together with Kong. The message was alternately illustrated in real life scenarios through a drama presentation which all of the participants enjoyed tremendously. The Indonesians could well-relate to the situations demonstrated as it took on local jokes, familiar places and settings that are very common to Indonesian families.
An estimate of 300 attendees came and they were from various cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Bandung, Gorontalo, Sidoarjo, Surabaya and Malang. The delegation had a fair ratio of singles and married couples and included church leaders, businessmen, housewives, volunteers and students. Participants were indeed grateful for the highly informative, entertaining, balanced and revelational teaching on how to make marriage work.
The singles testified that it excites them to enter marriage despite the challenges that may come along. The marriage seminar also fostered wiser decision-making for their future. Dating couples, though they had a glimpse of the realities of marriage, were allowed a healthy perspective through helpful guidelines that are Scripture-based. And for the married ones, it has been an opportunity for them to renew their vows and keep the fire of love burning.
|PHOTOS: Seth Gan