I have criticised the church, and in particular the Methodist Church in Britain for being too keen to avoid supporting marriage. I would like to turn to a more constructive criticism and say what I believe the church should be doing to support marriage, and I admit, up front, that this is not all my own work. But the sentiment that the churches need to get their act together and asset that MARRIAGE IS A UNION OF ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN FOR LIFE instead of rolling over and agreeing to every demand of a counter-Christian establishment.
Firstly I would like to acknowledge the work carried out in the US by Mike and Harriet McManus with their organisation, Marriage Savers, http://www.marriagesavers.org, and say that many of the ideas I am putting forward here are their ideas which I hope they will forgive me for stealing to publish in the UK.
The first idea that Mike and Harriet McManus have is to establish Community Marriage Policy programmes in towns and cities throughout the country. I would challenge all church leaders, of whatever denomination, to join with their fellows in other denominations to form a local Community Marriage Policy.
The second is to develop a resource within the churches to support people who are considering marriage and people who are going through a difficult patch in their existing marriage. This resource will not be a book or a leaflet, but rather a body of people who will act as mentors to engaged and younger married couples.
And finally, the churches need to recognise that they serve a God who tells us that He hates divorce and to work with their members by developing, and using already developed materials to run marriage enrichment courses over weekends or over a series of weeks. These materials will be culturally different in different parts of the world, because, for example, there is a latent anti-Americanism in the UK which would frequently rubbish any suggestion that because X works in the US it will work in the UK.