By contrast, at the Gospel-Centered Marriages for a Glorious Church conference coming up October 27-29, Mom and Dad are encouraged to bring their children with them to learn about marriage together as a family.
Despite its unique vision, 2,200 have already registered to attend this near-capacity event located at the LifeWay Christian Conference Center in Asheville, North Carolina and organized by the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (NCFIC). Remarkably, 65% of the attendees are 25 years old or younger.
Committed to proclaiming the sufficiency of Scripture for church and family life, the NCFIC believes that marriage is the one neglected area that, at least sometimes, should be inclusive of the whole family.
"This gathering is designed to bring parents and their children together to consider the biblical doctrine of marriage in order to prepare the rising generation for gospel-centered marriages," said Scott Brown, the director of NCFIC. "One of the reasons that marriages are in trouble today is that parents did not instruct their children, from their years as toddlers, about marriage." Amazingly, one of the messages is entitled, "How to Prepare Your Two-Year-Old for Marriage."
And, now, thanks to modern technology, Christians from across the country can virtually attend this life-changing marriage conference. Registrants can watch live-streaming video of the 10 keynote addresses and receive downloadable audio for all 27 messages.
Brown's vision for this conference is that it is a place where the attendees stand together to instruct the rising generation about marriage and teach them the way in which they should go (Proverbs 22:6).
He said, "I pray that everyone there will use their time wisely and teach their children personally, by discussing, reviewing, repenting, and memorizing together the things that God has in mind for marriage."
Twenty-seven messages will be delivered including:
· What the Gospel Has to Do With Your Marriage?
· Friendship in Marriage
· Courtship Catastrophe Mitigation
· How Fathers Qualify Suitors
· Do We Have Our Cart Before Our Horse When It Comes to Love?
· Sexual Intimacy in Marriage
· What Is the Role of Romance and Emotions?
· Church Life that Prepares Young People for Marriage
Paul Washer of HeartCry Missionary Society, Doug Phillips of Vision Forum Ministries, Scott Brown, Kevin Swanson of Generations with Vision, and Dr. Joel Beeke, President and Professor of Systematic Theology of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary will be the keynote speakers.
One of the critical messages of this conference is that the gospel is meant to be the center of marriage.
Another is that when you have weak marriages you also have weak churches. This is important to the organization since NCFIC is dedicated to the building of gospel-centered, biblically-ordered, .
A third message is that families should not be intentionally age-segregated from one another during the instruction of the Word of God. Brown stated, "When Jesus taught, whole families were there. We should do the same."
What's the bottom line at this unusual family-integrated marriage conference?
"It's one thing to believe in the message of the gospel. It's quite another thing to live the gospel in your preparation for marriage and after you are married. Marriage is one of the ways God has designed for the gospel to be displayed. Therefore, every marriage problem and every perversion of marriage is an expression of problems in applying the gospel in our lives," said Brown.
"I hope that each married person leaves this conference with wounds healed and hearts changed. I also hope that each single person departs with a greater vision for the glory of the gospel in marriage. It's time for singles to throw off the bondage of the worldly and bankrupt vision that has so saturated our culture and our thinking. And it's time for a new generation dedicated to gospel-centered marriages."