Dear Friends
 
I am really excited because I have recently received my marriage licence issued by the Government of Tanzania! I am not sure how you feel about marriage, but I love marriage because my parents’ marriage provided a loving and stable environment that was instrumental for me being the person I am today. I love marriage because for over 13 years I have been married to a beautiful amazing woman, my wife Trudie. Most importantly however, I love marriage because it is a wonderful gift from God.  As a pastor, it is a great privilege to be in a position to marry people. What a huge and humbling responsibility to help the residents of Dar enter the covenant of marriage.
 
Whatever your marital status is, I hope you will take time to read today’s note because marriage affects us all in some way. Some of us are married, while some of us aspire to be married. The marriages of our parents (or the absence of) played a large role in shaping our view of the world. We have close family and friends who are married and influence our lives in various ways. And those of us who were once married look back on that period as significant for who we are today. 
 
What does marriage have to do with building? Marriage has everything to do with building! The first human relationship that God instituted is that of husband and wife. Marriage between one man and one woman is the relational building block of human society. Despite all the societal progress and transformations through history and across cultures, God has never changed the foundational role of marriage. This is not to say that unmarried people are not important. They definitely are and do play a vital role in society. 
 
Genesis 2:24 says, For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Following Adam and Eve being brought together as one flesh by God in the garden of Eden, numerous men through history have left father and mother to become one flesh with their wives in the union of marriage.
 
If marriage is so crucial for society, then we can measure the condition of our society by looking at the condition of our marriages. They will serve as a reliable indicator of the health of society. If marriages are strong, then society is strong. Conversely, if marriages are weak then society is weak, despite whatever progress is being achieved in other areas. How would you describe the state of society in Dar based on your marriage and the marriage of others that you know?
 
If strong marriages are crucial for a healthy society, then we need to know what makes a strong marriage. The Bible has much wisdom on this, which we will look at over the next few weeks. For today, let us appreciate afresh that God created marriage as the primary relational building block for human society. I hope that helps us to have a high view of marriage, whether we are married or not, and regardless of what state our marriage is currently in.

Sheshi

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