by Rev Simon McKenzie, on behalf of Bishop John Henderson, Lutheran Church of Australia

Marriage and family, the change agent for the human heart.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. … For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known”. (John 1:14, 16-18)

Marriage and having kids teaches you a lot about yourself. I’d been happily married for a few years when our first bundle of joy came into the world. To see something so wonderfully formed for the first time was a truly remarkable event. The staggering complexity of a child’s biological changeover to independence, after spending some nine months being carried in its mother’s womb, is an astounding feat of ordered design.

Now a dad for-real, you’d have thought I would have been more street savvy when it came to raising our first kid. Ooops, got that one oh-so-wrong. What our first child revealed about me was the nature of the man inside. What came staring back at me was something not altogether likeable. It seems the law came more naturally than it otherwise should have. The law had taught me the difference between right and wrong but it utterly failed me when it came to understanding how to love and nurture this bundle of joy.

What then began was my journey from ideological thinking to one of grace filled possibilities. What opened up in me was a new understanding of what really shapes children and people into better selves. The great motivator and shaper for all this was what Christ had first done for me. It was Christ who first graced and loved me and he loves you too. And the thought of this mirrored in the eyes of my first child brought tears to my eyes. It is Christ who, even now, daily stills our fast beating hearts and clears our unsettled minds when it all seems too much for us. His constant love keeps motivating us to pour into bundles of joy, and indeed people everywhere, the same grace and love God first poured into us. Now more than ever a hurting, angry world needs the love of God. Now more than ever the world needs strong marriages that daily model this love and grace of God with their kids and out into the world. Amen.

Dear Heavenly Father, marriage and parenthood teach us a lot about ourselves. Thank you for fathers and mothers who sacrifice so much to bring their children into the world. Grant marriages daily protection from selfishness, anger, criticism and impatience. Strengthen fathers and mothers to model your grace and love towards their children, each other and into the world. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for gracing us with your dying love for us. Continue to shape us into instruments of your peace in this world, which is so in need of the peace and love you bring. Amen. – Our Children Our Future

Canberra Declaration Daily Prayer Points for October

  • A Miracle for Marriage
  • Truth to be Exposed
  • A Spirit of Repentance in the Church
  • Revival and Transformation in our Nation

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