I wonder what you would say is the most important relationship you have in life. Many of us involved with Sozo might immediately think of the relationship one has with one’s parents. We know, don’t we, that what happens in the rest of our lives, Sozos excepting, is largely premised on our childhoods. A happy and supported childhood invariably results in a rounded, grounded and ready for life adult. A childhood of abandonment, lack of love and abuse only too readily leads to an unfulfilled life of addictions, uncertainty and lack of self belief…and if all that sounds too much like stereo typing, please forgive me, but take the point.
That’s the argument in favour of the parental relationship being the most important. Given where we are, in the land of Sozo for Couples, it may not surprise you to know I have an alternative claim for that most important relationship…and it’s, yes, our spouses. A happy and contented marriage will result in a happy and contented home, and if that’s what we give our children to grow up in then that’s at least half the job done. It is impossible to over emphasise the importance of stability to a child, or to over emphasise the damage done to a child growing up in an environment of fear and not feeling safe. We so often get to sozo adults whose childhoods have been stolen, who had to grow up too fast, who felt alienated from all the kids who, at least to them, appeared to have stable home lives. Alienation is a common thread that runs through the Sozos we do, especially those with problems of addiction. Man is by his very nature built for relationship, God, after all, in whose image we’re made, has a relationship within Himself. To feel excluded, different and an outsider to life is the worst of punishments. To be able to sozo someone whose life has been devoid of relationship with man and God, and to witness the difference that the sudden knowing of God’s love and desire for relationship with them makes is a moment of overwhelming beauty.
Which brings me back to the point! Protecting our own marriages and making our homes suitable for children, aware that Jesus is in the room at all times, is something all those reading this is likely to be doing, or trying to do, already. Most of us support the concept and principals of marriage, aware that, as an institution it is under ever growing threat. But as we can see above, any threat to marriage is a threat to the future generations of children and their mental stability. And here’s our challenge, what can we do to help? What can we do to encourage marriages that work, that provide a positive environment for children that will have huge challenges to face in life without the extra burden of instability? One thing is to encourage couples to think hard before committing to each other in marriage. That’s the purpose of Sozo for Couples’ new marriage preparation manual, “Starting Out”. In it we talk about every aspect of relationship they need to think about. We encourage discussion, giving loads of searching questions for the couple to work through together, and we encourage prayer by including Sozo type questions with each chapter. Please get a copy (available on Amazon) and, if you like it(!), pass it on to the young couples you know, or those in your church who do marriage prep. Thank you.