Pastor Wayne Gaton of Piñon Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church in Farmington
Pastor Wayne Gaton of Piñon Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church in Farmington

Our guest columnist today is relatively new to our area, but not to the study of marriage. Wayne Gayton is the pastor of the Piñon Hills Seventh-day Adventist church, a role he has held for approximately one year. He is the husband of Holly Gayton, a role he has held for 40 years.

While serving a congregation in the Northwest, Wayne came across The Art of Marriage, a six-session program designed to benefit anyone interested in marriage. That goes for engaged couples who want to get off to a good start, as well as couples married for decades who want to keep or rekindle the spark in their relationship.

Ron Price
Ron Price

Pastor Wayne will be hosting The Art of Marriage course next weekend at the Piñon Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church. While absolutely Christian and Biblical in nature, The Art of Marriage has wisdom for all who desire a healthy, satisfying marriage. People of faith may benefit more, but it is open to all.

I'll let Wayne tell you more.

Fallen human nature is behind broken relationships

The couple sat across from me in my small church office seeking advice and counsel for their failing marriage. Through homework assignments and visitations, I quickly came to the conclusion that they both contributed to the problems they faced. Both wanted to point the finger and neither wanted to take any blame. And, as it turns out, this is often the case. I heard someone say once, that "the problem with thee, is often me." This is very true.

Our fallen human nature is the primary culprit in broken relationships. Anger, pride, selfishness and broken promises all lend to the breakup of marriages. And our culture says it's OK. Pop culture and pop celebrities, instant gratification and the abandonment of inner peace for selfish gain all contribute to the disillusion of marriage.

The result of broken marriages often ends up with cyclical consequences. They can include poverty, depression, physical ailments and even abuse. It must be understood that divorce can carry from generation to generation until someone, with great courage, cries out with a loud, determined voice and says "STOP! For the sake of our children, STOP! For the sake of our happiness, STOP! For the sake of society, STOP!"

Most marriages are in motion. They are either pulling toward each other or pulling apart. Again, our fallen human nature wants to seek isolation in marriage. In other words, we want to do our own thing. Because of our selfishness, we want life to be all about "me." But marriage is to be more then "me." It is to be about "us."

I'm convinced that God established the marriage institution in the Garden of Eden for three basic reasons, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. procreation to populate the earth,

2. for companionship and support and

3. to help us identify more with God in the arena of love.

Through the marriage relationship God has an opportunity to let his love flow from one person to another. This love is unconditional and is a free choice. It is NOT just an emotion. It is a principle.

God's ideal for our marriages is higher than the human thought can reach. It is his will that every home be a little heaven on Earth that radiates with his love.

The Art of Marriage is a DVD seminar presentation that will be held at the Piñon Hills Seventh-day Adventist church at 5001 Foothills in Farmington. This seminar is filled with solid biblical ideas to help any marriage be enriched. Through humor, skits, life stories and direct presentations, each participant will gain insight and tools on how to have a stronger marriage. A vegetarian luncheon will be provided on Saturday, June 14.

The Art of Marriage will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, June 13, and conclude on Saturday around 4 p.m. The cost of this program is $50 per couple or $25 single and is payable at the door. Seating is limited so pre-registration is highly recommended. To register please call 505-325-0613.

The Art of Marriage is a presentation of Family Life Ministry of Little Rock, Ark. More details are available at www.theartofmarriage.com.

Consider the Art of Marriage seminar

I'm back with thanks to Pastor Wayne for his remarks. I recall sitting with a divorcing couple recently and asking them what marriage enrichment seminars or workshops they attended over their 15-year marriage. Can you guess their answer was zero?

While I certainly do not sit in judgment over them, I do feel sorrow that they failed in marriage and now they and their children have to endure the consequences of them failing to take measures to protect and enhance their marriage. Please don't let this happen to you or to your children. Consider taking the Art of Marriage seminar and doing something similar every few years. I'm confident you will consider it to be time and money well spent.