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...Marriage & Family 

With Valentine’s Day approaching, let's 'redeem the season' with marriages and families that are shaped according to godly wisdom.

This blog post (
and the sermon that it accompanied) have been the most difficult to write in this whole series. I poured over the statistics as I prepared my sermon notes and I was aware that I’d be speaking about complicated situations and challenging emotions; knowing that for some people listening and reading, these aren’t just hypothetical questions or ‘societal issues’, but they are your personal family experiences - if any subject requires deep care and much prayer, this is it! 

‘What’s love got to do with it?’…

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‘The consequences of family instability are alarming;
while the benefits conferred by marriage are inspiring.’ *1

This statement was published in a document by a think-tank  in 2020. With marriage in decline and family breakdown continuing to increase some of the statistics they cite are disturbing reading:

  • Children of married parents displayed the lowest rates of cognitive delay; the highest rates were found in children of stepfamilies.
  • Single mothers who re-partnered had significantly increased likelihood of persistently poor mental health.
  • Never-married men were three times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than married men.
  • Married couples appear to also be more engaged members of their community and more likely to talk to or assist their neighbours.
In short, when marriages aren’t working, everyone in society suffers.

"A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line" *2

With the devastation of broken families strewn all around us and the evidence pointing to good marriages being a good thing for society; we need to find a better way.

‘What makes love the exception?’…

A thriving marriage must be one that is healthy for both the husband & wife and that helps them to establish a nurturing home environment for their family and friends. Proverbs shows us the compelling beauty of a healthy marriage, the comedic folly of bad relationships, and the deep tragedy of unhealthy ones. (Pr 12:4; 18:22; 19:14; 19:13; 21:19; 25:4; 27:8; 30:21-23)

But with almost 50% of marriages now ending in divorce*3 isn’t it just a coin toss?

In Pr 5:15-20 we read a passionate plea for fidelity in relationships; Drink water from your own cistern…never to be shared with strangers. These instructions are given to a young person. It stands in stark contrast to the wisdom of the world accepting, almost celebrating, promiscuity; casual sexual encounters and a high ‘body count’.

God created us as embodied creatures and what we do with our bodies matters to Him because as we give ourselves to each other we are bound together (Gen 2:24). Sex isn’t just a recreational activity or a biological function. Sex and physical intimacy are designed as the glue that bonds us together in God’s sight (Matt 19:6). Whilst it might be possible to tear up a marriage certificate, it’s impossible to destroy the spiritual connections we make with sexual partners. Therefore, the writer of Proverbs says, ‘rejoice in the wife of your youth… may you ever be captivated by her love’ (Pr 5:18-19).

Satan, the enemy of our souls, will always seek to defile, damage, and destroy these good things. He’ll use anything he can to weaken and erode the foundations of our marriages – previous mistakes, present temptations or promised fulfilments – and he certainly doesn’t wait until your married!

‘Doing it for the kids’…

The data shows that healthy marriages help children to thrive; but the success criteria is different for Christian families...

 “Many Western cultures define a good family as one where children are well provided for and given a lot of opportunities and experiences so that they can reach their full potential. Proverbs thinks more in terms of training children to respect others, handing down the truths of the faith and modelling the service of God. The goal is that children become people who fear the Lord and develop a godly character.” *4

It’s clear in the bible that children are a blessing from God (Psa 127:3). Proverbs is honest about some of the challenges they may bring (Pr 10:5; 13:1 17:21; 22:15; 28:24; 29:3: 30:11, 17).

Jordan Peterson, a Canadian psychologist, has said, “Don’t let your kids do anything that would make you dislike them.” *5 This is because allowing children to continue to behave in the ways listed above would not only be unwise, but it’s deeply unkind. There is a responsibility on parents to teach and train their children – Proverbs expresses it this way,

“Don’t fail to discipline your children.
The rod of punishment won’t kill them.
Physical discipline may well save them from death.”
Proverbs 23:13-14
(New Living Translation)

Parents fulfilling their God-given calling sets a godly pattern for children to follow. In return children should honour their parents, listen to, and not despise them (Pr 17:6; 23:22; 19:26; 20:20; 28:24 & 30:11).

It should be no surprise that in seeking wisdom for our marriage and families will wind up back at Proverbs 1:7 and the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom (Pr 14:26; 31:30 & 24:21).

‘Love divine, all loves excelling’…

At the end of this blog post it is important to remind ourselves that our God 'places the lonely in a family' (Ps 68:6) and that looking after the orphan and widow is the religious life that God considers ‘pure and faultless’ (Jam 1:27).

Broken lives and broken families should find a healing embrace amongst God’s people...


  1. How is marriage is presented by society and in the media?
  2. Did the statistics in this post the surprise you? Why/why not?
  3. Which is the most interesting proverb about marriage? 
    Which proverb do you find most challenging? Why?
  4. ‘A healthy marriage involves three people’ 
    – Who are they and how should they relate to each other? 
    (c.f. Ecc 4:9-12; Pr 1:7) 
  5. What makes a ‘good family’ according to proverbs?
    Do you agree?


*1 – ‘Family Structure Still Matters’ - (CSJ) 2020.
*2 – ‘Mere Christianity’ - C.S. Lewis (Geoffrey Bles) 1952.
*3 – ‘Divorces in England and Wales’ - (ONS) 2021.
*4 – ‘Proverbs Commentary’ – Lindsay Wilson (IVP) 2017. 
*5 – ’12 Rules for Life’ - Jordan B Peterson (Penguin) 2018.

Linked Sermon:

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Hello and welcome to our website.
If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here to see more.

Planning your Visit

New to Church?...

A brief introduction to 3C Community Church.

Welcome Card Front

Sunday Worship...

This is an overview of a typical Sunday morning service so that you'll know, beforehand, what to expect when you visit.

Where and When

We meet in the Chapel (details here) for our Sunday Service starting at 10:30am. For your first visit, we recommend arriving 10-15 minutes early to ensure you get a parking space and find somewhere to sit before the service begins. When you arrive, you'll be greeted by someone on our Welcome Team.


There is wheelchair access via a paved ramp, and T-loop packs for anyone who needs them. Please let one of the Welcome Team know on your arrival and they will help you to get set up. There is an accessible toilet in the community hall.

Our Service

The service begins at 10:30am with a warm welcome from one of our members. This is usually followed by a time of sung worship, led by our band. We typically have 3 or 4 songs lasting approximately 20 minutes. Sometimes a person might pray out loud or read a small passage from the bible. Sometimes people share things that they believe God is saying to the whole church family. This might seem strange the first time you hear it but it’s all part of our connecting with God. We then share news and notices, usually about what’s going on in the life of the church. One of our leaders will then give a sermon that is bible based and that we can apply to our everyday life. We then finish with a final worship song. Sometimes there is an opportunity to receive prayer at the end of the service.

What about my kids?

We have a great programme lined up for kids of all ages:

  • Créche (0 months to 4 years). Parents/carers of younger children are welcome to use our créche facilities but they must remain with their child at all times.
  • Trailblazers (4-11 years)
  • Young people (11+ years) Stay in the service

It's best to register your children for their groups before the service begins - just speak to a member of our welcome team. Children stay with their parent or grown-up at the start of the service for the welcome, songs and notices. We really value worshipping God all together as a family. At the appropriate time someone will announce that our younger members will now go to their various groups. Whilst you are dropping your kids off at their groups, we may pause to take time to chat to someone sitting near or next to us, giving folk a chance to come back before the sermon begins.

The kids group activities vary depending on the age but usually there is a friendly welcome, bible stories, testimonies, praying, music, craft, drama, fun games and free play. Your children will be brought back to the chapel at the end of their session.


Getting Connected...

Small Groups

While Sundays are a great way to meet new people, it is often in smaller gatherings that you can really get to know someone. Being part of one of our small groups allows you to make new friends, share together and support each other. We have a variety of groups that meet throughout the week, some mornings and some evenings. Check out Small Groups and see if there’s one that you could join. We can put you in touch with a small group leader who will be more than happy to invite you along to their group.

Serving and Volunteering

If you want to get involved in the life of the church and help us make sure things run smoothly, you'll need to talk to one of the leaders about joining a team. 

Other Ministries

We also run the following ministries:

  • Men's Ministries
  • Women's Ministries
  • Nursing Home Services
  • Children's clubs
  • Crafting club
  • Warm Space
  • Foodbank

A Note from Phil, our Pastor...

Phil, Becks, Alice & Martha

Becks, Alice and I joined 3C in 2018. Since then Martha has been born, there's been a global pandemic and we've finally moved into the neighbourhood. I work full time for the church whilst Becks works as a music teacher at a secondary school in Gloucester during the week. We know that God led us to 3C and this ministry. He's been shaping us as individuals, a couple and a family to serve Him here in Cam.

Becks uses her musical gifts to serve God and the congregation as part of the music ministry team. She is also heading up the Sunday morning kids ministry - 'Trailblazers'. I lead the church eldership team along with some of our ministry teams. Though I've recently enjoyed a major church building maintenance project, my deepest joy is found in sharing the Word of Life with God's people.

We hope that whoever you are, you will feel at home at our church.

Every Blessing,


Get in touch

If you would like to come and visit the church beforehand you are more than welcome!
Get in touch using the form below and we can arrange a day & time that suits you.
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Comments / Questions or anything you would like to say?

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