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“The new paradigm we advocate for marriage is not so new. Yet it is fresh and grounded in the spiritual life of community. It is also very African; in that it defines the ‘I’ in the ‘We’ and places the success of marriage also in the hands of the village and not just the hands of the couple. Yes, it is the couple who say ‘Amen’ to a daring promise. But, they can’t do it alone, and they shouldn’t have to. The church/village must also say ‘Amen’ to the promises made. The necessary wisdom, tenacity, and faith to live out those promises are in the community. Mutual lines of accountability between the couple and the village protect the couple from the slings and arrows of the modern world that make success in marriage fleeting. This fresh approach to marriage takes the couple out of isolation and places them in the protective custody of the village.” (p. 173).
The title, Marriage On A Lampstand: Exploring a New Paradigm for Modern Christian Marriage, is inspired by Matthews Gospel in Chapter 5 where Jesus instructs us saying, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
The book, written by Andrew and Terri Lyke, noted pioneers in Catholic marriage ministry with African Americans, addresses the virtual collapse of the institution of marriage among African Americans. It reports what the authors have surmised from 41 years of marriage, 35 years of national leadership in marriage ministry among African Americans, their observations from their work with the Healthy Marriage Initiative, and what they have seen and heard in the various communities around the country they have served.
Modern culture, both beyond the African-American Community and especially within, mitigates against the very idea of Sacramental Marriage as defined by the Church. Marriage On A Lampstand offers new strategies for effective outreach to families from our seasoned experiences as marriage educators and pioneers in Marriage Ministry.
These approaches to marriage ministry will challenge and enlighten parents, couples, singles, pastoral ministers, catechists, and the entire Faith Community for strengthening marriage, and thereby strengthening family life among African Americans.
Marriage On A Lampstand offers practical approaches to raising the standards for marriage and family life. Compelled by the urgency in African-American community, this book was written with hopes that it will serve all families. We hope you find it enriching and useful.
“We give the most powerful, transforming, miracle-making love when the beloved is least deserving. It is then that our love reflects the love of God given in the sacrifice of the cross. Our ‘Easter’ is of God’s shaping us into who we need to be.” - Andrew & Terri Lyke