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God’s leading needed in selecting a mate, SBC president tells Union students

Bryant Wright, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and senior pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., addresses Union University students in chapel Oct. 27. (Photo by Morris Abernathy)
Bryant Wright, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and senior pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., addresses Union University students in chapel Oct. 27. (Photo by Morris Abernathy)

JACKSON, Tenn.Oct. 28, 2010 – Choosing the right mate is a decision that must be based upon trust in God as the ultimate matchmaker, Bryant Wright told Union University students Oct. 27.

“There is no greater joy, there is no greater fulfillment, there is no greater fun than being married to the right mate,” said Wright, senior pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., and president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Wright spoke in a chapel service in the G.M. Savage Memorial Chapel, and afterward met with a group of Union administrators, faculty and staff to discuss his vision for the SBC.

In his chapel address, Wright based his message on the passage from Genesis 2 where God created a wife for Adam. A wise decision about a spouse is important because divorce is an all-too-common reality that causes much heartache and pain, Wright said.

He noted that the divorce rates are much lower in countries where the parents arrange marriages, and said the reason for that is because the unions are based upon compatibility. That’s why people need to trust God to lead them to the right person, and must be in tune with God to be able to hear and follow his leading.

“He knows more about the perfect match for you and anybody on earth,” Wright said. Wright observed how the text in Genesis 2 indicates that both men and women are to make an emotional break with their parents when they marry, and that spouses should be best friends.

“If the person you are about to marry is not your best friend, call it off or slow it down,” Wright said.

He advised students about the importance of maintaining that friendship during marriage, and said that another critical component to a successful marriage was a mindset of total commitment. Marriages without such a mindset are prone to failure, Wright said, because difficult times are going to come.

“That person is going to disappoint you,” he said. “You’re going to disappoint them.” Wright talked to students about the importance of sexual purity, saying that “sexual enjoyment is the wonderful gift that God has designed for marriage,” stressing that it is a gift for marriage only.

No matter how compatible two people might be, Wright said the most important component of a healthy marriage was a mutual commitment to Jesus Christ. He told students that giving their lives to Christ was the first step in finding the right mate, and said that a Christian should only seek to marry another Christian.

“Don’t settle for second best,” Wright said. “Seek God’s best when it comes to choosing your mate.”

Audio from Wright’s message is available at www.uu.edu/audio/detail.cfm?ID=513. In a luncheon after chapel with about 20 Union administrators, faculty and staff, Wright said his top priority as SBC president was to challenge individual Southern Baptist churches to fall in love with Jesus again.

“If we fall in love with Jesus again, we tend to fall in love with the lost again,” he said.

He also discussed the need for a radical reprioritization of Cooperative Program funding (the CP is the mechanism by which Southern Baptist churches pool their resources to fund mission work and other SBC ministries), and the importance of churches taking mission trips to energize their members about world missions.


Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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