Speaking ahead of the upcoming Mingling of Souls Marriage Conference, Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church in Texas, revealed what he believes is "the most serious problem" in many Christian marriages.
The megachurch pastor appeared in a brief video posted to the Gospel Coalition Facebook page, where he explained that often, couples exhibit a failure to understand what marriage actually is.
"The couples that I've walked with and worked with -- there tends to be a type of Roman, cupidian approach to marriage that has it all in the world of feelings," Chandler said. "The Bible is going to bless those feelings, but also root it in something more substantial than that."
The pastor said that ultimately, there is a misunderstanding of the covenant of gospel partnership, and of the sanctification that God accomplishes in the marriage relationship.
"In fact, if I look at my own life, I can point to my wife Lauren as being one of the primary tools that God has used to make me more and more the man that God would have me be," he said. "And, if Lauren were here right now, I've heard her say the exact same thing -- that God has used me to sanctify her, to reveal things in her that she couldn't see in herself."
Chandler concluded, "That fundamental misunderstanding is the most serious among Evangelicals, among Christians. Just a failure to understand what marriage actually is."
Next month, the pastor and his wife -- who recently released her latest book, Steadfast Love: The Response of God to the Cries of Our Heart -- will be hosting the Mingling of Souls Conference, an event focused on building healthy relationships.
The marriage conference, which will be held February 19-20 in Jacksonville, FL, promises to be a "powerful and fun event discovering God's good design for love, marriage, sex, and redemption."
The dating conference, which will be held November 11 at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, will be a "fun, informative, and powerful evening covering everything from attraction, to dating, to purity and redemption."
Both events will also be broadcast live and will be available for 30 days On Demand after the live webcast.
"The reason we struggle in relationships, marriage, and sex is because we are sinners. Therefore, the antidote for our sins must be the antidote for our struggles," said Chandler. "My hope going into this conference is that we might be able to minister to hurting couples and encourage those who are doing good but would like to be doing better, and those who are doing amazing -- help them really start to pour into others, so that regardless of where you are on the spectrum, you can hear God's heart for you and you can line yourself up with how God has designed this to work."
For more information about the Mingling of Souls Conference or to register, visit the event website.