RIDGECREST, N.C. — Fred Luter is a good preacher. Elizabeth Luter is good teacher.
Both of them are good at loving the members at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, where Fred Luter serves as senior pastor. They proved this during the crisis named Katrina.
What may be the Luters’ best example, though, is how they model their love as a married couple.
Their church members can see devotion and partnership that is a worthy example to follow.
The Luters led a breakout conference during the 2011 Black Church Leadership and Family Conference, held July 18-22 at Lifeway Ridgecrest Conference Center. The event is sponsored by Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Luters used “6 Secrets of a Lasting Love” by Gary and Barb Rosberg as the resource for their conference.
In the book, the authors highlight six types of love necessary for lasting love:
1. Forgiving love: Realize that mistakes will be made and spouses will hurt each other. But talk through the issues, forgive each other and reconnect.
2. Serving love: Elizabeth Luter reminded the 200-plus conference participants, mostly couples, that they need to be intentional and look for ways to serve each other. “Fred is always busy doing things for other people,” she said. “He is often at meetings and gets home late. One of the things I try to always do is have dinner ready when he gets home. I set the table. I want to make things nice for him so that he is glad to get home. It’s a way to serve him.”
3. Persevering love: Hang on to each other during trials. Love each other through the difficult times that come.
4. Guarding love: Recognize that human beings are vulnerable. Spouses much protect their hearts from threats that come from outside the marriage, such as career pressures, sexual temptation, worry and control.
5. Celebrating love: Have fun with each other. Do things together that you both enjoy. Laugh together.
6. Renewing love: Start every day fresh with each other. In body and spirit you belong to each other.
Conference participants were reminded to treat their spouses with common courtesy.
“Do you remember your courtship?” Fred Luter asked. “You were always looking for ways to serve each other. Men, I bet you always opened her car door back then. Do you still do that?
“Marriage today is at great risk,” he cautioned. “But despite what the world, society and even Oprah might say, God still intends marriage to be between one man and one woman for one lifetime.”
by Polly House, Communications Department