THE MARRIAGE ABCS
Copyright © Ufuomaee
Everything about marriage is WISDOM. Marriage is an expression of God’s Wisdom and Love (Eph 5:22-33). As such, it is holy. It is sacred.
“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb 13:4).
The idea of marriage is wisdom. The design and practice of marriage is wisdom. The success and beauty of marriage is wisdom. Marriages fail at the introduction of foolishness, and the prevalence of it!
We ought to think carefully and soberly when considering marriage. It is not for fools. If you enter it foolishly, it will not bear the good fruit of love, joy and peace that it ought to. It will be a stronghold, a burden, a cross for you, that will break you and require your absolute surrender to the Wisdom of God to overcome, and ultimately turn it around. But fools don’t have such patience. They dash in and dash out of marriages, never understanding its true purpose in glorifying God and moulding each partner into His image of Love.
So, let us consider the wisdom in the idea of marriage:
- It is not good for man to be alone (Gen 2:18). God identified the need for companionship, for fellowship, that man has. Not only with a woman, but with others of his kind. We were made for family and community, not for isolation.
- Two are better than one (Eccl 4:9-12). The writer of Ecclesiastes explains the importance of friendship. More than companionship, a friend is someone you love and trust, who will stand with you, even though others walk away, or even oppose you. There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, and that is your spouse (Prov 18:24).
- It is better to marry than to burn (1 Cor 7:9). God gave man sexual desire, and it has the function of expressing love and intimacy and also of replenishing the Earth. Marriage is the safest place for the release of emotional and sexual passions. In marriage, both parties are honoured and protected, and free to enjoy sexual intimacy. Outside of marriage, such breeds confusion and distress.
- Each man should have his own wife (1 Cor 7:2). If each person has their own spouse, there should be no sexual immorality (Prov 5:15-20). There will be peace and not chaos (Jam 4:1).
- Replenish the Earth (Gen 1:28). Marriage is an essential instrument to the accomplishment of this command. As man and women pair up and have children, they too will pair up with the opposite sex and have more children. And the marriage covenant holds not only the couple but the family together.
Let us now consider the wisdom in the design of marriage:
- Leave Mother and Father (Gen 2:24). This signifies independence. The creation of a new unit, that can also bear more units. Multiplicity and passing on of heritage;
- Cleave to your wife (Gen 2:24). Unite and bond with your spouse. This makes you a strong and powerful unit, as we saw in U for Unity.
- Wives submit to your husbands (Eph 5:22; Col 3:18). This is orderly, for in every team that means to succeed, there must be a leader, and wives were made to honour and complement their husbands in this way (Gen 2:18).
- Husbands love your wives as your own bodies (Eph 5:25; Col 2:19). Loving submission is the duty of every leader in the Kingdom of God (Matt 23:11). More than loving their wives as themselves, which is the sum of the Law and the Prophets (Gal 5:14), they are to love their wives as Jesus loves the Church (Eph 5:25). This gracious, passionate love provides safety for fearless, reciprocal love from their wife, who is called to obey.
- Child are a reward (Psa 127:3). Marriage provides an ideal environment to bring up happy, well-rounded children. They are one of the fruits of a blessed marriage.
Finally, let us consider the wisdom in the success of marriage:
- Unity. Two shall become one (Gen 2:24; Mark 10:8). It is a beautiful thing to see two people coming together in mutual love and submission. The process of becoming one transforms the two into better versions of themselves, as they grow in understanding and graciousness. Where there is unity and agreement, there is joy!
- Sacrifice. Marriage is not simply a calling to enjoy love, but to give love and practice forgiveness towards another until death separates you. It is a call to sacrificial, unconditional love that requires the greatest humility and graciousness to succeed. Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet 4:8) and it never fails (1 Cor 13:8). When you are protected by such absolute and unconditional love, you can truly rise to your godly potential to give true love in return, because you are not afraid (1 John 4:19). Perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).
- Harmony. Christian marriage, that is marriage entered into with Wisdom, depicts the love between Christ and the Church (Eph 5:32). It is a harmonious relationship between the two sexes; a man and a woman, a leader and a follower. It is characterised by mutual submission and respect. It bears the fruit of peace.
- Favour. He is blessed (Prov 18:22). She is blessed (Prov 31:28). The children are blessed (Exo 20:12). A successful marriage is also a blessing to their community and society at large.
- Legacy. Children are as arrows, they add wealth and strength to the family (Psa 127:4-5). The continuance of wisdom by training of children is a treasure to the child and benefit to the world for many generations (Prov 22:6).
Though marriage is sacred, it is still of the world (Luke 20:34-36). Marriages are until death do you part, and not for eternity (1 Cor 7:39). Marriage was made for Man, and not Man for marriage. As such, it serves Man, and not the other way round. It is good to remember this piece of wisdom and that we are called to peace and liberty, whether in marriage or not (1 Cor 7:15). Marriage is not meant to be a yoke of bondage.
This World is passing away, and the end is nigh. Christians are called to desire a holy dwelling. To set their eyes on Heaven and Eternity. Christian teaching is that, in this world, given the foolishness and depravity of man, it is better not to marry. But it is better to marry than to burn with lust. Those desiring marriage must be sober about what marriage REQUIRES (humility) and DEMANDS (holiness).
Too often, marriage is pitched to every and anyone, and the counsel given for those seeking to enter marriage is hardly sober nor holy. It is often very worldly. There is an assumption that everyone will get married, or will fornicate if they do not. Christian practice is that marriage is a choice, and not everyone made that choice in times past…and that was because they appreciated the high calling of marriage.
“His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it” (Matt 19:10-12).
The message is clear. If you can be single, it is better to be so (1 Cor 7:8). But if you can not because of passion, then soberly and humbly consider marriage. Make sure that your partner is also of the Faith (2 Cor 6:14) and not a fool, so that both of you can honour it with holiness. Do not EVER, because of passion, rush into marriage! That is foolishness. Marriage and foolishness do not agree.
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Prov 4:7)
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