THE MARRIAGE ABCS
Copyright © Ufuomaee
We’ve come at last to the last of The Marriage ABCs. It has been rather comprehensive, with hardly a stone left unturned. I do plan on writing a separate post about Domestic Violence in marriage. It is not a part of The Marriage ABCs, because it is a given that such is contrary to Christ and to Wisdom, and thus to marriage. The Marriage ABCs has been focused on how to make your marriage better, and work to the glory of God, and was written for Christians.
If you are seeking marriage, then I believe you have been equipped with wisdom to discern and choose wisely, so that your marriage will be the better for it; free from strife and confusion. If you are already married, I hope that you have been encouraged and inspired to keep on persevering and to abide happily with your choice. If you are already divorced, I hope this series helped you get some perspective on what went wrong, and what you could have done differently, so that you will be the wiser for it.
One thing I need you to take away from this is, however wonderful marriage is, however ordained and holy your union is, marriage itself is not your purpose for living, and should never become your centre. Your spouse cannot and should never become your everything – God forbid! Marriage is and should be one of the things in this life that add meaning, beauty and joy to our lives, but without it, we can still live full, beautiful and impactful lives.
Life itself is the most precious gift God has given us on this side of eternity. To be alive, to be able to think and reason, to feel, to enjoy, to laugh, to breathe, to smile, to sing, dance and talk…these are all pleasures we take for granted. We were meant to enjoy life, to be fruitful, to have goals and strive to achieve them, to have family and friends and to discover our world, appreciating all of God’s creation and creatures.
God is holy, and He wants us to be holy in everything we do, and that also means esteeming Him as the greatest in our hearts, minds, spirits and bodies. So that is why, even and especially, our engagement in marriage is sacred. Everything we do should be an act of worship. Singleness too is a calling, and is holy, and should be done to the glory of God (1 Cor 7:17-24)!
We can grow discontent with anything in this life! Anything at all! When we try to make them the centre of our existence, they will show themselves to be ill-sufficient to satisfy. It is good to know the purpose of a thing and use it within its limitations. That way, we appreciate it. We rightly use it. But when we try to use it beyond its limitations, we frustrate it. We abuse it, and it will fail us. We will fail and be bitterly discouraged and disillusioned.
Imagine trying to make a sports car fly! It was made for the road, the expressway. If we get it off the ground, it will crash! So everything has its purpose and proper use, and God alone satisfies. He alone is the all in all (1 Cor 15:28, Col 3:11).
It is good to remember that. It is good to remember that marriage was made for Man and not the other way around. It is good to remember that there is MORE to life than marriage, than romance, than raising a family. It can be hard to imagine, especially when every song programmes your mind to expect marriage and only be content in a relationship. When everyone you meet keeps asking you if you’ve found him or her yet, or whether you are pregnant yet… It seems like they know something about your purpose that you don’t!
Don’t let this discontent or envy drive you to enter marriage restlessly…nor leave it impatiently! Paul’s counsel for Believers to abide in whatever condition they were called is indeed wise (1 Cor 7:20). It is based on the realisation that marriage is nothing, singleness is nothing, only that God may be glorified in all things (verse 19 – for more on this read A HARD TEACHING)!
And for those who are not enjoying a sweet marriage… Though you have been faithful, loving and understanding of your spouse’s short-comings… Though you have prayed, sought advice and counselling, and heeded wisdom… Yet, your efforts seem to be in vain, and your partner has even taken advantage of your submissive and resilient position to push through in faith, love and hope. If you are worn out emotionally from trying to make your marriage work…
Breathe. Just breathe. Thank God for that breathe! Get some good food. Cook something nice for yourself, and eat it. Appreciate your ability to savour food. Get out of your house for a while. Visit friends. Or the Park. Or the Theatre. Or the Zoo. Appreciate nature and civilization.
Laugh! Smile! Cry! Write! Talk!
Help someone else in need, who is suffering. Volunteer at Church or at a charity. Do pro-bono work.
Pray. Sing. Dance.
How about starting an exercise programme? How about taking that much needed trip? Or a short and inexpensive visit to another part of your country. Or maybe going home to your town or village and catching up with family.
Listen to their stories. Hear and understand. There are a thousand and one stories similar to yours. You are not alone.
Enjoy your life. Celebrate the people that matter. Call on God as you worship Him by appreciating your precious gift of life. Tell Him you trust Him to work out the rest. Tell Him that you have no other HOPE but Him. Ask Him for direction for your life. And trust!
My dear, there is more to life! Don’t let any man or woman who doesn’t appreciate your gift steal your joy, and deprive you of that gift! Life is really too short!
Don’t stop loving them. Remain hopeful. Remain faithful. But enjoy your life. Don’t lose your passion for living…
And one day, they might see you and wonder why you are so radiant. So attractive. So happy. So wise. So peaceful. Of their own volition, they will come to you. And if they do not, it’s their loss.
Remember, God is enough. They were extra. They were supposed to help. But God has got you, and if they will not do what they were called to do, what they promised to do, God will make other help available to you. His Arm is not too short. His resources are not too limited. And His grace is more than sufficient (2 Cor 12:9).
God bless you my Brothers and Sisters!
I pray “…that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph 3:16-19).
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