I have sat through many wedding ceremonies in church and for each one I attended, the part I find most troubling(and I will explain why later) is when the couples say “I do” after they have recited the marital vows of “…for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part”. Attending a wedding ceremony for the first time, those words seem sweet, nice, compassionate, heart-warming and to the emotional person, very inspiring but juxtaposing these words with reality, the singles and unmarried are left many a time discouraged amongst other things.
Marriage to many who are married is like a castle under siege; the numbers of people trying to run into the castle are far lesser than the number of people trying to escape from the castle. One minute there is laughter and joy and the other there so much bitterness and hatred; the paradox is amazing but only to those who are outside the castle hence the following questions;
What is really marriage?
Is marriage actually necessary
Before we approach this issue, I will like to ask the following questions and request that you answer them honestly and objectively;
When you bought your new electronics you had never used before i.e. Television, Radio etc, how did you know how to operate it?
When that electronics in question one got spoilt, how did you fix it?
If you have never baked a cake in your life and you desire to bake a perfect cake now, what do you do?
When your car has a problem, where do you take it to be fixed?
When you find yourself in a car you have never driven, what do you do to move the car?
This questions seems easy, direct and uncomplicated to answer but yet when our marriages encounter problems or when we are about to embark on the “blissful journey of matrimonial joy” we see complications beyond answers and its end point being divorce. No matter what the problems might be, it is true that love conquers all and if this is a trite fact , then why is it that there are some challenges love seem not to be able to conquer. For instance, it is a settles eternal law that when light shines darkness disappears naturally, then when darkness refuses to disappear and yet light is shinning, something is definitely wrong with the light and not the darkness; the same for love in marriages that have collapsed. Something is definitely wrong with our love.
Now back to the very first questions we asked, in defining marriage in its truest sense, it is the recognized union by God between a man and a woman after the consent of the parents and families of both the would-be- bride and would-be-groom have been sought and had and rites recognized within that society for conducting marriages have been done, those right not been repugnant to natural justice, fairness and equity…John 2,
Mathew 19:4-6 and Genesis 2:18 settle the origin of marriage. It is very clear that the Lord God Almighty Himself instituted the marriage union and the vows therein. Marriage is not a man made thing, an ideal from an ancient custom and tradition whose origin no one knows. Its form from one generation to another and from one tradition to another does not authenticate its value or essence rather the innate and inherent nature of man to be attracted to a woman, to procreate and ultimately to show and receive attention, care and love is the core of marriage but whether it is to procreate, for sexual pleasure, need for togetherness, the need not to be lonely, a thing runs through all and that is love. The issue is what love in marriage really is? It seems like we all have our varied and various definitions of what love in marriage or love generally is, so whose definition of love should we accept and work with? This brings us to the five simple questions we asked earlier on and the answers to them are as follows;
How did you know how to operate your new electronic? Answer: By reading the Manual
How did you fix the damaged electronics? Answer: Taking it to the Electrician
What do you do to bake a perfect cake? Answer: Learn and be Taught by a Professional Caterer
To whom do you take your damaged car to be fixed? Answer: A Mechanic
What do you do to move a car you have never driven before? Answer: By reading the Manual
Following the answers carefully, a particular guideline or principle of life is noticeably, which is “whenever you do not understand a thing, consult the creator of that thing and whenever you have a problem with a thing, consult either the creator of that thing or those the creator has trained to handle such challenges as you have with that thing”. Invariably when we ignore this guideline or principle of life, we find ourselves in utter ignorance of what to do and abuse, neglect and eventual destruction becomes imminent. People perish because they lack proper knowledge as the bible rightly identifies.
So when our own definition of love is not working or solving the challenges we face in our marriages, abuse, neglect and eventual destruction will occur if we do not immediately apply the above mentioned guideline or principles in our life. God’s kind of love is the ultimate kind of love that dispels darkness. God is the creator of marriages and the ultimate and highest expression of love.
There are two kinds of love according to 1 John 2:15-17 and they are the love of the world (that is our own personal definitions of love) and the love of the Almighty Father. The love of the world or the way the world loves is based on lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life. This is the reason why our marriages are failing because bible says this kind of love will pass away i.e. it will never last or stand the test of time and trials. Is your love for your would-be-bride or would-be-groom based on lust? Or because he or she has material possessions (pride of life)? Then your marriage will not succeed when challenges come even though it might seem working for a while. So what are the attributes of God’s kind of love? The popular 1st Corinthians in Chapter 13:1-3 emphasis on the need for God’s kind of love and Chapter 13:4-8 gives us the most accurate definition and expression of God’s love that is why the scriptures say in Romans 5:8 that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us… John 3:16.
The following were enumerated in1st Corinthians 13:4-8;
Love suffers long
Love is kind
Love does not envy
Love is not boastful or prideful
Love is not puffed up
Love does not behave or take decisions recklessly
Love does not seek its own good first but others
Love is not easily provoked
Love does not think evil
Love does not rejoice or partake in an ungodly act or acts against God’s word
Loves rejoices in doing things God’s way
Love endures all challenges and trials of life
Love believes the ability of God to do the impossible no matter how bad the situation May seem
Loves places its hope in God’s word
Love stands tall in the face of challenges
Love never fails.
The question you and I need to ask ourselves before we get married and while we facing challenges in our marriages is this “are you applying all this qualities of love in your marriage?”if you are going through some rough times in your marriage, please apply all this qualities to yourself and watch the Lord Jesus do the impossible in your life and if you are till single but intend getting married anytime soon, please take a thorough long and study of this qualities and your life and be honest and objective enough to ask yourself whether you are loving God’s way.
To Love any other way other than God’s way is living in the flesh and being carnally minded and Romans 8:6 says “for to be carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” and verse 8 says “so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God”. It means that if you love God’s way, you will find life and peace but if you love the way of the world, every relationship you embark on will be dead already before you start and if your marriage is already facing challenges, then the death of the marriage is imminent.
Love God’s way.
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