Tuesday 19 Sep 2017
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John 6:48

I am the bread of life.

 

The marriage that God ordained - It is better not to marry - Mathew 19:10?

Article Index
The marriage that God ordained
Divorce was never an option in the eyes of God
It is better not to marry - Mathew 19:10?
Man/Husband/Father/Head
Woman/Wife/Mother and Helper
It is a holy union that requires the daily presence of God
The reality of separation and divorce
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If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry – Mathew 19:10

This was the response of the disciples of Jesus , after he had destroyed the arguments of the Pharisees laying bare their position of ignorance and how this position stands in opposition to the will of God on marriage. Alarmed by what they perceive as a condition too difficult to fulfil because of the sinful nature of man, the disciples could not think of anything better to say but to pose the question to Jesus.

But the truth is, for those who are citizens of the kingdom, how can we ensure that our marriages comply with the will of God in order that we may reap as a result, the dividends that comes with it?

The answer without complicating matters is this, we must take note of the principles that underlines the union, not only that we must also be committed and devoted to ensuring that our marriage is guided by these principles alone. If your marriage is built on as well as being nurtured by the principles of the world, do not be surprised therefore if it suffers the same fate as the marriages of those who allow their marriages to be influenced by the corrupt system of the world. Do not be surprised if it appears as if the only solution available towards making your marriage work, is one which traces it’s origin to the wisdom of men. And, do not be surprised also if divorce all of a sudden looks like a bright prospect especially when crisis shows up in the marriage, even when the position of God on this is crystal clear.

So what are these principles you may ask? Well to start with, we need to understand the following points about marriage.

  1. It is a divinely ordained union that recognises the role of God right from it’s inception:

He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD. – Proverbs 18:23.

Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the LORD - Proverbs :19:4.

Trying to recognise the position of God when it comes to making the right choices must take cognisance of the fact that coming across the right partners requires the help of God.  It must recognise that there is a need to find the right partner, one that we would be able to stay committed to and honour the terms of the covenant as outlined by the word of God, pleasing God in the process. Keeping in view the unchanging position of God towards the institution of  marriage, believers need to understand that this is one decision they are not fully equipped to handle on their own without the help of the one who ordained the institution. Therefore for every believing man and woman preparing to go into marriage, they need to recognise this important truth.

This is the truth that says that, this is one decision which we cannot rely solely on ourselves or our flesh to make, if at all we are to get it right and have a marriage that conforms to the position of God. It is one decision that we cannot rely on looks or circumstances alone because they are temporary and they are fleeting.  You see, looks can be deceptive, situations and circumstances do change, likewise people. We also need to understand as well that, if finding a prudent wife is a gift from God, then growing into a prudent wife also requires the help of God. For women they need to understand they need to the help of God to find the man that would cherish their affections, a man with integrity who would not exploit the position which the word of God instructed them to take in the institution of marriage.

Making the right choices about who to spend the rest of our lives with in the absence of all the information that we need to do so becomes a gamble, but God does not want anyone especially those who are his people, to gamble with such an important decision. As a matter of fact he does not want us to gamble with our life and destiny. There is a reason why the word of God enjoins us to seek what is the will of God for our lives, it is to avoid gambling with our lives. Sadly a number of marriages can be likened to a big gamble, for some it paid off, for others it did not.

But let us look at the position of God when he decided to create a partner for Adam;

And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” – Genesis 2:18.

God did not make just any partner for Adam in answer to his loneliness; he made a helper that was fit or suitable for him. God recognised certain needs in the life of Adam, these were needs that not just anyone or creature would fulfil, hence the need to create a helper that is fit for him. We need to take some time to allow the word ‘Helper’ to minister to us. Without the helper the man would not be in the position to accomplish anything. To begin with, without the helper the instruction to procreate would be impossible. Therefore, describing this helper that God made, see how Adam described her;

“This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; - Genesis 2:23.

Adam looked at his wife and declared that she was fit and perfect for him. Over the years, we have read this part literarily and probably gained all manner of spiritual insight from it. We might be tempted to assume that Adam was simply referring to the fact that Eve was made out of his body, while this is true, what is equally true is that Adam recognised in Eve the perfect creature he deemed fit to complement him in the journey of life and in going about the ministry which God has tasked him.

Many have settled for just about anyone in life, this is either because they are desperate to overcome loneliness or because of peer pressure or simply because they feel they were running out of time. Many have settled for anyone without even seeking the face of God, instead they have trusted the opinion of friends, tradition and or their instincts. No one should be surprised when such a union fails to comply with the position of God on marriage, because by ignoring the position of God in making the choice of a wife, they have breached an important truth that revealed to us here about Adam and Eve.

We can clearly see the position of God and the help which he readily gives when it comes to making choices of partners in life, and from these two verses we can begin to unravel the mystery of marriage which the covenant union between man and woman represents.

The message behind this principle is simple, you cannot rely upon your senses alone when making a choice of who you will spend the rest of your life with, you need every help there is to guide you on the things you cannot see in that choice of person both now and in the future. Although the word ‘marriage made in heaven’ is not in the bible, but the truth is the whole concept of marriage is a heavenly concept and the summary of this is that, in order to have a successful marriage the inputs from above is very, very crucial.

  1. It is an indivisible union built upon foundation of love and cemented by it’s power alone.

One thing that must be pointed out to all is, the position of the first couple as well as what God had in mind when he ordained the institution of marriage. God had in mind the people whom he created in his own image and were yet to suffer corruption in their nature. You may be wondering why I am stating this, just bear with me and follow what the spirit is trying to impact here. Remember how Jesus replied the Pharisees when he tried to explain to them the position of God on marriage, he said;

………., but from the beginning it was not so – Mathew 19:8.

He took them back to the beginning, this I must say is very important information in that sentence. What is so important about this, well let us look at again at the man that God ordained the institution of marriage for at the beginning, let us look at the nature of that man before corruption overtook him;

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…….. - Genesis 1:26.

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them – Genesis 1:27.

It is not enough to read that God created man in his own image and simply move on, rather we do need to look up, what are the attributes that define the person and nature of God, in order for us to be able to capture the image of the man that was created in the beginning, by this I mean the man that God ordained the institution of marriage for. For the sake of this exposition I am going to look at one of the many attributes that define the person of God, it is an attribute that is very essential in order for this union (marriage) to achieve its aim:

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. – 1 John 4:7-8.

There we see from the scripture, one of the very attributes that defines the nature of God, the one in whose image the first man was made. Note that I said the first man, because every subsequent man was made in the image of the first man, the one who fell. But in our born again nature we are told that everyone who walks in love and now lives in the kingdom is born of God, why? Because God is love, love is his nature, love is who God is. The point I am trying to make is this, in the beginning, man was made in the image of God. He had the nature of God in him, he had the ability to walk in the agape love, he could because he was made in the image of God.

I want you to know that marriage was not ordained for the fallen man; instead it was ordained for the man that was created in the image of God and the one who walks in the nature of God’s agape love. Many people talk about love today, but few bother to understand that the God kind of love is unique in many sense and it is completely different from the feelings of emotion that many tend to equate this love to today. We need to look at what the agape love of God looks like in order for us to understand the power of love and it ability to cement this union eternally.

To do that would require that the reader take the time to study 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. This chapter talks about the nature of the agape love, it defines it for us and shows us how it operates and the benefits which it gives to those who walk in it. One information that stands out clearly for me anytime i read this chapter is:

Love never fails….. -1 Corinthians 13:8.

From the study of that chapter we can see why love never fails, it never fails because love(the agape love) is a sacrifice, it is a sacrifice of giving of  oneself to another, it is the sacrifice of yielding one’s will to another in order to achieve a common goal, what goal? This is the purpose as well as the will of God for us on earth. Therefore, the position which God took on marriage is built upon this information that we have just shared about the attribute of the agape love. It is upon this love that Christian marriages should be built, not upon some ideology or the manner of love that is of the world. Not only in marriage is this manner of love required, but also every form of relationship that exist in his kingdom. The scripture described this love as an unbreakable chord that binds two together.

Here is how the scripture describes the power of love to bind all things together; as a result we are all instructed to put on love;

But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. – Colossians 3:14.

The love being recommended here is the God kind of love, the agape love, it is only this form of love that can guarantee that the marriage of believers would endure and stand the test of time. From this information therefore we can understand the position of God when he declared that what he has joined together let no man put asunder. What did he bind them together with again? Was it with coercion, was it by force or by decree or by lust? Not at all , what he bound them with could be found in that nature they were created with, the nature of God that was inherent in them in the beginning, the love nature. He bound them together by the unbreakable bond of the agape love.

  1. It’s a union of total commitment to one another and towards God with clearly defined roles.

It is very important for us all as believers to pay heed to this truth, there is a reason why God made them male and female, he did so because he had different roles for them. Let me use the example of the Trinity here, and the reason for this is because unravelling the mystery of marriage is akin to trying to unlock the mystery of the Trinity. In the union of the Trinity, we have the union of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, for many confused souls they attribute this to saying that Christians believe in three gods, they are wrong:

Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. – 1 Corinthians 8:4-6.

You see, we as Christians never did and would never subscribe to three gods, we subscribe to one God , who is the God of Abraham , the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. We subscribe to the God who revealed himself in flesh as Jesus and the God who continued his work of redemption through the power of the Holy Spirit. We subscribe to only one God, who reveals himself to us also by the roles which he played and continued to play in creation. By virtue of the roles we can recognise the Trinity at work, we see God the Father as the head over all, we also can see God the Son whom the scripture described thus;

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. – John 1:1-2.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. – Philippians 2: 6-8.

In the union of the Trinity I would like to highlight a couple of points here about this union and they are:

  1. It is a union that has no line or boundary of demarcation, there is one God being referenced. In this union where although the roles are different, nevertheless the position of unity and equality is preserved
  1. In this union there is need for different roles and assignment to be fulfilled, and this is where we clearly see the three identities in the Trinity. Here we see the role of the God the Father of all creation, we see the role of God the Son as the Word of life that brought all things forth and God the Holy Spirit through whom regeneration took place. By virtue of roles, we now see God the Son and God the Holy Spirit although being the same and equal, yet have had to take on roles which demands that they defer to God the Father.

I have highlighted these points not as a distraction, but rather to help point out the similarity that exist in the union of marriage. You see until both the male and female who have come together in the union of marriage are able to see what I am trying to explain here and stop trying to clarify what the roles in this union entails using the wisdom of the world, there would always be crisis in the union of marriage.

In order to drive this home, let me start with the man in his role as the husband, father and head of the family;



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