Tuesday 20 Feb 2018
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Psalm 1: 2-3

Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

The marriage that God ordained - It is a holy union that requires the daily presence of God

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?
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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It is a holy union that requires the daily presence of God through fellowship.

Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; - Psalm 17:1a.

It must be said howbeit sadly, that one of the main reasons why a number of Christian marriages are facing difficult times before subsequently hitting the rocks is because these marriages no longer acknowledge the presence of God. I am conscious of the fact that I have made a very strong statement here, but like they say: The truth is bitter’. It does not take a whole lot of persuasion to come into this conclusion; all it takes is to listen to what husbands and wives whose marriages are suffering have to say about each other.

It is sad when professing believers choose to build their homes without acknowledging the presence of God, it is sad when believers exalt the tradition and the ways of men above the word of God in their homes and marriages, but they expect to reap the blessings which the presence of God through his instructions gives. I see believers stand in the pulpit and take marriage vows in the presence of the Lord, but that is about the last time they would acknowledge his presence until trouble rear its head in their marriages. It is sad to see them make desperate moves by calling on God when the damage has been done, the very God they never acknowledged in their homes and where they profess to do so, they ignore the laid down counsel and principles which he laid down for his people to follow in order to have a successful marriage. God is not a magician, he does not do magic, his powerful ways are laid down clearly for us through the instructions which he has given to us through his words.

I have listened to marriages in trouble, I have listened to both parties make their cases and without sounding judgemental here it is hard for me to believe that these are believers I am listening to here. The dilemma here is that these people would now say we do not want divorce because God frowns at it and they do not want to sin against God. Well the truth is they have been sinning against him before now by ignoring his presence, something that has led to the crises which the union is now going through. When you hear stories of infidelity, abuse, exploitation, assault and open rebellion going on in these homes , you wonder if these are believers or not. I would be fooling myself to say I do not want divorce because I want to please God, when up till now I have failed to please him by following the instructions which he laid down to follow. When God declared that he hates divorce, part of his hatred stems from the fact that by the time divorce shows up on the agenda, the couple would have disobeyed, ignored and rebelled against the instructions of God for their marriage, divorce represents the fruit or the harvest of those sinful acts against God perpetrated in the marriage. Hence the scripture said, it leaves both parties covered with garments of violence and treachery (Malachi 2:16).

For it covers one’s garment with violence

Divorce is a damning evidence of a household that has been living in disobedience, rebellion as well as living outside of the will of God. It is a damning evidence that either or both of the partners in a marriage is living in rebellion. This is one of the reasons why and where Paul’s advice that as believers we should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers rings true. This is where the advice that choosing a spouse requires the help and guidance of God and should not be done in the flesh.

It is the presence of God and the acknowledgment of his presence through simple obedience to his instructions that would help and deliver both the husband and the wife who are joint partakers of God’s will and salvation, into a successful marriage and a blissful home. Christian homes and marriages need to recognise this truth, that it is the Lord who builds the house. What house are we talking about here? A house where his blessings abound, a house where there is laughter, joy, peace and harmony. A house where the power of the enemy cannot prevail against no matter how hard he tries and a house where everyone would look at and declare ‘Blessed are you of the Lord’. There is a reason why Paul in his letter to Timothy while outlining the criteria for appointing a bishop or deacon, demanded that those who nurse that desire must have been tested and found to have administered their homes well.

So let us revisit the question again, how should the wives go about the instruction to submit to their husbands, and how should the husbands treat this act of submission?

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her – Ephesians 5:25.

Wives submit to your husband as is fitting in the Lord– Colossians 3:18.

The scripture verses above says it all for the both the husbands and the wives, it says for the wives, ‘as fitting in the Lord’ and for the husbands it says to love our wives ‘As Christ did the church’. It did not say at it suits you or from your carnal position, it simply say as it is fitting in the Lord or as Christ did. In order words as the Lord instructs, as the knowledge of God in our lives instructs. Both of you are to defer to each other as everything you have come to know about Christ ministers to you. You gain the strength to do so through him. You gain the strength to overlook each other’s weaknesses through him, and the strength to overcome your personal failings through him as well.

I want to say this to husbands just as the Church was able to respond to the love of Christ, wives would also be able to respond to the love we give to them and as long as we walk in the authority that comes from recognising God and continual lifting of hands to him in prayers, the wives would not hesitate to respond to that position through submission.

I want to stress here before I finish this section, there is the need to acknowledge the presence of God in every home and marriages. As stated earlier I have listened to couples complain about each other, I have tried to counsel marriages in trouble, I have observed some believer’s marriages, I am pained to say this, that some of these homes do not acknowledge the presence of God.

How many times have I heard spouses say that they cannot forgive each other? I have witnessed open rebellion in marriages an act that is even encouraged by churches. I know of a couple who attend different churches, yet the wife was supposed to be a deaconess or so in the church she attends, do the people who preside over these churches not read their bibles? The problem here may not be obvious , but the children would grow up and they would see this open rebellion, and the seed of rebellion that has been sown in their lives would grow and multiply bringing forth it’s own kind.

I have heard about husbands who have neglected their responsibilities both to their wives and their children, I am not talking of pagans here, what I am saying makes no meaning to them, neither is it addressed to them. As a matter I have seen pagan marriages that put some Christian marriages to shame. Because though they do not have the godly principle to tailor their home and marriage after , they have allowed integrity to guide them.

Listen I can tell husbands or the wives to do so and so, I can push the scripture in their faces and say to them this is what scripture commands, but if they do not have the fear of God, if they have no reverence or love for him, if they have no iota of respect for his word and if they do not possess the integrity to stand on his word, they would not do it.

I would not say I am perfect in dealing with my wife, but I allow the fear of God and the wisdom that is in his instructions to guide me. I lean on him for understanding and for help even when I find it hard to understand her position. And I must say I believe it is the same for her. As a result I thank God for a God fearing wife too; I thank God for giving me a helper that is fit for me. I say this with special gratitude, as I cast my mind back to when I was still young and was a very difficult person to understand then.

I remember the lady I was dating back then voice out her frustration saying ‘I don’t think you will ever be able to find a woman who can please you’. It was a statement that troubled me at the time, but today I thank God and the scripture verse that says ; ‘he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from God’ rings true in my ears, it finds fulfilment in my life. We both understand and agree with the position of God with regards to our marriage and home. We are committed to that, we do not waiver from it, this I must say has helped our marriage to be established on a solid ground as it continues to blossom.