Tuesday 20 Feb 2018
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John 6:48

I am the bread of life.


The marriage that God ordained

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
All Pages

He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. – Mathew 19:8.

One of the areas where as citizens of the kingdom we need to pay close attention to what is required of us is in the area of marriage. It is sad to see Christian marriages and homes being torn apart in the same manner as those who do not belong to the kingdom.

It is sad to see how a union that was fashioned after the indivisible union of the Trinity (Godhead) is being torn apart by the same manner of strife and conflicts that are wrecking havoc upon homes and marriages of non-believers. It is sad when the marriages of those whom are called to be a shining light and salt to the world are also crumbling under the same weight of burden.

There is a reason behind this sad spate of events and this can be traced to the fact that a number of Christian marriages are being built upon the principles and ideologies of the world as opposed to the sound foundation laid down by the principles of the kingdom of God. What makes this sad is that they conveniently forget that the one who is the head of the Kingdom is also the one who created and ordained the institution of marriage. It is therefore sad when they choose to conveniently ignore the principles which he laid down to ensure we who subscribe to his kingdom and it’s principles, may have a union that is able to thrive and overcome the conflicts that appears to wrecking havoc on homes of those who are not of the kingdom.

The truth be told, the position of God with regards to marriage among those who are called to be his people remains unchanging and this position is captured for us succinctly with the following points:

  1. It is a union instituted for procreation of mankind and for nurturing them in the knowledge and ways of their Creator.

    Every creature that God created he assigned a role or a ministry to them, if we read the book of Genesis we can see that even nature was given her own role, we see this through the commandments that God gave while creating the various elements of nature:

    Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; - Genesis 1:14.

    It is not only the lights that he assigned their role or ministry in creation, he did to other elements of nature which he created, and we would later see in the Psalms 17, we would see that as nature adheres to her assigned ministry, they do so to the glory of God:

    The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. – Psalm 19:1-2.

    It is not the elements of nature alone that have been assigned ministries. Moving up in the hierarchy of God’s creation we look at the spirit beings that he also created and at this level of creation the scripture revealed to us spiritual being called angels, the same scripture also equips us with insights into their assigned ministry. Perhaps what best sums this up is revealed to us in by this passage:

    Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? – Hebrews 1:14.

    There is the need to understand the ministry that each has been assigned this would prevent the sort of ignorance displayed by the Pharisees, who supposed marriage and procreation takes place in heaven. Even more important about why we all need to pay close heed to our assigned ministry, is to prevent what happened to certain class of angels who did the scripture informed us did not keep their place, they over stepped their assigned roles and they were rightly judged and condemned.

    We belong to the class of spiritual being, made in the image of God, but equipped with a body to inhabit the terrestrial plane. While the other spirit being have celestial bodies, we on our part have been made special (something that still baffles the other spirit being), made unique by the Creator. He created us man, he made us male and female but he calls us man, he made us special because of the ministry he had in mind for us and we begin to see this from the ministry he assigned to the man he created:

    Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth- Genesis 1:28.

    But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.- Malachi 2:15.

    Although God gave man the instruction to multiply and fill the earth, this was to be done in an orderly and organised manner. The institution of marriage is the platform which God has ordained for this to take place, and the institution of the family unit with God as the head of all the family units on earth. This is how he ordained for the filling of the earth with his glory is to happen.

    Man was given the ability to bring forth spiritual beings but with the ability to inhabit the terrestrial plane, he is the only one who can do this, angels cannot do this, hence they do not marry as Jesus pointed out.

    b. It is a covenant union between a man and a woman.

    Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24.

    The mystery of the union of marriage can only be unravelled if we can unravel the mystery of the Trinity. The message here is that although God created them male and female, it is in this union the creature he called ‘man’ finds it’s wholeness and completeness. I must stress, it was never a union between two males or between two females, whether consenting or not, such an arrangement makes a mockery of what the holy institution of marriage represents. It must be stressed that this new form union that appears to be gaining ground is nothing but the contraption of man, and it is nothing but the rebellion of man against God.

    Two males or females claiming to be married may be so on the surface of things, but they would never become one, even common sense tells us this, that it takes negative and positive coming together to produce light. In this case common sense from nature tells us that for the purpose of procreation it takes a male and female coming together, becoming one in the process before the union can bring forth an offspring.

    c. It is a covenant union that is binding upon the man and his wife for their entire life on earth.

    And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” – Mathew 19:9.

    For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.” – Malachi 2:16.

    If they have become one flesh, and if only in this union does the created man find wholeness as well completeness in the plans and purposes of God, then it makes every sense that God should hate divorce. This is rightly so because it threatens the very foundation of what his plans represents as revealed to us through the laws of Genesis.

    You may say but the scripture verse did  put the clause whereby a man or woman may divorce their partner if such is caught in sexual immorality or adultery? True but then this is what Jesus meant when he said divorce came about as a result of man’s sinful and stubborn nature. This was the reason why he reminded them that in the beginning it was not so. What is implied by in the beginning? Well we simply see that in the beginning God made them one, in the beginning we see the true meaning of marriage.

    As such anyone going into marriage must have this at the back of their mind to guide and direct them. The position of God has never changed and would never change. There are reasons why he made them one, there are reasons why he frowns at divorce, only those who have gone through the pains of divorce can best tell or give an insight into what God was trying to spare his creation. The truth is the consequences of divorce remains and it would not change.



 Divorce was never an option in the eyes of God

There is a very simple reason why God hates divorce and we need not weave some doctrinal or theological synthesis around this. It is for the simple reason that is in line with the plans which he had, when he made them man and woman. They were to become united as one in order for them to be able to fulfil his will for them on earth:

For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.” – Malachi 2:16

There are a number of reasons why God frowns at divorce, as a result when what God designed to be an everlasting union breaks down we need not look too far before we realise there must have been so much treachery, pain and bitterness involved. We need not look too far to see the pain, the anger and the acrimony. And when such marriages involve children, we cannot use enough words to adequately capture the devastating effect and scar it leaves on the ‘children, the very ones whom God wanted the family unit to protect and give the security of a home and to bring them up in the knowledge of God. This scripture verse sums it all saying:

For it covers one’s garment with violence

Let us ponder over this again, what does this verse mean? A whole lot which only those who have gone through the bitter feud of divorce can best understand. There are no winners in this war, because everyone walks away from this battle ground feeling defeated and guilty.

Therefore, no amount of theology or explanation to support divorce can negate this truth and the fact that God frowns upon divorce. The Pharisees waved the theology of divorce at Jesus and they tried to use the law of Moses to back up their claims, forgetting that the laws of man cannot stand neither can it negate the laws of God. Jesus made it clear to them the unchanging position of God with regards to the institution of marriage as ordained right from the beginning:

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Mathew 19:4-6.

Clearly stated for all intent and purpose is the fact that the one who ordained the institution of marriage ordained the union, to be an everlasting one which can only be annulled in death. For in his eyes and according to his will, they are no longer two, but one flesh, one spirit and one soul. As a result, he decreed that what he in his sovereign will has joined together let not man separate. You see when as a male and female both come together in the union of marriage, God no longer sees them as two individuals, he now sees them as an indivisible being, he sees them as having become one in body, spirit and soul.  He relates to both as one and treats them as one. The truth is he can never see them as two again, because he cannot void his own word.

Of course the question remains why then did Moses allow for divorce? He did because of the hardness of the heart of man, the separation brought about by divorce is not of God, it was part of the disobedience and rebellion of man against the will of God (Mathew 19:8). This is the position of divorce and it remains forever so no matter how we chose to explain it or cushion what it truly represent, it remains an act of rebellion of man carried out in order to annul what God has joined together and declared as one.

For in the eyes of God, even in divorce it is the first union that he recognises and he declared as a result, every other union illegal, as revealed to us by the words of our Lord Jesus:

And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” – Mathew 19:9.

There is only one condition under which this union can be broken and it is on the condition that is brought about by the breach of the sanctity of the union through the act of the sexual sin of adultery, an offence whose gravity can be measured by the severity of the punishment meted out under the law to those found guilty of the act.

The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death. – Leviticus 20:10.

The truth need be told, God did not take an unreasonable position on marriage and the arising issue of divorce, neither did he take a position that was not feasible or practical to attain, it is only when we ignore the principles which he has put in place in the first place to ensure that this position is attainable that we would begin to contemplate such an idea. It is those who are either ignorant of why he has taken this position that would even contemplate this. These are the people whom Jesus described with this sentence:

He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so – Mathew 19:8.

There is a position from which God made his unchanging stand about the institution of marriage and it is from a position that says this union is an everlasting one and this is possible as long as the principles that guide and make it possible are carefully noted and adhered to. I want to state that I am not here to argue about marriage and divorce, my aim is not to bring believers who have suffered the unfortunate break up of their marriages and homes to ridicule or condemnation, rather it is to state clearly the position of God on the issue. It is my prayers that those who have had to suffer the pains of divorce would receive healing from this exposition and for those who are still in the union or contemplating going into it (marriage) be equipped to have an enduring and rewarding union that is built upon the solid principles laid down by the one who ordained this institution, in Jesus name Amen.

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;


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

The fact that this role has been abused is not debatable and it is still being abused as a result of not having a clear knowledge of the full meaning of what this role entails. Of course when the definition of the role is taken from the viewpoint of the fallen man and his distorted views on the knowledge of God’s will that is available to him, we can begin to see the why the role has become bastardised and subject to abuse. The truth is that many see being labelled the head of the home as a role that demotes every other person in the household especially the wife to a subservient role, this is not true. This cannot be true especially when this role is perceived through the eyes of God and carried out in love the very foundation upon which these roles are meant to be carried out.

The truth is that even if we have the knowledge of God’s will and what he expects from us while carrying out this role, we must continue to abide in them and keep our focus on what they reveal to us , else we stand the risk of going astray and we would continue to ascribe what has come from our distorted nature as the will of God. I was sharing with a guy who said he was against the position of the scripture about marriage, I asked ‘why’, the guy went on to say that it was bias towards men as it demoted women to a subservient role. I knew where he was coming from and where he was going, so I pointed out this scripture to him:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. – Ephesians 5:25 -28.

Asking him if he understood what the scripture was asking of every husband here? I posed the question to him, ‘Would someone who loves his wife as much as he loves himself see her as not being equal? Would he treat her as an unequal partner? The question must be asked every husband who is a believer; do we love our wives as much as we love ourselves? I ask because this is the key. The key that helps every husband to carry out their role as the head of the household is found in the agape love, which the scripture demands that he walks in.

This is a question for every believer who is also a husband to answer. They must never be tempted (even though this remains a strong possibility) to see or view their wives as being a lesser partner in the union of marriage by virtue of the role which they have been assigned.

Although many cultures do not abide with what the scripture teaches, the sad truth is that the position taken by this contradictory views have managed to find it’s way even into believer’s perception on how they should view their wives in this union, but the truth must be reiterated, seeing your wife as anything less than an equal partner is wrong, it contravenes the will of God and it is sinful. The result of that sin is seen in the conflicts that such overbearing attitude brings about in the home.

So what does it mean to be the head of the home? Very good question and the only way I can even begin to answer this is to look at the image of Christ who is the head of the Church. The Church is called his bride, so Christ as the head carries out the role as a husband. What is the role assigned to Christ as the husband to the church?

He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

The question is how did Christ set out to do this? Well he lived and demonstrated the will of God the Father to the Church as a way to emulate and follow. He taught and showed us as an example to follow. There is a reason why God asked Adam and not Eve to give an account of what had transpired in the garden (Genesis 3:8-11). You see as the head, Adam was responsible for making sure that the ways of the Lord are kept in his household, he is responsible for teaching it to his household, he is responsible for upholding this requirement even if all his household do not. In his position as the head, he has the responsibility to keep on standing on ensuring that the will of God as revealed to him is carried out in his family,  in his position as the head.

He must continue to do this in order to be able to deliver his household into the perfect will of God, just as Christ demonstrated.

But this is abstract you may say, yes it is abstract because as husbands we have abandoned the truth. I was stunned when I saw the authority which the husband wields over his household in order to ensure that there is peace for everyone living under his roof. I was going through the laws that God gave to Moses when I came across this:

Every vow and every binding oath to afflict her soul, her husband may confirm it, or her husband may make it void.- Numbers 30:13.

From this we can begin to catch a glimpse of the authority of the husband as the head, sadly though many have compromised this authority through the abuse of this position.

The truth is as husbands and head of the family, it is a role that demands that we lead and ensure that our family remains in the will of the Lord. This is done through living and demonstrating it in love just as Christ did, it is a sacrificial role, that demands that we are willing to lay down our lives just like Christ did. I have seen husbands who will do anything to preserve their family, but then you find out that while it appears they are dong this in line with the will of God, such do not have the knowledge of God in mind, it was more from instinct and something they have imbibed from their culture and tradition that was handed down to them.

This is one position that we do not need to strive for before we gain that recognition, I am pained to hear husband struggle to assert this position in their homes and they go about this through intimidation and coercion, employing all manner of approaches that further push their marriage towards the brink as opposed to bringing about peace and the honour that goes with the position. One thing that every husband must recognise is what the scripture says about the Adam, the very thing that even Paul re-iterated in his letter to the church:

For Adam was formed first, then Eve. – 1 Timothy 2:13.

What does this information mean? Well it simply states that by the law of nature, the man or the husband is the head and remains the head, it is a position which nature not only bequeath, but also one which God upholds, since nature is the handiwork of God. By nature we recognise and defer to the one who comes into the world ahead of us as being the senior. But in the case of the man/husband,  it is a position that comes with certain obligations in order for it to be upheld. Now while nature makes the man the head and demands that the woman submit to him as a result, the same nature also make us to understand that man came out from the woman, what is nature saying to us here again? Once again nature speaks the mind of God, that man and woman are dependent on each other, they both belong to each other.

Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God. – 1 Corinthians 11:11 - 12.

As a result of the mystery highlighted above, there is a need to the husband to get a better understanding about what it means to be the head of the woman. In order to even have any idea of how to walk and become established in this position or what it demands as wells as being able to preserve it, all men must continually do one thing which is:

I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; - 1 Timothy 2:8.

The honour and the authority which the position confers does not come through human struggle, it cannot be coerced out of the wife or from the household and it does not come from our ability  to provide for the needs to the families alone. When you see how helpless and powerless husbands and fathers can be sometimes when some affliction (physical or spiritual) come against their household and they look on helplessly and without the ability to do anything, then folks would begin to understand what it means to be able to walk in this authority.

Declaring his position as the head and husband of the Church  Jesus said:

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled – John 17:12.

Whether we agree with this position or not is something I am not going to debate about, but I must state clearly here that our views and opinions as well as whatever we believe should be our role as husbands/father or head needs to be reviewed along the lines of what we as men have been neglecting and paying less attention to. One of the greatest mistakes which we as men/husbands/fathers can ever make is to assume that our role is limited to providing physical securities and comfort for our household alone, this so wrong.

I have shown earlier how the man either in the position of a father or husband can annul an unfavourable vow hanging over his daughter or wife, a vow that she would have been ensnared to without a higher authority to set her loose. We see also from the scripture how fathers have the authority to invoke the blessings of God upon their children (Genesis: 27:27-27, 48:15). I do not know if there is anywhere in the scripture where a wife declares such a blessing, this is not saying wives are lesser, rather it is simply saying they have not been given that role.

What I am saying in essence is this, for all men to be established in the position where they are declared the head of the family, they must recognise that this authority comes from God and it is only by steadfastly standing in his presence and seeking his face on how to go about it that they would be able to walk continuously and effectively in this authority. When they continue to stand in his presence and comply with what he reveals to them , no one, i repeat no one would ever be able to challenge that position , if they do such would fall flat on their face.

It is sad to see how this authority is being eroded daily and men it appears do not even know what to do in order to put a stop it, I hear men at counselling sessions complain about their wives no longer having respect for them. But by the time you hear the other side of the story, one is almost tempted to encourage the wife in question to continue to disrespect such men. These are husbands and fathers who demand the honour that goes with that role, but have failed woefully and abysmally to perform the role.

I live in the part of the world where daily it appears the men are losing the plot on every front, strangely the laws responsible for this are being made by bodies which appear to have men in the majority, yet these bodies it appears continue to churn out decree after decree that keep on decimating the men and reducing them to a pathetic and pitiable beings in the hands of their women, especially their wives. Sadly a number of men are caught up in this, I have heard and spoken to men who appear to be helpless and do not know what to do or how to get out of the helplessness. This is one of the reasons why divorce is on the rise, people looking for the ideal wife or husband while not looking deep at themselves in the mirror first.

There have been instances of messy divorce cases where the man loses everything, his home, money and children. As a result some would resort to some dastardly means to avenge themselves. There was the case of a man who fearing the consequences of divorce and the prospect of losing the custody of his children, killed every one of them and took his own life after. This has happened not once, but several times. How did men/husbands and head of the family get to this low point? I must say it has nothing to do with these laws; it is simply because we have forsaken the very path that gave the authority to the men to be the head in the first place,  the way back is to go back to Paul’s advice:

I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; - 1 Timothy 2:8.

It is no coincidence that women and wives appear to be waxing stronger everyday,  it is not by magic that the laws that is making this possible appears to be favouring them even when this is being done by bodies dominated by the men. You see they (women and wives) are the ones who now appear to be doing the very thing that Paul enjoined all men to be doing. Fathers are no longer the custodians of God’s will and words for their families in their homes, they no longer live the godly life and teach their household about the knowledge of God, they do not because they cannot, they cannot because they have abandoned the path that equips them to do so. When fathers have abandoned their role and run away from home, it is the women they leave the responsibility of bringing up the children in the knowledge of God to. It is the women/wives they leave with the children to raise them up in the way and manner that still leaves room for them to grow up as decent folks in life. I cannot stress this enough as i can testify to this with my own life.

Because it is the wives who now carry out these assignments and roles, when husbands and fathers speak today it carries no weight, you want to know why? It does not have the authority which the word of God gives to it because they have abandoned the authority that establishes them in that role. They try to wave their earning and economic power to intimidate and coerce respect from their wives it used to work in the past, but suddenly the women are now earning more, staying longer in jobs and getting better paying jobs, on all front the man is losing his position as the head. All of a sudden they cannot flaunt their economic powers like they used to, they cannot use it to intimidate and coerce their wives into submission any longer for the fear of such wealth being taken off them in the case of divorce. I hear stories of women who now control the home; they are now the ones who go out to marry a man and no longer the other way around.  How, did the man who God made the head of his family unit on earth descend to such a pitiable state? This is because they have forsaken the simple instruction and have abdicated the obligation which the role demands to their wives.

Whether you agree with me or not, again this is not up for debate, check the word of God and look around you today. The word of God is living and it cannot lie. Go to churches the population of men are dwindling, go to prayer meetings such events are filled with women , while the men are busy running after the material things of life, enslaving themselves not only to those things , but abdicating their authority on the home front to the women as well. Positions which ought to be occupied by men in the churches are now being filled by women, because men are no longer in church, when they bother to show up, it is because of the God fearing wives who insist that they come along with the family, in order words it is because the wives are now exercising the authority which they (Men)  as the head of the house should have exercised in the first place.

I once ministered at a Church where the population of the women was almost 95 percent, where are the men? And even where they are in the church, it is just out of religion, you do not want to listen to what some husbands /fathers and head of family units who are believers get up to in their homes when they put off the garb of religion. They engage in all manner of things that continue to erode the honour and the authority only to turn around and demand for the same.

I have limited my exposition on the role of the husband to that of the head of the family unit and I have restricted myself to the need for all men to become God fearing men, who prays continually ,lifting up holy hands unto the Lord in order to be established in that role. I have deliberately left out the other aspect of his role as the husband, because the part I am highlighting sums up everything, this is what the role means and what it entails. If as men/husbands/father and head of the home we can continue to lift up our hands seeking the face of God, we would be adequately equipped to play the other roles effectively. There are homes where everything is provided, money, security and comfort, yet there is no peace, none of these things can guarantee peace, only the house where the head recognises what it means to be the head of the family in the eyes of God and understands the will of God for his home can abide in this peace.

Therefore, if a man recognises this and abides with this, he would be accorded every respect and honour he deserves without even demanding for it. I always maintain that whenever anyone demands to be shown respect, he should first of all look at himself and ask: ‘what have I been doing to deny myself of this respect’. If as men we return to the Lord in order that we might understand what he demands of us as men/husbands/father and the head of his family unit on earth, our homes will become established on such a foundation that is built in line with the position which God has taken on marriage.

Woman/Wife/Mother and Helper

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

This instruction remains a controversial issue in many homes today especially with the advent of the women liberation movements and various civil rights groups who from lack of knowledge about the position of God on this issue are quick to jump on the wagon of those who see this a demand for women to become subservient to their husbands.

No one should even try to interpret this instruction without taking into account the instruction that was also given to the husbands through the inspirations received by Paul. The instruction to the wives was not given in isolation, the best way to read this verse is to picture both the wife and husband seating before a marriage counsellor, and he (God) on his part counsels the couple in each other’s presence what they need to do in order to build a successful marriage.  The best way to interpret this is never to assume that God called the man aside and gave him a different set of instructions of how to treat his wife as a lesser partner.

It is sad when believing wives allow the peace which this instruction ought to deliver to them be taken away by the satanic counsel that advices them to become rebellious in their home and refuse to submit to their husbands. It is sad to witness and listen to how wives are being taught even in the church to become rebellious in their homes and in their marriages, something that goes contrary to the instructions that came from the Lord. Before any one go asking for my head please hear me out, this instruction does not ask for some slavish, dogmatic, subservient submission. It is true that over the years the true meaning of this instruction has been compromised, it is true that it has been abused and it is true that it has put wives in a position where their vulnerability have been subject to exploitation. Nevertheless all wives must be careful not to be led astray by the teachings or ideologies that encourage them to jettison a sound counsel that is inspired by the Lord. This was the reason why I took on the men first. I am not ignoring the issues which i have raised and these will be addressed later. The scripture recognises all those issues and the scripture gives sound and godly counsel on how to deal with them as well as how to protect themselves.

To start with this counsel is not given for everyone; I speak to Christian wives and women because it is directed at them. As the instruction clearly reads, it is to be carried out as it is fitting for those in the Lord. The question that needs to be asked in the first place is this, what are the wives asked to submit to? Is there any benefit in doing this and what security do women have to keep them from being exploited and abused? What really does this submission entails? I believe these are the questions that need to be answered even before a woman goes into marriage in order that they might get a clearer picture of what this act of submission entails. These are the training programmes and counselling sessions which they should be taken through while preparing themselves for marriage. But before we I go on, I need to ask; is it only the women who should submit to their husbands, what about husbands do they have any instruction to submit to their wives as well?

Let me start by answering the last question, you see although we love to highlight the instruction for women to submit to their husbands, it must be said that we do so at the expense of the bigger picture. What is the bigger picture? Well let us look at the scripture:

Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. – 1 Corinthians 7:3-4.

The truth is, if the marriage is built on love, then the act of submission is demanded from both husband and wife, they are both to submit to one another. That is the bigger picture.

This exposition sets out to explore what God had in mind with regards to marriage; it sets out to look at wholesome position of God on the issue of marriage, not just some aspect of it. It is not enough to look at the part where God declared that he is against divorce, without looking at the bigger picture, such would put people in a form of bondage and set them on a part of rebellion. When he declared that he hates divorce, he has the whole concept of marriage as he designed it and wanted it to be established in mind. So before we begin to rationalise the position of the scripture in isolation using human standards, we need to understand that there is the need to take everything on board. God did not create women/wives as slaves or servants to males/husbands, they are equal partners in the eyes of God, although one is the head of the family unit, God sees them as one, since he declared them to be one.

But there is a form of submission which the role of the man as the head of the family demands and I must stress again, it is not a slavish demand, rather it comes as a result of what the man represents to the family and to God. We need to take a deeper look into the form of submission that is being advocated here; It is not a submission to the whims and desires of the man, it is not a submission to his carnal desires, but rather it is to the will of God that is entrusted into his hands as the man/husband/father and in his position as the head of the family unit.

It is hard to teach this truth without almost being seen to be encouraging women to become rebellious. I say this because in the world we live today a number of Christian women are saddled with husbands who no longer follow the instructions which Paul gave to all men. A number of them I am sad to say, they cannot be said to be living after the will of God for their household, nevertheless the will of God who is Head of all family unit on earth remains.

You may ask what is the will of God that is entrusted into the hand of the husband in his position as the head of the family? We can see this from what the scripture reveals about the reason why God set up the family unit using marriage as the building foundation. We get a glimpse of this from the position of God with regards to the earth he created and the man he made in his own image to inhabit it;

God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.

Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground – Genesis 1:28.

When he said for man to fill the earth, he does not mean for them to fill with just about the seed of their loins indiscriminately, rather he had a plan to fill it with spiritual and godly people and we see this from what God mused on about Abraham;

For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him. – Genesis 18:19.

For every believing family this is a very important information they must keep and remember about God’s will for their family, the one that he entrust into the custody of the head of the family. It is vested with the authority to defend it and accomplish it.

Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over…. – Genesis 1:26.

Therefore when I listen to what some of the so called believing husbands get up to in their homes it would be hard to keep a straight face and keep on telling the wives to continue to submit to a position that is obviously no longer tenable. The dreaded question remains, what if the husband has strayed or does not believe in this teaching, what if the husband is not a believer? What if I have a husband who does not subscribe to this notion, yet he demands my submission simply because tradition or the culture we subscribe to demands it. Should I continue to submit myself to such?

In order to answer this question, we would need to look to the scripture for direction and for direction and instruction;

How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? – 1 Corinthians? 7:16.

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. - 1 Peter 3: 1-2.

There is deep spiritual wisdom in this verse, you see the truth remains this act of submission which is required from the wives although it puts them in a vulnerable position, I must state clearly nevertheless that this is a powerful position as opposed to a weak position, a position so powerful that it can either deliver the wayward husband or seal his fate.

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. – 1 Peter 3:7.

Although the scripture refers to the wives here as weaker partner, the weakness implied here is because of her vulnerable position. Even though this position is vulnerable, God has built a form of defence mechanism into it, it almost like a clause that guarantees the protection of the wives. What is this defence?

so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Women need to stop looking at this position as a completely weak one, it is not, especially if they know how to stand dutifully in it and tap into the authority which that position gives. I want all wives to know that they have certain authority to protect themselves with, this is revealed by what the verse above tries to minister.

Revisiting the scripture again, what prayers is implied here by this scripture verse? Hmmm I have seen men who trampled, abused and exploited this position of vulnerability only to turn around and accuse their wives of being responsible for their downfall or bad luck in life. You see as a godly wife you do not need to lift your hands to defend yourself, God already has your back, he did not ask you to put your neck on the line for the fun it, instead you have been given the gift to complement the man he made, while the man is the one who carries the responsibility. You see your submission is a blessing without which the man would fall flat on his face in defeat.  Even the world recognises this truth hence the saying ‘Behind every successful man is a woman’.

So when God said:

The LORD God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. – Genesis 2:18.

There is a profound saying in this and if we meditate long on this we would begin to see the bigger picture which the mystery of marriage holds. A mystery I hope and pray that this exposition can tap into as revelation knowledge that would benefit the reader. There is a deep mystery behind the instruction given to wives to submit to their husbands; as a result I want wives to look beyond the literal interpretation they would be missing out of the power this position holds as well as the blessings it can bring into their home. I say this because it is only in the spirit that they would be able to come into the understanding of the message behind the instruction. It is as a result of this that the scripture mentioned as godly, the women who submitted themselves to the instruction by submitting to their husbands.

For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, - 1 Peter 3:5.

The question remains how is this submission to be carried out? This would be answered in the next chapter.

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.

The reality of separation - divorce

He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. – Mathew 19:8.

I have taken the time to explore the position of God on marriage as well as his stance on divorce, but this exposition would not be complete without acknowledging the reality of break up in marriages. As a matter of fact there is such a upward swing in this trend especially among believers and of such proportion, that to ignore this fact would be like the proverbial ostrich who buries it’s head in the sand. The scripture at no time ignores the fact or realities of our existence as many often claim, rather the scripture first and foremost reminds us of the positional truth, like a compass it provides us with the truth and what God intended for our lives. The scripture does recognise the facts on the ground, but it would never sacrifice the position of truth which it represents for any of these facts no matter how compelling they might be. Instead it is up to us to accept the positional truth that the scripture presents to us and we are to strive to replace these facts with them. We are to use the truth that is the word of God, to correct the erroneous beliefs, ideologies or distorted views and opinions that we have been relying upon to shape our lives, opinions which in turn rob us of the glory and the blessings of God.

Let us look at what Jesus said to the Pharisees who tried to justify the position of divorce by ascribing this to Moses. You see in doing so they were trying to shift this position as being the position of God, they were trying to replace God’s truth with the facts on the ground. They were trying to be clever; they used the name of Moses knowing that the laws of Moses represents the position of God on many issues. Jesus saw through their treachery and rightly pointed it out to them that the issue of divorce has nothing to do with God, it’s origin can be traced to the hardness of their hearts or the sinful nature of man at work. In other words divorce is a man’s concept, it is one of man’s act of rebellion against God, it was another sinful expression of rebellion, a rebellious shift from the position of God. Divorce is nothing but one of the many shortcomings of man that God in his mercies accommodated, as described here by Paul:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. – Romans 1:20 – 21.

Every true believer need to recognise this truth, that this sad event seems to be occurring in their midst does not mean that it represents the position of God nor is he pleased by it. Jesus pointed out that the origin of divorce lies in the sinful and rebellious nature of man, how does this play itself out?

The truth is when we ignore the issues that I have discussed so far, when we blatantly refuse to acknowledge the position of God on marriage, then this rebellious heart is already at work. The truth must be told, that any marriage or home that is built on this shaky grounds would be easily threatened even by the mildest storms of life.

The truth must be told that a number of people have found themselves being confronted by this sad event either through sheer ignorance, negligence or carelessness. It is sad to say that some have found themselves in this situation not by design but either by what they have refused to acknowledge or been careless about.

I can go ahead and list a number of common mistakes that believers do make such as put their marriage on a shaky footing, mistakes that subsequently lead to divorce. But one of the ways that we can avoid this mistake is to pay heed to the advice of Paul:

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? – 2 Corinthians 6:14.

Believers have walked as though they are blindfolded into unequally yoked unions, only to discover that everything which their Christian beliefs instructs them to do in order to make their marriage work, appears to be of no effect. They should not be surprised, the instructions given by God to make marriages work is not given to only one partner, rather it is given to both, and it is when they both adhere to it that it begins to work. It is in scenario like this that the instruction for a woman to submit to her husband begins to look unrealistic and unfeasible if not insane, especially when the husband is not a godly person and has a long track record of abusing the wife.

I have seen believers who fell into deception because they applied their flesh in making decisions about their marriage choice, only to now find themselves in situations where divorce now appear to be the only way out, this is where the help of God when making the right choices has to take a priority over the flesh

The truth must also be said, it is not everyone that is cut out for marriage, a number of people do not have that grace to work it out, but peer pressure puts them in a position where they enter into it and they struggle miserably to make it work. Jesus cited the instance of eunuchs who were born that way.

For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that. - 1 Corinthians 7:7.

But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.” – Mathew 19:11-12.

They feel trapped because now they want to please God, when they did not find out his position from the beginning.

There are even grounds where divorce appears to be a valid case, and there are two examples that Paul used here:

  1. He cited the example of a woman who leaves her husband; the question would be under what circumstance? We do not know, but let us say that the husband could be an abusive one with records of abuse that even threatens the life of the woman and her children. Even though the wife may walk from such a relationship as a precaution, the condition here is that such a woman cannot be married to another.

Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. – 1 Corinthians 7:10 -11.

What if this woman wants to marry again? Well the instruction clearly states that she cannot, rather she can be reconciled with her husband. There is a message here, the message of forgiveness and restoration. For that to happen, such a woman I believe would need to devote herself to prayers while interceding for such a man, this is what godly wives do, that the Lord may touch him and bring him to repentance, verse 16 of this chapter captures for us the reward of such venture. Same applies to the man. I would not pretend that this is a difficult position to be, but then divorce is already a difficult position, is it already a painful position, but the position of God is clear on this, the godly woman or man owes it a responsibility to save his/her spouse from damnation.

  1. The other example is when an unbelieving partner walks out on a marriage, in this scenario, the spouse is freed from the vows of that union, it is no longer binding;

But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. – 1 Corinthians 7:15.

There is a significant difference in both position advocated by Paul here, for he clearly stated in the second option that he is speaking from a position of one who knows the mind of God with regards to our peace. He would not have that peace taken away by being yoked to an unbelieving spouse, who has no regards for the covenant of the marriage and annuls it by walking away. In the first option, Paul declared boldly that he speaks the instruction of God, on the second he gives a godly counsel.

  1. The third example was highlighted by Jesus and it is in many ways similar to the second option of Paul, in fact one is tempted to say that Paul got his boldness to offer this advice because of this position of Jesus on the issue.

And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality,[and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” – Mathew 19:9.

Once again we see here that one of the partners has dealt in a way and manner of an unbeliever and by carrying out acts that annuls the vows of the marriage. When Paul mentioned an unbelieving spouse walking away, this could be one of those acts that help us to understand what is implied. One thing ministers to me greatly here about what Jesus said when he used the word ‘Sexual immorality’. My wife once mentioned to me about a lady who confided in her that her husband was demanding that she partake in certain sexual activities that every Christian value in her opposes and she was finding it hard to continue because she was feeling condemned about it. Sadly she said the only reason she kept on taking part was because the man threatened he would leave her. What does she do when she is afraid of divorce? I believe this scripture help to answer this question.

As we can see the scripture clearly recognises the reality of divorce, it does not shy away from it and it clearly provides guidelines to follow. I may not have exhausted this, for each circumstance would be different and would pose different challenges of it’s own, but from the point of this exposition it is enough to highlight the fact that the problem of divorce is a man made problem, that does not cover the victims with any glory.


...To be continued.