Social media has been buzzing over the weekend here in this part of the world, on the increasing cases of domestic violence in Christian marriages and the deafening silence or “war-room” response in most churches on this matter. As a result of this, several people have come to say that no godly marriage exist and I do not blame them. I can understand why they’ll come to that conclusion.
Most Christian singles have also expressed their fear of going into marriage as they don’t know what lies ahead and let me say this. “I do not blame you. I would also be scared if there was this buzz around the time when I was preparing to get married.” Even now that I am married, I sometimes have this fear for my siblings and my children. So your fear is valid and it is your heart’s way of protecting you from the unknown.
This post is dedicated to the Christian singles contemplating marriage; but we married people can by the help of the Holy Spirit learn a thing or two.
A little background.
The topic of marriage is one I try to steer away from because it is a very sensitive one. Too sensitive because, aside from what we may know from either of the parties involved, what truly, really happens within each marriage is known IN FULL DETAILS to only the two parties. While Apostle Paul gave the instructions on marriage as one filled and led by the Holy Spirit; over time, we’ve come to see that Paul’s message on marriage, if followed as Christ followers (both husband and wife) has helped build godly and exemplary marriages and homes.
In marriage, you’ll come to understand and practicalize the commandment of God, “To love your neighbor as yourself.” Understanding that a neighbor is someone close to you.
Who is closest to you as a married person? Your spouse.
Now, LOVE is the foundation for every relationship including marriage but there are other factors that play a role in addition to love to keep the marriage going. Some of these factors include, understanding, tolerance, communication, kindness, prayers, the controversial word -submission- and so many more on the part of both partners. These, many non-Christians have come to understand and apply to their marriages and are thriving.
On the other hand, for us as Christians, we not only have LOVE as the foundation but also GOD. The problem with many Christians is that they just leave it at that. “I have God, my spouse has God, we love one another and that’s enough.” No. No. It is not enough.
Marriages have challenges even when God is there and love exist. It is the natural order of things.
This takes me back to the conversation between Jesus and His disciples when they asked Him to teach them how to pray in Matthew 6. In verse 13 of our popular King James Version, it reads, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” For the sake of this post, I am also quoting from The Message Version which reads; “Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge!”
This simply means we can change. Things around us can cause us to change. We should not think that it is only the devil we need deliverance from. We also need deliverance from ourselves. Scripture tells us in Jeremiah 17:9 – “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”
However, the next verse will answer this. “I, the Lord, search the minds and test the hearts of people. I treat each of them according to the way they live, according to what they do.” Do you see why we must pray for deliverance from temptation? Come to think of it, the idea to treat our spouse exactly how they treat us or in a bad way, is a temptation in itself which is not a sin. Doing it, that is, acting out that idea is what is sinful. So you see why we need to pray for such temptations not to come our way in the first place; and if it comes, deliverance from it.
In all of this, we clearly see that there will be challenges in every areas of our life (marriage inclusive) but we must pray for God’s deliverance. Either the wife or the husband can be faced with temptation. Not because they don’t have Christ but because temptation is common to man.
How do we go on in this marriage matter as Christians?
Remember this: Both of you are a team. And it’s you two against a whole lot. Never allow the devil make you see your spouse as the problem but instead, isolate the problem and face it as a team. For example, we have a wife who disciplines the children in a particular way and the husband has his own style. Both of them are faced with disciplining their child, instead of arguing and blaming the other for their method, they face the situation as a team, which is to discipline. They both sit down and communicate on the method of discipline to use as a team and each sticks to it.
Godly marriages exist and if we take a survey of these marriages, I am almost certain that you would hear that beyond God in their heart and at the center of it all, there is Love and there are other factors.
Finally, don’t measure your marriage with another person’s own. Watch, learn, be inspired but don’t copy or compare. Never stop praying for your spouse. Never stop praying for your spouse. How much you prayed before meeting him/her, should still be how much you pray for them after saying I do. Consistency is key. By God alone, I learned this early and God receives all the glory for this.
So to you my single ladies and guys, I am not going to say fear not. But I’ll say believe God who said “Fear not!” in Isaiah 41:10.
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