Marriage plays a major role in the day to day activities of human being, either you are a Christian or not, educated or not, young or old, male or female, civilized or uncivilized, as much as you are a human being, marriage remains a critical matter to you. Although lots of things have crept into our world today, even the church herself has accommodated lots of errors. There are people who felt marriage is not necessary, that all you need for procreation is to be a parent which nowadays can be done in or outside wedlock. We have more of a single parent in our generation than ever before.
Some Christians are of the opinion that the early Christian tradition embraced celibacy as a higher virtue than marriage saying that, marriage was only a concession to human weakness. Quoting from 1st Corinthians 7:1. They emphasized that Paul admonished the church that it is good for a man not to touch a woman but there is no how a man would marry and not touch his wife as Paul himself admonished that a man should render due benevolent to the wife.
Some other people who are married missed it marital wise, as their lives were full of frustration, and lots of crisis. Divorce is on the increase rate in our generation, and Christians, even ministers are not left out of it. There are people who are not physically separated but are not going along even as they are living together. The issue of domestic violence is on the increase, marital unfaithfulness is now the order of the day. What makes issues more complicated are the messages of some teachers and preachers during marriage seminars who came with the idea that marriage is a necessary evil. That It’s a yoke that limits people from exercising their freedom.
These teaching create more fear in the heart of some young people that makes them try to avoid marriage, some were necessarily in it with a very wrong motives. The bone of contention is that what is God’s purpose for marriage? What does the bible say about marriage? And what are the steps to marital exploit?
Things to Note about Marriage
Marriage is the First and Oldest Institution.
After the creation of man, the first thing God instituted was marriage, and he gave him a partner, someone to share his view with. Someone to run the race with him, someone God himself called a help meets for him. Every other God’s given institution fall in later after the marriage has been established. So in the agenda of God, your home takes the lead.
Your Christian Life is not Complete when your Marriage is not Working.
I have seen lots of people trying to be spiritual with a failed home. When your marriage is not working, your spirituality is not genuine. That is why you should be careful about who you choose as a life partner. That is why you should carry God along as you begin your marital plan. Because even if you end up marrying an unbeliever, the bible instructs you to stay in the marriage as long as the unbelieving spouse is pleased to be with you 1 Corinthians 7:13 which shows that you must be ready to endure any frustration that comes out of the relationship. Don’t forget you must do your best to be at peace with all men, even the difficult ones, this is a proof of your spirituality.
God is the Author of Marriage, so it should be Viewed from his Perspective.
One of the failures of this generation is that we are trying to run God’s programme in our own way. In Luke 4:1-4 the Devil came to test Jesus knowing fully that he was hungry and that God has just confirmed that Jesus is his beloved son in whom he is pleased. The Devil took the advantage to ask Jesus to turn stones to bread but Jesus understood the will of God and replied that “it is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4, Deut 8:3) which shows that it is not how you feel or what your view is that matters, it what God says that matters if you really want to live a genuine Christian life and a fulfilled marriage.
The Primary Guide to Marital Success is the Bible, not the Human Experience.
Every product has its manufacturing manual, and the most effective way to handle the product has been written in the manufacturing manual. Whoever wants to get the best out of the product must study the manual. So also marriage, God is the author and the bible is the manual. God’s intentions for marriage are clearly spelled out in the Bible. Whoever wants a fulfilled marriage must go through the Bible to know God’s purpose and principle for it. This does not mean that you won’t share people’s experience but any human experience that is against the principles of God’s word should be totally blurted out.
Marriage is a Covenant that Requires Active Commitment from Both Sides.
A covenant according to Cambridge advanced learner dictionary is a formal agreement or promise between two or more people. Marriage also is an agreement between two people. In every covenant, each party has his own responsibility and also benefit. Whoever failed his own obligation has broken the covenant. And marital covenant has more spiritual implications than the physical aspect. So to keep the covenant intact, you must be committed to your side of the deal.
Marriage is the Coming Together of Two People from Different Backgrounds and Worldviews.
This is another thing we need to consider in marriage. Those who are married are people with gender differences, sometimes educational differences, cultural differences, denominational differences, and temperamental differences. So to make the marriage work, they must be able to balance things
Marriage is for Mature People.
Marriage is not for babies, not for mummy’s pet. It is for a man and a woman, not a boy and a girl. It is for those who have been made not for those who are in the making. (Genesis 2) so before you can think of marriage, you must be spiritually mature, physically mature, emotionally mature, and financially mature. This is because marriage will expose you to so many things and you must be matured enough to handle them.
Since Marriage is Ordained by God, Your Spouse is a Gift of God.
After accepting that marriage is ordained by God and have chosen your spouse in line with the will of God, then you should see your spouse as a gift of God. And if he/she is a gift of God, you should know that every good and perfect gift is from above from the father of light.
In God’s Agenda for Marriage, the Husband is the Head, the Wife is a Helper.
The teaching on gender equality is bringing lots of problems into many homes. Every normal living being has only one head. The existence of two head makes it abnormal. So also in marriage, the home is a body, and the head according to the bible is the husband (Ephesians 5:12) as much as the wife is to submit to her husband being her head. The husband too is to perform his responsibility as the head of the home and not to neglect it, the wife is to acknowledge that the husband is the head, this does not suggest that the wife is the feet. So there should be proper balancing.
In Biblical Agenda for Marriage, Your Body Belongs to Your Spouse.
Marriage connects us to our spouses and by marital covenant, your spouse possesses power over your body (1stCorinthians 7:4). So you must be faithful in all and surrender yourself.
Principles of Marital Exploits.
Have a Good Relationship with God
Since God is the author of marriage, there is no how you can get the best of it without a cordial relationship with God. There is no how you can separate your personality and personal relationship with God from your marriage. How much you loveGod determines how you will love others including your spouse. You can’t operate beyond your knowledge level. Those who know God are ready to follow him even in their marriage. So if you don’t have a good relationship with God, it will affect the way you relate with others including your spouse.
Embrace the Concept of Togetherness
Marriage involves the coming together of two different people who are ready to overlap their differences for what brings them together. For effective marital life, you must sleep together, walk together, study together, pray together, eat together, and share things together.
Be Open and Faithful to Each Other
Among the things that jeopardize many marriages are lack of openness and unfaithfulness. God himself is a faithful God and he encourages faithfulness among his people. There should not be any hidden thing between husband and wife. How do you claim you love someone and you are hiding things for the person? It shows that the love is not genuine because genuine love is open. There should not be anything known to anybody that your spouse is not aware of that can be a threat to your marriage. You must also be faithful to each other. Your yes must be yes and your no should be no. There must be trust in your marriage and each spouse must be trustworthy.
Appreciate, Honor, and Respect your Spouse
When God brought Eve to Adam, he appreciated the work of God in her, when Rebecca was brought to Isaac, he appreciated her. If you want your marriage to work, you must appreciate your spouse’s personality, see him/her as a gift of God, treat him/her as king/queen, respect his/her opinion and personality.
Understand the Place of Individual Difference
That both of you are one in marriage does not make you the same. You must understand the uniquences of your spouse. There is no amount of prayer or fasting that will turn your spouse to be you, the differences will be there. The gender differences will be there. If you are a man, the person you are marrying is a woman. Just allow her to be a woman, allow her to exhibit the trait of a woman, dress like a woman, think like a woman, and do things like a woman. She is not a man and she can never be a man. And if you are a woman, know that you are marrying a man. Let him be a man and not a woman, trying to force your spouse to be you will cause crisis in your home.
The cultural differences will be there: If you are not from the same culture, understand the culture of your spouse, and try to relate with him/her in that concept. Every culture has its own uniqueness and you must accept that
Educational differences will be there: Most times spouses don’t study the same thing in school, that is if both are of the same educational level. And mostly they are not taught by the same teacher, so the presentation will be different, even home trainings are different because they are not from the same home. This is why it is dangerous to marry someone you don’t know because knowing his/her background will give you an insight into his or her behavior.
Temperament differences will also be there: There is no how both the husband and the wife will be of the same temperament. There will be some differences, even if they have the same dominant temperament, the subordinate will not be the same.
Denominational differences: there are times where both spouses are not coming from the same denominational background even as Christians, every denomination has its own unique doctrines or teaching which makes it different from others. The couple must understand this and try to make a balance based on the Bible.
So for marriage to work, individual differences must be understood and worked on, to achieve the original goal
Show Love and Concern on Matters Concerning your Spouse and his/her Family:
Everyone needs to be cared for. Everyone wants to be loved. Love in marriage should be reciprocal, if you want to keep your home, you must be ready to show love and concern to matters concerning your spouse and his/her family. You can’t claim you love someone while you care less about his/her well-being and family. In a home where there is no love, there is no God because God is love.
Handle your Misunderstandings with Maturity
There is no marriage without misunderstanding. No matter how careful you are, you will have issues to attend to, there will always be a conflict to handle. The way you handle it matters. When you have issues in your marriage, settle it as mature children of God and avoid the third party. Forgive each other quickly as there will always be offenses. See every error as the seed of the Devil to distract God’s purpose for your home and prayerfully uproot every root of evil from your marriage
Be Committed to your Marital Obligation
Everyone has an obligation in the home. As the man (husband), you are the head which shows that you are to see God’s vision for your home, you are to be the prophet and priest of your home, you are to intercede for your family and provide for your home, you are to see to the welfare of everybody in that home. It might be a heavy responsibility but that is what it takes to be the head.
As a woman, you have your responsibility too. The welfare of the home is in your hand, you are to be a help meet for your husband which means you are to be submissive and support him in everything godly.
Proverb 14:1 says a wise woman builds her own home, which means that the structure of the home is in your hands, the way your house looks like shows who you are as a woman. The appearance of your husband and children shows how responsible you are. When you see a man struggling for recognition outside, it is a sign that he doesn’t get enough recognition at home. So, you can help in building your husband’s confidence and self-worth, feed your husband well, and give him spiritual, financial, emotional, and physical support. If everyone is committed to his/her marital obligations, God’s purpose for the home will be fulfilled.
Marital exploit is part of Gods programme for his people but according to Daniel 11:32, it takes people who know their God to do exploit. Just allow God in your life and you will get more of him in your home. So if you have not given your life to Jesus, your home is not safe.