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Hebrews 13:4, Proverbs 18:22;14:34; 1 Corinthians 4:2 ; Amos 3:3.
Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the LORD. Proverbs 18:22.
Love: “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things , endureth all things” . 1 Corinthians 13:7.
We have already dealt with what is marriage and what marriage is not.
We all agree that marriage is a divine institution; a creation of God to make man and woman created in His image, to live together: to complement each other in order to fulfil God’s desired purpose for instituting it namely : companionship, conjugal relationship and perpetuation of the human race. Genesis 2:18, 21-25.
Given the above background, we will go into the Scriptures to find out the principles that are intended by God to GOVERN the MARRIAGE INSTITUTION and it’s essence.
We shall hinge the conversation on :
The 10-As To GOVERN
a Given Christian Marriage.
By way of explaining, the point should be made clear that the marriage in question is already established. The couple has consummated the honeymoon.
Also, to be understood is that we deliberately chose these As to enhance remembrance and application.
Again, we must emphasize that Marriage has a way it brings the two parties to the same level . This also means that no party is superior to the other. Marriage is a leveler because these issues we are going to discuss are mutual. It applies to both parties.
Having made these clarifications, shall we then MOVE:
- ACCEPTANCE. Proverbs 18:22:
For marriage to be initiated, there must be acceptance of each other by the persons involved in the relationship. The acceptance of one party cannot be enough to initiate a marriage relationship. The acceptance must be mutual by the couple. Acceptance goes further to include accepting the couple’s families without complaining. Acceptance covers couple’s background, family status, and everything about the couple and their families. Love is the foundation of acceptance, else, the relationship will be dead on arrival, to use that worn cliche.
In Genesis 24, both Rebeccah and Isaac accepted their persons. And their marriage flourished , whereas Jacob never accepted Leah. And we all know the consequences. Leah was hated, and routinely denied her conjugal rights.
2, Accommodation. Proverbs 17:17:
Marriage is about friendship. And friendship is about accommodating each other , despite our differences. Given that human beings must necessarily have their differences, we must learn to accommodate such differences. Accommodation becomes easier where there is loving acceptance of your spouse: mannerisms, weaknesses, and all character limitations. This doesn’t include bad habits or ungodly hubristic attitudes that inhibit relationship. Such bad attitudes or habits should be broken. That is why we are God’s children.
3, Affection (Love): 1 Corinthians 13.
Proverbs 5:15-19; 31:30.
The Bible says that love covers a multitude of sins. Where there is enough love, overwhelming affection for each other, couples hardly count offense. Offenses are multiplied in the face of hate, bitterness and rancor. It’s said that a friend seeks one positive to love , while an enemy searches for one negative from all positives to hate.
Spouses with affection for each other find it hard to indulge in extra marital affairs because it is usually difficult to see another man or woman as affectionately attractive as your spouse. It’s also a product of deep affection that couples could love to the END: in poverty of materials, in sickness or health depreciation, in absence of children and other challenges.
Affection does not depend on wealth or children or any possession. It is based on the love of God and His word which has no insincerity or dissimulation.
Paul tells the Corinthian Church that .. our love or affection for each other MUST be total: To cherish. To desire. To show affection. To welcome and accept. To empathize. To sympathize. To endear oneself. To receive with kindness. To be fond of. To hold as dear .To care. To touch warningly. To say good words. To serve one. To make comfortable. To give gifts. To express gratitude.When you love, speaking the language of love is easy and contagious. They flow freely. Even the blind will feel it because it will touch him or her.
The opposite of Love (Affection) is HATE ( resentment): To be envious. To be jealous. To resent. To be bitter. To deny kindness. To show anger. To be rebellious. To reject submission and obedience. To talk against. To lie against. To be indifferent. To denounce or refuse goodness. To blackmail. To subdue intentionally. To violate. To steal from one. To instigate against. To breach a bond, an agreement , a contract or a covenant as in MARRIAGE.
When affection or love is not in place, hate and resentment take over. And that is why so many marriages are, today, in limbo, comatose .
From the x-ray above, we can see that love goes with 1, Expression by words.2, By Giving of Time 3, By Gifting as exemplified by God who gave us Jesus as Savior and Lord. 4, By Rendering service, and 5, By a Touch of care, physically.(We will converse more on these subsequently elsewhere ).
4, Agreement Amos 3:3. Matthew 18:19:
The Bible is very clear on this truth: That TWO can only walk together if they are agreed. Agreement presupposes that couples come together in agreement on certain fundamental issues involved in marriage, ( although there should be agreement in all things).
Agreement covers everything and all things carried out by the family.
They include: place of worship or church to belong after marriage if need be; family prayers and fasting period; number of children to have or adopt; regularity of conjugal union; type of careers and businesses to pursue; school for the children;how to train the kids — modalities to be adopted.; nature of bank accounts to be kept– private, joint among others.
Things like color of car, color of house to be bought or built, change of jobs, time of vacationing and visits of family members and friends , especially if they are staying overnight , among others should be discussed and agreed upon. By every standard, nothing should be done without agreement. This is the way of enduring peace and harmony in the home. Let not husband or wife take each other for granted even if you are the one making the MONEY. Happy Sunday. God bless. (To be continued).
Pastor Okoro is a revivalist, and marriage counselor. Can be reached on: 08051000462. All references are from KJV, except otherwise stated.