The Marriage Institution (XI)

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Ephesians 4:24-32. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour for we are members one of another. Ephesians 4:24-25.

As we near concluding our conversation on marriage, let me appreciate you for being patient in following through. We went this far in this conversation because we are aware that anything done in marriage or for marriage must be thorough, full and complete to be right and full proof. There is no half measure in marriage issues. Otherwise, it will be like adding inadequate salt to a good meal and losing its taste. Thank you, therefore, for being there.
Today , we are going to converse on:

What Couples MUST do together.

These issues may appear repetitive. They could, but the point is that spouses playing their own part, without the others playing their own part will meet limited success. That is why we are taking time to bring couples together to be on the same page in the marriage book.

  1. Total show of commitment. Both husband and wife must show total commitment to their marriage and family
    relationship. There should be nothing between the couple after God. Many couples make the mistake of placing the church ahead of their marriage and family in the pecking order of importance. No. Your marriage and family should come first and ahead of your church and the extended relationships and work. You must work hard at making your marriage work by being totally committed and absolutely loyalty. Marriage should be seen as a military engagement where 99. 9 per cent loyalty is no loyalty at all. When you abandon a sick spouse for churching; When you neglect feeding your family to pay church building funds; When you assist a church member , friend or an extended family relation at the cost of your marriage; Then there’s no commitment. Such a spouse would have God to contend with for being unfaithful and simple – minded. He stands rebuked before heaven and, before men of good will and conscience. Commitment is total.

2, Sacrificial Love for each other. The ONLY way to understand this better is to consider the relationship between Jesus and the Church. Jesus died for the Church, even while we were yet sinners. Romans 5:8. The implication of this is that couples should be ready to die for each other. I ran a test on this amongst some married men and women sometime ago. Strangely, none agreed to die for the other. Even, most of the men preferred their MOTHER more than their wives. You see , the danger in not being sacrificial is simple: You cannot be totally committed to that marriage relationship because you have a PLAN B. And as a believer, should you?
Couples who are also sacrificial in love, and who wish to build a formidable marriage of love, care and consideration are sensitive to each other, considerate in words , deeds and actions with each other. They choose their words carefully, and are ready always to apologize to each other. Boostful words like: ” A whole me, I can’t descend so low to apologize to him/ her, or Do you know who I am”, are not in their vocabulary. They understand marriage to be a school of peace, patience and perseverance. And love covers a multitude of sins.

3, Render Service to each other.
Our traditions should not be allowed to define our family duties. When a husband has the opportunity , he should do the dishes, wash , cook , sweep and clean up rooms, in the spirit of ‘ bear ye one another’s burden’. Galatians 6:2. Similarly, a wife can fix the car, the electricals, the generator and the falling ceiling and windows. There should be no hard and fast rules to GOVERN our family assignments insofar as the whole idea is to make the marriage WORK.

4, Pursuit of Peace in the HOME. The pursuit of peace is a long distance affair in marriage. A kind of marathon which demands the total being in love, in patience and in long suffering, as well as a resolve to make heaven. Where couples are resolute to ensure the survival, stability , success and significance of their marriage, they will do everything possible to make it work. Given that the christian marriage has no option of divorce, it becomes even more imperative for couples to go the extra mile to power their marriage to impact and significance and full consumption till death ” do you part”.

5 . Work hard at baking the cake. Proverbs 22:29 demands that we work with some level of excellence so that we can build adequate financial capacity to take care of the home. Many challenges faced by marriages are financial. Therefore, couples should try to build multiple sources of income to save their marriage from financial hemorrhage. This is also necessary because of old age. Whereas, we can train our children very well, have them placed in competitive job market, sometimes these children disappoint. The pensions too also could disappoint. Social welfare is not in vogue in our third world. The safety net any couple can have is multiple streams of income in case of the rainy day. We neglect this to our disadvantage and peril. May God grant us the wisdom of the ANTS in Proverbs 6:6-7, and the smartness of the Issachars in 1 Chronicles 12:32.

  1. Work hard to ensure spending less than what you earn as income. And break every habit that makes it difficult to keep to family budget .One family account is advisable to check and regulate expenditure.

7, Work hard at knowing and understanding each other. Know each other’s body functions, thoughts and possible reactions to issues and developments . This reduces conflict and waste of time and energy on non essentials. Study your moods and temperaments. Psalms19:12-13.

8, Work hard at forgiving each other. Romans 12: 17.

  1. Provoke each other unto love. Hebrews 10:24.

10, Work hard at keeping the BED warm. There are so many things that work against this. Couples must resolve not to bring work home, unless circumstances dire demand it. 1 Corinthians 7:1-5,32-34.

11, Agree on family goals and values. And pursue them. Goals must be set with Timelines, while values must be with Biblical standpoints. Children must be trained upon set values. They must also be initiated into family values as they grow to understand them. Same standards must be applied to the kids, except for those challenged.

  1. Build an altar of prayers together where you can call upon God regularly.
    At the altar, you also give hope to yourselves. The altar should serve as a place of prayers, praise, worship, thanksgiving and encouragement. You also hear from God at the altar. Husbands must discipline themselves to lead their wives at the altar . Men who pray commit less sin . Those who don’t pray walk into destruction like Cain and Esau. Those like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who built altars end gloriously. And save their families from avoidable danger.
  2. Work hard at pleasing God: Psalms 119:105. Galatians 6:7. Luke 6:38.
  • Be consumed by His zeal and the Great Commission. John 9:4.
    *Pay your tithes. Malachi 3:8-10. Haggai 1:6-7.
  • Be diligent members of your local church..
  • Love the brethren and give to them..1 Timothy 6:17-19.
  • Give regularly to your Pasto gos, even if you think they are richer than you.
  1. Run away from * Anger,,– it’s a fool’s tool. * Lying– it drives away trust and destroys the fabrics of marital foundation.* Lust – it reduces one to a piece of bread. Sexual sin drains a man’s labour . Avoid it as a plague .
  • Covetousness/ greed– it blinds you from the needs of others, some of whom you are far more better than. It deprives you the joy of giving to God, the Church and your spiritual heads, whose blessings you need to ENLARGE.
  1. As a couple, seek to be like Jesus. Phillipians 2:5. Thanks. Happy Sunday.

Next week we will answer some questions . That will be the conclusion. God bless.

Pastor Okoro is a revivalist and Marriage Counselor. He can be reached on: 08051000462

  1. All Bible ref is KJV, except otherwise stated.
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