Relationship – Marriage
Continuing with the theme of relationship, this week I want to address marriage. Again, as I have stated in every post under the theme of relationship: we need to be in a close relationship with Christ FIRST in order for other relationships to work, including marriage to work. Without being bonded to Christ, we will find marriage and all the challenges that come a long with it to be burdensome. Having a good relationship with ourselves, friends, family, and community will hopefully help us mature to be ready for marriage.
A lot of people (Christians included) go into marriage not fully understanding what it means, or what God designed it to be. God, not man, created marriage. Marriage is holy and the sex that comes along with it is holy, and God is holding the two people that enter into a marriage covenant to keep it, though marriages end and some have to- it saddens God because he hates brokenness (Malachi 2:16). But, He is expecting for people to grow up, and put away childish and selfish things, and put in the effort to be a good spouse. That’s why obtaining as much education or vocational training and waiting some time, after having some life experiences will make one a stronger and more mature marriage partner.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” –Genesis 2:24
I don’t believe there is one person for another person. For Christians, there is one type of person for you in the sense that they should be a committed Christian like you, closely yoked to your theological views and that they are chasing Jesus at the same speed as you are. When a committed Christian who is seeking Jesus chooses to marry a non-Christian or a Christian of a different dogmatic view there will be more challenges, struggles, disagreements, arguments, and misunderstandings. If you can live with this, if you can understand what you’re getting into, and that there might be potential children that will witness these challenges and might choose a side as they grow and think for themselves (which might cause one parent distress) then go for it. When you make your bed and choose to marry someone, knowing the unyoked challenges that WILL arise, God will hold you to your vow. So remember that on the challenging days filled with arguments and disagreements!
Marriage counseling before “the question” is popped and wedding planning begins is a good idea. In it everything will come out- thoughts about money, if kids are wanted, sex, past mistakes, expectations, religious beliefs, in-laws, jobs, etc will come out and should come out.
Before one enters into marriage they need to know who they are, what they stand for, have some idea of where they are trying to get to in their individual lives so when a potential mate comes they can discern if that person is in some way headed in the same direction as them, and they must have dealt with past baggage (i.e. family issues, abuse issue, self-esteem issues, sexual sins- just any kind of pain). You want to receive healing from past deep issues of life because it’s going to come out in the marriage anyways, but you have a Savior that will do some major work on your heart, so that it won’t divide the marriage.
For all, it would be great if they knew Christ and are in a relationship with Him before marriage, but this is unrealistic as the world is diverse with other types of religions. But for the Christians, knowing Christ and who you are in Him is a must! Marriage takes a lot of work and without being rooted in Christ, people will at various times in their marriage run into their own carnality- it could be a one of a hundred different things but there will be some of it going on.
Now, I’d just like to say for those who have no faith in anything, when you don’t have any moral rules then there is nothing to jerk you back from your own CARNALITY. What do I mean by carnality? When Christ is not your moral compass- when you get hit with a temptation or challenge, you have no faith in God to stop you from running and falling. By carnality it could be- “overworking”- working long hours all the time (not in reason), without giving any respect for the spouse or family that you have at home. And you think that you’re doing good because you’re financially providing, but others in your life are suffering. Other types: spending too much time doing sports or whatever, and not spending time with your family; being emotionally distant and/ or closed when serious conversations are needed to be had with your partner; having inappropriate “friendships” of any kind; having an extramarital affair (Hebrews 13: 4-7); showing mental, physical, and/ or verbal abuse towards your spouse; mistreating your kids- like I said it could be one of a hundred different things, which can be complicated to self introspect and get freedom from, but whatever it is, it is rooted in selfishness. And a marriage is under suffocating constraints when one is being selfish.
Before Christ our hearts were wicked (Jeremiah 17:9-10). It’s terrifying to think about what the human heart is in a marriage if one doesn’t have Christ- i.e. Ike Turner towards Tina Turner, Sean Penn toward his spouses, Eminem toward his, as well as Mike Tyson, Tiger Woods, Bill Cosby, Mary Todd Lincoln’s abuse toward Abraham Lincoln, etc. We’re all in need of a Savior who will work on our hearts so that we can be the best spouses. And that’s why we need to understand the importance of first, a relationship with Christ, a good relationship with ourselves and platonic people, and also a marriage relationship. And we should only marry a person who is a committed Christian, who too has the Savior of the world jerking back their sinful hearts, turning them from the deathly traps of temptation when it arises, because they are striving to be the best husband or wife, and / or mother or father- “taking the hurdles of life as they come because they want to make the road as smooth and joyful as possible.”
Happy Friday & With Love! xx