“If you base your marriage on love alone,the relationship is bound to fail.” Pastor Musyimi(Mamlaka Hill Chapel),said this in a wedding ceremony I attended on the 14th of April 2017.
I…take you…to be my lawfully wedded…to have and hold, in sickness and health,for richer for poorer…till death do us part.
These vows are binding.Going against them,has very serious repercussions/consequences.
What does the Bible say about vows? (All the scriptures in this write-up are from the NIV version)
- Ecclesiastes 5:4-8; “When you make a vow to God,do not delay in fulfilling it.He has no pleasure in fools;fulfil your vow.”
‘Vow-breakers’ for lack of a better word are equated to fools.
- Numbers 30:2; “When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to bind himself by a pledge,He must not break his word but must do everything he said.”
The Bible strongly expresses how binding vows are,note the words must and fulfil.
A couple holds a very beautiful wedding ceremony and barely 6months-1year into the marriage, problems escalate as days go by…endless calls and visits to Pastors’ offices and marriage counsellors with the most common statements being, “I do not love him/her anymore”… “S/he cannot give me a child”… “S/he does not satisfy me”… “The in-laws…” … “I am tired of him/her,I cannot stand his/her presence”… “I want out”…
Were these people asleep when they were verbalising the vows?…What went wrong where?…Darlene Schacht once said, “A long lasting marriage is built by two people who believe in and live by the solemn promise they made”
Let’s go back to the basics.What went wrong where?
- Wrong Foundation
“When the foundations are being destroyed,what can the righteous do?” (Psalms 11:3)
As long as the foundation of a skyscraper is not deep and wide enough to contain the weight,no matter how beautiful the sky scraper looks,it will eventually develop cracks and finally give way.On the same breath,as long as you enter into a marriage relationship on the foundation of love alone the marriage won’t last because love is an emotion that is subject to change. One can wake up after a wedding night and not feel a thing for the other and that is the beginning of the end.The two most sure foundations to build your marriage on are:God and commitment. God because, He instituted marriage. Owning up to Him will hold your marriage together.Commitment because this does not allow room for loopholes.I came across a quote by Herman Kieval that states, “Marriage is a commitment-a decision to do,all through life,that which will express your love for one’s spouse” Through commitment one believes in and lives by the solemn promises made on the altar…till death do us part.
- Who are you listening to?
It is amazing to note that,after one gets married, friends automatically become ‘marriage counsellors’ They have opinions about everything! Radio shows wholly dedicated to trashing the marriage institution as well,contribute to a rocky marriage. Marriage works.Society just has a way of magnifying negativity.Remember the Bible says, bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33).One might have entered into this with a positive attitude and all of a sudden,negativity creeps in because of what one listens to.Paranoia sets in and eventually the marriage is rocked.When your marriage is not doing as you expected,look to God before you run to anyone else. Run to God,hold each other by the hand and trust Him to help you.People’s opinions come in as secondary.Infact,doing away with what the world has to offer is much better.
- Peer/Societal Pressure
Biological clock syndrome.Rushing into marriage because it’s ‘time bad’ is a major mistake.Your heart is not there,you are doing it for all the wrong reasons!As soon as you do what society demands by a certain age,then you slump back into your old ways.All you needed was a ring on it and you are good.The other,is just but that…the other.Social media has pushed people to wild extents. All your friends are getting engaged, some married…desperation sets in and mistakes are inevitable.James 5:12 says, “But above all,my brothers,do not swear either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no’so that you may not fall under condemnation”
Do not stand at the altar,before God to say what you do not mean.Do not make vows because of peer/societal pressure.You condemn yourself to a life of misery.Remember In His time God will make everything beautiful (Ecclesiastes 3:11).A mature single is not abnormal.Do not destroy your life to make people happy,fulfil your parents’ demands or measure up to your friends.
“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery,idolatry and witchcraft;hatred, discord, jealousy,fits of rage,selfish ambition, dissensions,factions and envy,drunkenness,orgies and the like. I warn you as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21).All the above are destructions that easily creep into a marriage and break it to pieces.Many things compete for attention in the world today,social media,work,friends,alcohol and drugs, lust…marriages have sunk because of these and more as mentioned in Gal 5.Lust of the flesh(e.g porn,flirty talk), lust of the eyes(e.g admiring one,other than spouse)and the pride of life(selfish ambition) are destructions with 101% probability of destroying a marriage.Harmless as they seem or appear to be,they are like cancer cells that spread and eventually destroy. Be intentional in your marriage.Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life(Proverbs 4:23).
Please do not treasure trash,treasure your marriage,cherish your spouse and this will not allow room for loopholes that will bring about disaster.
Having a ring on it does not give you the go-ahead to use your status to impose terms and conditions on your spouse,as a means to an end. Some go to extents of withholding conjugal rights.It appears to be ‘working just fine’ in the short run.Using the wedding ring to impose on the spouse because of the indispensable belief is treading on dangerous grounds. Allow me to mention a very interesting scripture concerning this, about prophet Elijah.1Kings 19:14-16; “He replied, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord Almighty.The Israelites have rejected your covenant,broken down your altars and put your prophets to death with the sword.I am the only one left and now they are trying to kill me too.The Lord said to him, ‘Go back the way you came and go to the Desert of Damascus.When you get there,anoint Hazael King over Aram,also anoint Jehu son of Nimshi King over Israel and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet”…Elijah thought he was indispensable… Shock on him!Reading on you will notice that God had 7000 more who did not bow to Baal!
Are you married or are planning to get married?Remember this,you are not indispensable, do not take your significant other for granted.He or she will bump onto a man or woman who is warm and welcoming and does not give terms and conditions.Who will you blame?…Think about this.
- Superiority Complex
Ephesians 5:22-25; “Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord,for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church…Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” God instituted marriage for companionship first then to have the husband as the head and the wife submitting to him.Whether the wife is working and husband is not,whether the latter is working and the wife is not and regardless of education differences,Gods’ blue print concerning marriage remains.
Barbara Cage once stated,
“Love is a partnership of two unique people who bring out the very best in each other,and who know that even though they are wonderful as individuals,they are even better together.
Wife appreciate your husband regardless and same applies to husband.I heard a very interesting quote today on radio by Pst Juliet of CITAM(Christ is The Answer Ministries), “Lower your expectations to raise appreciation”Also see Ephesians 5:33.
I am not a marriage counselor😊 but a very keen observer of what goes on around me.I have learnt the above from other people’s experiences and I have longed to share this with you.There are more points but for today,meditate on the above.Think through your marriage and purpose to live better by the help of God.My pastor always says, “Don’t leave your marriage,stay there and pray,for prayer changes things” Remember, as soon as you walk out,someone is ready to step in😑
To those married, engaged or single invest in books,Gary Chapman is one author whose books are worth reading and many more,invest in marriage and relationship seminars,listen to those who have gone ahead and learn from them.Personally,I love doing all this for my future and that of my family.
To those in dating relationships or engaged for marriage,do not compromise your values.Keep the marriage bed pure. Wait for the right time to explore each other.
I end with a quote by Fawn Weaver,
Happily ever after is not a fairy tale.It’s a choice.
Have an intentional week full of God’s mercy and grace and happy new month in advance!
Always grateful for your tireless support!
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