Marriage Redefined

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So what is the purpose of marriage?

The institution of marriage has been here since creation. But, lately it has taken a knock. Some statistics say 50% of all marriages will end in divorce. Marital infidelity is on an all time high. We hear horror stories from married couples that shock and perhaps even repulse some of us singles. There is also the push for same sex marriages, open marriages, and come we stay unions. Everywhere, it seems like marriage is NOT what we’ve always thought it to be. But why is this? What is marriage? What is the purpose of marriage? Is marriage for everyone?

One of our generation’s greatest needs is to simply redefine marriage from God’s perspective, and help us with making informed choices whether we are married, single and searching, or wanting to live a single life for good.

Read Genesis 2:15-24

We need to  get the pressure off marriage. It feels to me like every singles hangout or sermon is a coded message asking, Utaoa lini?  “When will you get married?” What we have to do is simply break down the institution of marriage. Look at it like you would from a bird’s eye view. And discover what it should look like. This will give us the power to make Godly informed choices. And whether you will end up married or single, there are valuable truths to glean from this conversation because Godly and informed choices bring me joy and peace in my future.

What is marriage?

Marriage is not a contract; it’s a covenant relationship in which a man and a woman are united together as one in order to accomplish God’s purpose for their lives. (Genesis 2:24)

What is a covenant? Smith’s Bible Dictionary defines covenant as a solemn agreement between two parties, with witnesses, where both parties agree to fulfill certain conditions and thereby receive certain advantages. A contract and a covenant are different.

  • A covenant is based on trust between parties. A contract is based on distrust.
  • A covenant is based on unlimited responsibility. A contract involves limited liability.
  • A covenant cannot be broken if new circumstances occur. A contract can be voided by mutual consent. See the obvious differences between the two?

Godly and informed choices bring me joy and peace in my future.

What is the basic qualification for marriage?

  1. Being of legal marriageable age in your country/state.
  2. You love each other, and want to spend the rest of your lives together.
  3. Scripturally, a Christian should only marry another Christian.

Why are there increasing numbers of older singles today? (and it’s not just women)

This is a difficult issue, one that cannot be resolved in one answer, but one many are asking that it’s spoken into nonetheless. From what feedback, surveys and conversations are saying, few things are starting to stand out, because this is a cultural issue.  Here are some of them

  1. People are spending more time in school and career preparation. By the time they want to concentrate on marriage, their potential mates have moved on. The pool of people to marry from is greatly reduced.
  2. People have become too choosy. With increasing exposure to different cultures and higher levels of education, people find themselves being fussy about whom they feel fits into their desired world and do not want to compromise that at all.
  3. The Blurring of gender: Because of the push for gender equality, men becoming more effeminate and women more masculine (in terms of leadership), some men feel like marrying will mean they have to let the woman be dominant in the relationship while women feel like they will have to lose their identity to become wives.

I honestly believe that this situation can begin to be addressed when we begin to understand God’s intended purpose for marriage, and that clearly knowing what marriage is will help us make informed, godly choices which will result in joyful and peaceful futures.

Godly and informed choices bring me joy and peace in my future

So what is the purpose of marriage?

  1. Companionship. (To have a friend): 6 times in creation, God says it’s good. But in Gen 2: 18, God says it’s not good for man to be alone. We are relational creatures, not created to live in isolation. Marriage was ordained to provide companionship throughout life. To compliment us and meet our primary relational needs. Survey shows that marriages that last are when the two become friends for life.
  2. Support (To have help):  I will make him a helper fit for him vs. 18. We are created to need help.  One of the things marriage does is kill an unhealthy independent spirit and self-centeredness. When we are married, it’s so we can have a constant support base to live life. We have someone to help, encourage, correct and challenge us when the need arises. The pressure of life is lessened when we have someone to bear it with. Someone we are yoked together with so we can plough together through life.
  3. Bearing and Rearing (Kids): Marriage was designed to have children in it and for them to be raised knowing and loving God. Nothing God gives us is to die with us! He intended it handed down to a generation. Every child has a divine plan in them, and parents are entrusted to shape them for it, and lead them well. A godly marriage is the place God intended for the nurture to take place. Where single parents exist, I believe God grants great grace when we ask Him, and help to parent kids as we should.
  4. Enjoyment (To have Fun):  Amazingly, God wants marriage, the deepest of all relationships to produce enjoyment. This comes from doing ‘life’ together, not separately. It’s found in sexual intimacy that’s to be in the marriage exclusively.  When spouses become friends, their intimacy is satisfying and a safeguard against infidelity. In marriage, we have someone to laugh, play and share our happy days with.
  5. Witness (To Tell a Story). In Eph 5: 31-33) Paul compares marriage to the story of love between God and his people, the church. When husbands love their wives selflessly, being willing to die for them, and when wives submit to their husbands out of respect and love, in a commitment that cannot be broken, it tells a powerful story to the world of how Christ and his church (His Bride) relate to one another

Godly and informed choices bring me joy and peace in my future

So what is God calling us to? I simply believe we need to re-look at what we have believed about marriage in light of God’s truth. If we can realign our beliefs with God’s truth, then we will begin to make Godly and informed choices that will bring us joy and peace in the area of marriage.

Whether you are going to end up in marriage or not, it’s important to make sure that your choice and decision is NOT baggage determined, Pain controlled or lie centered. Don’t rush to get married to get ‘fixed’ and don’t choose singleness to remain ‘safe’. Both these choices are built on negative experiences and could potentially bring us pain and regret later on.  Marriage choice will have a big impact on the future of our families and the people we love and influence.

Godly and Informed choices bring me joy and peace in my future

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9 Responses to “Marriage Redefined”

  1. Bonnface Says:

    I have been married for 5yrs and blessed with 2 kids, but every year we have separation due to issues between me and my beloved wife, but we end up reuniting again. this year the same but it’s so hurting to experience this now and then. Personally i don’t believe in separation neither do i in divorce which am 100% it will never happen to my marriage no matter what.

    After reading the above message, my mind have open up and awaken my spiritual senses of understanding marriage, my spouse and the purpose.

    I give thanks to GOD for this separation as it has made me know his will and purpose for marriage.

    I ask the church to stand with me in prayers as i receive the gift of marriage, love and priestly wisdom that will enable me to be the husband GOD created me to be. And i declare my wife transformation too as she prepare to receive the new life in our marriage AMEN.

    Thank you

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  2. I surely do agree that marriage is not for everyone because it is a union of and for 2 good forgivers. With what the world has come to today holding up a marriage/relationship without Christ being the center of it is quite difficult. Kirk Franklin admitted he was addicted to porn, Benny Hinn recently had issues with his marriage to a point of divorce, another re-known pastor also had his wife expecting a baby for another man & pressure from the church made her want to abort but the pastor forgave his wife and took the young boy like his own son….these are only some of the few told stories. Many people refer to them as stories, I prefer to refer to them as testimonies.

    Looking back at these testimonies I always ask myself wouldn’t it be easy for these Christians to go through these issues easily if the church supported them? How many posts and links made rounds on internet condemning them even from the church? Waswahili husema hakuna neno kama mwanaharamu ila kitendo ndicho haramu. As Christians we should be condemning sin but not sinners. If He (Jesus) without sin did not throw the stone to the adulterous woman why should we with sin throw stones instead of using these stones to re-build the church/Christians with re-newed spirits to serve Him?

    Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:8-11… Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God which is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

    Besides, It is also written that Jesus did not come for the perfect people but for the lost sheep and how the heavens rejoice each time one of the lost sheep returns to the fold and Jesus knows His sheep and His sheep know His voice. And so did Kirk an Benny amongst others who have fallen short of His grace sought for forgiveness and it is no longer them who live but Christ doing good works through them for His glory. Why then did God ask Hosea to go marry an adulterous woman in Hosea 3:1 which says after Gomer had left Hosea and was living in immorality, the Lord commanded Hosea to find her and buy her back. God was continuing His illustration, except now He wanted to show the greatness of His grace: “Even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods.” Hosea’s faithful love of Gomer was an illustration of God’s faithfulness to wayward Israel. Just as Gomer had been unfaithful to her husband and had to be redeemed, Israel needed God’s initiative to restore their relationship.

    In conclusion, dear church, if we are preaching water lets drink water. David said rejoice not my enemy when I fall because I will yet rise again. Just like He did with David, God looks at our hearts even when he is match making. Therefore, I would say the perfect spouse is the one who knows God and is upright, when he falls he raises like David. On the other hand our role as the church is to bring and restore salvation in marriages and relationships regardless of peoples shortcomings. The church leadership needs to remind Christians to have courage and stand by our fallen brothers and sisters in marriages and relationships. Husbands love your wives just as Jesus (the groom) loved his bride (the church) regardless to a point He died on the cross to bare our sins. Testimonies build the church miracles are not only when the blind physically see but also spiritually gain their sight. The church should be a haven of solace and not condemnation.

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  3. Reblogged this on Summer's Blog and commented:
    This is so real and spot on.

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  4. three things i disagree with
    – women more masculine (in terms of leadership)
    – an unhealthy independent spirit
    – wives submit to their husbands out of respect and love

    it seems as though there is quite some effort geared towards maintaining the status quo. men are the leaders, and thats that. in this day and age of increased recognition of the very real equality between the sexes, can these three statements be looked at from a different perspective
    – does a more masculine woman in any way detract from the man’s masculinity? if the man is secure in his masculinity, seems to be that this should not even be a source of contention
    – an healthy independent spirit – kind of like John the baptist maybe? or Rahab who took in and sheltered two spies despite what her family members must surely have said.
    – submission is a two way street

    Just some thoughts

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  5. blogger But, I do agree with you entirely.

    I disagree with the notion that gender equality leads to men being effeminate and women being masculine. We seems to be suggesting that leadership is a male attribute. We also seems to be encouraging the status quo which often is cultural perceptions that women have to shrink for men to thrive. If this is the understanding then women’s apprehension that they will lose their identity once they marry is very true and this needs not to be jeered at or disdained.

    I cringe every time I read or hear from pulpit that gender equality is bad because underneath such statement is veiled perception that women are inferior and men are superior. Abhorrence to gender equality by Christianity was used and continues to be used to bar women from assuming leadership position in church. Such abhorrence does not take into consideration that men and women have different temperaments which influence how they make decisions and approach life generally. For example, a Choleric woman and a Phlegmatic man are different in their approach to issues and as well in displaying their emotions; just to mention a few incidents.

    Our understanding of gender equality needs to be revisited. Gender equality in the context of relationship means women having the same choice and freedom as men to air their views and take part in the decision making process within a family.

    While at it, I find it overemphasis on submission of wives towards husbands rather interesting because submission is a two way process. Moreover, submission is an everyday phenomenon that is required of men and women in other spheres such as workplace, and children -both male and female-towards parents e.t.c.

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  6. Pastor Wa Says:

    Dear Lady B and But,
    We need to look at submission and leadership in light of Scripture so we do not err in our understanding. I’m going to post the scripture from Ephesians 5:22-33 from the amplified Bible, which simply expounds on the text from the Greek.
    Secondly, there is a place for mutual submission, that is; when it comes to decisions, both spouses submit to the better idea, or to the more gifted spouse. However, when it comes to the leadership in the home, the Bible is succinct. The Man IS responsible to lead, and be the head, the wife is to submit to that leadership. It is not about VALUE, its about ROLES. I find that submission becomes distasteful to people when these two are mixed up. Hope you can somewhat begin to see the point here.
    Anyway, here goes the scripture.

    22 Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.

    23 For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body.

    24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.

    25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

    26 So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word,

    27 That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless].

    28 Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.

    29 For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church,

    30 Because we are members (parts) of His body.

    31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

    32 This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church.

    33 However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [[a]that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and [b]that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].

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  7. Pastor Wa, thank you for your response. I wish to respond and hope that this will spur on further and honest discussions. In stating this I note that you did not touch on some of the statements I made which in my view are of merit.
    When you say that the Bible is clear on the man’s leadership in the home and distinguish it as a role and not value, I am lost because role is something that can be assumed by anyone. I note when it comes to scriptures a lot of emphasis in relation to marriage is placed on women’s submission and not for example on need for men to live in understanding with their wives as they are enjoined 1 Peter 3:7, and other scriptures as pertains to marriage. While I appreciate that scripture from Ephesians that you have posted, it does confirm my observation that when we talk of submission often we are quick to refer to the scripture in Ephesians and not for example 1 Peter 2:13 that requires us all of us to submit to leaders. I pointed out this tendency in my earlier post.
    Even though you concede that there is a place for ‘mutual submission’ in making decisions – where spouses agree on the better idea or defer to the more gifted spouses on certain aspects. But this assertion runs counter to your subsequent statement that the husband is the ordained leader of the home and wives must submit to that leadership. It is not lost to me that you use capital letters here when making this assertion; this reveals a lot about tone and notion regarding women that you are advocating or may have. Well you state that the woman can engage in sharing ideas, making suggestions but the man holds the final say, which raises the question why should women share their ideas in the first place if a man will have the final say?
    Granted, leadership is crucial for things to run smoothly and in an organized way in any place, including in the home. But the kind of approach that you are suggesting is one that assumes that all men are good, kind, loving and humble and that they will be happy to adopt their wives’ decisions and ideas. In real life, this is often not the case because many men have interpreted the idea of ‘submission’ to mean that they are the authority – what they say goes, what they don’t say cannot happen – which means what they like, what they think is right or worthy will hold the day. What then becomes of a woman when she is married? Does she cease to have a mind of her own? Does she cease to be worthy in her own right? Does it mean that what she cares about can easily be disregarded if the husband (the leader of the home) feels it is not worthy? Does it mean that she can no longer determine what is best for her and her family? These are questions that Christian women like me ask ourselves as we evaluate whether marriage is really viable and edifying union to get in, in the first place? More so with churchgoing man who has been infused with notion that he will veto everything about myself? To say the least marriage projected in this view is real scary and almost hideous; I doubt any man would want to be in a woman’s shoe even for hours in the light of this perspective.
    I would much rather have situations where the church preaches genuine and consensual partnership and Christ-like love. This approach is based on the premise that husband and wife are both worthy, equal and special; both their voices, ideas and gifts that they bring to the marriage are important and should be heard, and both have a say in running their family’s affairs. There is nothing novel about this.
    In everyday life, people have to make decisions in groups, teams etc. They table ideas, they negotiate, they evaluate merits and demerits, they use persuasive means to demonstrate the value of an idea – and then they reach consensus. Where consensus cannot be reached, then compromises are voluntarily reached – unlike a situation where one party (the husband) has the power to make the final determination regardless of what the wife feels or thinks. Genuine partnership ensures that every party feels that they have a stake in the marriage and family.
    However, this does not mean that we disregard the Bible. In my view, we need to examine the interpretation of the notion of a husband’s leadership and wife’s submission as described in Ephesians, in a way that does not exalt one spouse of the other. If we looked at the analogy of company CEOs and their roles, we may find some demonstration of what it means to be a leader. Often times, the CEO is the liaison between with the company and external actors, the media spokesperson, looks out for ideas to secure the company’s financial growth and development e.t.c – in essence, they act as representatives of the collective company which consists of various units that jointly conceptualizes and implements projects. Without these units and their meaningful participation, the CEO’s role means nothing; at best what we have is a one’s man show. In making this statement I appreciate for example, that the church has gone at length to discuss and agree or agreed to disagree whether people should drink alcohol or dress in certain manner, or what food we should eat or drink, of which we have scriptures can be used for pro or cons. Why can’t we also look at the submission of wives in context with other scriptures as opposed to looking at it in isolation?
    By simply making reference to Ephesians 5:22-33 in isolation of other scriptures in relation to marriage without examining for example what Christ leadership means and making blanket assertion that equality is bad is a means of stifling discussions that I can only compare my head held down in a bucket of water.

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    • Lady B, I understand what your are saying but I think you are trying to re-align the scriptures to what you belief to be right and workable today. I disagree with you and I believe its for us as Christians to align ourselves with the word of God ( God,s plan or us is always for our own good and not to harm us) Remember its not just for wives to submit to husbands its also for husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. (Christ gave Himself completely to the church). A love that should not be lost in a husbands leadership role.

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