Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Christian Marriage II

By Ema Eirewele-Momoh

It is me again with my sustained interest on the Christian marriage. I am not one to over spiritualize issues but I feel that the pressure to preach what I practice (I prefer this to practice what you preach there’s a slight difference) since I wrote the piece precluding this on the Christian marriage has been heightened.

I am almost regretting sending that piece because I hesitated a great deal before I sent it. But no way; no regrets, no retreat no surrender I guess the issue of being in the battlefield comes to mind right now.

Lately (after that piece) I have been under immense pressure in my home just little provocations here and there that I would ordinarily (before I got enlightened in this area WHILE WRITE THE FAMOUS PIECE) have said “what rubbish” and be quick to remind my spouse that marriage is not a do or die affair (them no dey die put- the pidgin English version) and release all kinds of negative statements about the marriage. But now I ‘know’ better and I try to restrain myself. Please don’t get me wrong by restraining myself I do not mean that I did not give full vent to my anger. It is just that for one, I did not talk about moving out or being tired of the marriage or ask myself what I was doing here. To buttress the difficulty it was to restrain myself, I cried. Cried for the change I was going through; cried because I could not say those words chosen to deliberately hurt and tear one down, with the intent of transferring the hurt one feels to the ‘PHYSICAL’ cause of the hurt; cried because I felt really foolish exposing myself to be hurt (by loving wholly) AND DOING NOTHING ABOUT IT.

Someone once said that the devil is deliberately attacking the family unit subtly but steadily. In fact, the attack is being heightened in the face of the current status of the global economy. According to analysts, more men are being laid off from their jobs for the singular reason (it seems at least in the physical) that they were the higher paid of the 2 sexes anyway, but what is underlying that we need to be discerning is this: Homes become skewed from God’s original plan (of the man being the bread winner and the woman being the help, meet for him to fulfill his God given role). Then we have more women headed homes (they abound even before the crises). Now the woman takes up the responsibility of producing, reproducing and caring. She soon begins to succumb to the pressure of the weight she is carrying, she begins to be fed with lies (in her mind nothing external yet) from the pit of hell that she really doesn’t need the man to the point that she begins to believe it. The cream on this brewing tea will be a rapid successive barrage of the usual provocation that comes from living with somebody else that man (Homo sapiens) must exhibit, then it is only the grace of God that will keep the home intact (the good news is: HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR US).

Let me at this point crave your indulgence to lift as is, what was written for Day 69 of Calvin Miller’s Daily inspirations for those who await the saviour- UNTIL HE COMES (hey by the way my husband bought it for me-now I am posing do allow me)

Dividing the Indivisible
Mathew 5:31-32
“And it was said, ‘WHOEVER DIVORCES HIS WIFE, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DISMISSAL [Deut. 24:1,3]; but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”(Emphasis his not mine).

To divide anything that longs to be whole sins against unity. To cut off the roots of a great tree and separate them from the tree destroys it. For the leaves feed the roots as the roots nourish the leaves. Roots and leaves are vastly different, yet each makes life possible for the other.

Marriage is the grafting of two souls into a wonderful, spiritual interdependency. Life becomes a oneness that did not exist before a promise made a single organism out of seperateness. Marital love arrives where the paths of mutual submission meet. When a man and woman voluntarily surrender their private agendas to each other, each promises enduring commitment to the other’s welfare. They vow that in sickness and health, through ultimate trials of soul, they will live for each other.

But if they are not disciplined in their loving, divorce may divide them. The lure of new passions will smother them in the ashes of their lost integrity. Have they not promised “for better, for worse forever”? Then why this voluntary selling of their souls to promote their own private agendas? Did they not agree that they would have no private agendas? Did they not say what’s mine is yours and yours is mine? Now do they dare to take back their words, reschedule their oaths, or sell their secondhand promises to others?

Mark this: there is no such thing as self-seeking love. The two terms cancel each other out. A marriage altar is a union of high promises, not the welding of errant self-interest. So when I(Christ) said that he who divorces his wife sins, I(Christ) was really saying this: All breakers of holy union are committing sins of broken integrity. Think long and hard before you make a marriage promise. Then commit yourself to all you promise. If you say “till death do us part”, never make secondary vows with lesser texts. Determine to be a person of integrity.

Lord Jesus,
Help me never to join that permissive
war of arrogance
by which the self-excusing
excuse themselves of their integrity.
Help me to honour every vow
and to mean it when I say
For better, for worse, forever.
Avoiding such poor marriage surgery
is but to keep my vows from perjury.

I think this is a good place to sign off as I leave us all to ponder on these things.


XtianDoctrine said...

There's really no marriage without issues: my wife and I have had our own share of them. Many years into our marriage we still keep doing things to offend each other.....offence will always come as long as we are in this world. And the reason is simple, we are both human beings - imperfect in all our ways. As Christians though the foundation of our marriage is anchored in Christ. We both share a common believe in the salvation that comes in the shedding of Christ's blood. We both have committed our lives -and marriage-into His able hands. The mutual faith we share in Christ is a glue that has bound us together. And also we both believe in what Word of God and what it says about marriage. So the D word has been scrubbed off our vocabulary is not an option for us no matter what.

So work out your marriage, just as you do your marriage. Trust God to see you through all and every storm that would rage against it. Know that the Lord is on your side at all times.

Anonymous said...

For me marriage seems to be the most complex institution ever designed by God. You go into it thinking you guys know each other very well and only to be confronted with reality few months after the honeymoon.Has your husband changed into something else? No. What went wrong? Both of you are now facing real life challenges and issues together that wasn't there as singles-
Money matters(the biggest one), extended family issues,health issues,daily chores (who is to do the dishes,laundry) etc. Some of these life challenges if not carefully handled could end the marriage. As christians, we should continue to ask God for wisdom and grace to deal with all that comes our way. Brothers and sisters in christ, that level of submission to one another that apostle Paul talked about is not easy. It takes grace.