Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Christian Marriage

By Ema Eirewele-Momoh
March 1, 2009

I was just flipping through the bible and the passage of marriage being honourable and the bed undefiled jumped right at me, pricking my conscience to write this because I have been meaning to.

I am writing on the subject of The Christian marriage. This subject has piqued and held my interest for a long while now. Maybe because my marriage has not manifested as a Christian one and so cannot be called that right now though I am tempted to, based on the scripture that says, I quote

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife.” 1 Corinthians 7:14a.

I am not one to look for scriptures to defend an action by trying to interpret it to suit the situation so I am still confessing and praying. Okay then having said that. Let’s not get distracted from the issue. CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE.

I was in a service once and the pastor commented that he was in a meeting (so this is strictly hearsay, or better still anecdotal, it is not the fact because no research has been carried out) and it was said that about 70% of Christian marriages are unhappy and a large percentage of the total marriages that end up in divorce are Christian marriages. He (i.e. the pastor) said he believed it was true because according to him, this statement was met with absolute silence from the congregation. If it were not true, the congregation would have made remarks like “I reject it in Jesus name” or “it is not my portion” (and very strongly too, snapping their fingers as their hands go around their head for the congregation in Nigeria) to refute the statement. I know for sure that certain Christian homes are shaky and some others have ended up in divorce and remarriage (in Nigeria-sorry for the emphasis this is quite abominable even “outside” the church setting except a certain religion I know that permits it). There is one incident that has made my every bones cringe and that is because the Pastor, Minister, Father-in-the-Lord, Daddy (and so many other acronyms by which this Man of God is called) who joined the couple in the presence of God and witnesses ACTUALLY (I hear because I did not witness it but I know the parties involved) formally dissolved a marriage he conducted and did pre-marital counseling for by the authority vested in him by God in the presence of witnesses (some key members and elders of the church) and certified the woman fit to RE-MARRY. I am here with my bible reading and re-reading 1 Corinthians 7. In verse 10 of this part of the scriptures Paul emphatically said; in fact let me quote the scripture: 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 reads:

"Now to the married I command, yet NOT I BUT THE LORD: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife".

Please don’t stop reading. Right at the beginning of verse 12, it says

but to the rest I, NOT THE LORD, SAY:……"

Please I am not judging this man of God the bible says what right do I have to judge another’s servant…………. I repent if it comes across as that.

The point is: What is happening to Christian marriages????? This is just a one off example maybe it is heavy because a man of God dissolved it. What happened to working out the purpose of God? What happened to all things work together for good to them that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose? There is no need asking if God’s standard has changed because I KNOW it hasn’t. Before this article (so this is actually preaching to me) I used to be a proponent of divorce especially in the case of physical abuse but I don’t think it is right at least not anymore. While I am not advocating that the recipient (we always assume it is the woman that would be physically abused but not necessarily) of the abuse stays put till they are abused to death, I think they can pull away for a while and keep praying for a change in the situation (my head is fighting this even as I write but deep down in my heart I know it is right), empower themselves and GO BACK WHEN THE SITUATION CHANGES. It is not an excuse to run amok and go marry that TDH you have had your eyes on.

This case in point, the lady actually sited Paula White as an example who gave up her marriage to pursue her ministry. I don’t know the Paula White details and I really do not care. She is not the one I am looking up to; I look up to Jesus the author and finisher of my faith. What ministry are women pursuing???? Is it not the same God who says a woman is relieved of any vow she made if her HUSBAND stops her from fulfilling the vow?????

Having said or written this much, I think we Christians should look beyond ourselves and look at the big picture which is the purpose of God. Even if we did not have the consciousness when we were getting married that God will work out his purpose through the union, even if we were not born again when we got married, or we got married to an unbelieving man in total defiance and disobedience to the instructions of God (like me) the earlier we recognize the sovereignty of God and the fact that EVERYTHING HE MADE (US ESPECIALLY), He made with a purpose and He is committed to bringing that purpose to pass the better. Even when we think we made a mistake, as long as you are a child of the Most High, He said He’ll work everything out for our good because we love Him and are called according to HIS not our purpose.

I had told my husband that I’d rather be happy single than unhappy married (my excuse for wanting to pack up and go), I repent I said that (how foolish). That advice is only valid before marriage. It is not about us it is about God. I believe when we realize that our life is about working out the purpose of God on the earth then true and unspeakable JOY not happiness will be our portion.


john said...

Christian marriages are what they are today, life imprisonment with hard labor, because Christians don't think through issues. They are fatalistic, all spiritualizing everything. They sweep under the carpet fundamental pillars of marriage and convince themselves that they've heard from God.

XtianDoctrine said...

I don't know that the reason Christians have issues in their marriages is because, "they are fatalistic, all spiritualizing everything....."

The very same issues that Christians face in their marriages, non-Christians face too. There is no marriage that is immune to the stresses of life and, job, children, in-laws, etc. What should set Christians apart from all other people is our faith in Christ, but as you all know we are at different levels of spiritual maturity. And even then there are many spiritually matured who still experience serious marital challenges.

So there are no easy answers as to why one marriage breaks up and another doesn't. We can only as individuals work hard at our own marriage to ensure that it stands the test of time. We need to in humility commit ours into the hands of God, knowing full well that we are imperfect beings with serious defects in the DNA of our flesh.