Marriage: Happiness, satisfaction
Apart from the biblical verses for guidance, some man-made instructions and/recipes for Christian marriages have woefully failed and created problems for couples.
A prescription that works for couple A may not work for couple B or C. Hence, before one marries in the church, it is necessary to understand God’s word.
Humans are imperfect. They have their shortcomings, but when they get attracted through love and become husband and wife, the word of God sets a standard for them to which they must comply.
They cannot meet this standard through their efforts, but by prayer and reliance on God’s word, they will survive the storms of marriage.
Couples guided by scripture mature in their relationships as the days and years go by. By the grace of God, they develop continual affection and fondness for each other.
They must practise love as depicted in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 as follows, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
These attributes of love, if practised in a marriage, will surely propel the relationship for life. It will also be practical for couples to live in harmony and not look out for faults when challenges occur.
It is important to pray together as a couple and pray for one another as well. Commit everything about the marriage to God through Christ. Couples must have faith and believe that God answers prayer.
They should simply trust him. If instant answers do not come, the couple should be patient and wait on the Lord for the Father knows what you need before you ask him (Matthew 6:8 NIV).
The couple should do well not to involve third parties in their union. They should communicate every day and discuss issues as and when they arise. Talk to each other when difficulties occur as well.
In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and do not give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV).
Do not discuss your partner with friends and do not compare them with other people because everyone is unique in his/her own right. Above all, learn to forgive.
Every problem has a resolution; hence, parties must keep cool heads and find relevant solutions.
Golden rule for wives
Wives play a crucial and paramount role in the success of a marriage and are counselled to take cues from Proverbs 31:10-31.
According to biblical sources, marriage was established by God at the time of creation when he made a woman out of the rib of a man and brought her to him as in Genesis 2:22 (NIV).
It is a relationship principally based on love in which two people (male and female) agree to spend the rest of their lives together as husband and wife.
Christian marriage is governed by instructions outlined in the Bible which guides parties in a marital relationship to perform in accordance with God’s approved standards.
The word of God is truly reliable. Moreover, it has never changed from creation to modern times but Christian marriage has been influenced by numerous environmental factors to the extent that the need arises for couples to reflect and assess the situation in present times.
Christians have to familiarise themselves with scripture before taking their vows. God says in Ecclesiastes 5:4b-5 (NIV) that He has no pleasure in fools; fulfil your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfil it.
Also, Matthew 5:33b(NIV) warns Christians not to break their oaths but to keep the oaths they have made to the Lord.
Finally, God blesses a Christian marriage for the couple to become one in spirit. The man is not to break faith with the wife of his youth Malachi 2: 15b (NIV)
The Lord says in Malachi 2:16a (NIV) “I hate divorce”. In Matthew 5:32(NIV) Christ declares that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress and by Luke 16:18 (NIV) anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Let us revere God and not harden our hearts nor be stiff-necked. Let us allow the word of God to permeate us and be guided by it to submit our marriages to his love and care. God is ever faithful. He would see us through.
The writer is a member of Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), Ghana.