A Christian marriage is probably one of the most attacked sacraments of the Christian faith. This sacred institution is under attack from all fronts, culture and society especially. There has been a lot of misconceptions and misinterpretations of this biblically regimented institution. We have suddenly ascribed to ourselves the status of the all knowing masters in marriage affairs. It is not surprising that marriages are facing serious crises today.
God himself created the institution of marriage, in Genesis 2: 21-25 we are told how God performed the first marriage ceremony in the Garden of Eden by significantly removing a rib from Adam while he was asleep and created the woman, significantly it was just the two of them, Adam, his wife Eve under God’s protection and care, and significantly also they were surrounded by peace and tranquility, Mark all the significant steps illustrated above, they confirm God’s original purpose for every marriage. Creation of woman from the side of Man signifies equality and companionship, being alone after being joined shows the monogamous nature of marriage and confirms that no third parties are allowed in marriage, finally the setting in the garden of Eden signifies, peace and tranquility in the home.
Jesus Christ also sighted this first marriage in his discussion with the Pharisees on marriage and went further to ratify God’s original purpose when he said in Mathew 19: 4-6 ““Haven’t you read the Scriptures? they record that from the beginning God made them male and female. This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” The scripture above summarises God’s purpose for Christian marriages.
Therefore since God created marriage, shouldn’t he be the one to deliver the manual of instructions on how to make it work? Yes he is and indeed he provided in the holy Bible, a complete manual for us to follow. The bible states in various scriptures and in unequivocal terms how to be in a Christian marriage. It covers all known issues in marriage and tells us how God expects us to resolve every situation that arises, from wedding to divorce, all the answers we seek are contained in the good book. This makes the bible the greatest marriage counselling manual from God himself.
Sadly there has been a total misconception and sometimes sinister misinterpretation of God’s instructions on marriage. The hierarchy in a Christian marriage is clearly stated in Ephesians 5: 22-29 we are told clearly that the man is the head of the family and the wives are expected to submit to him as to God himself, God called man her earthly Lord and Master. Men are told to love their wives as God loves the church willing to give his life for her, it tells us to love her like we love our bodies, it goes further to say that a man who loves his wife actually shows love to himself. This is probably the most misunderstood scriptures in history. It has been interpreted in various ways to suit each proponent of a new thought theory. Clearly submission as stated in the bible does not mean enslavement, it doesn’t encourage any form of abuse verbal or emotional because it is impossible to obey God’s commandment of loving your wife as he loved the church and still abuse or dishonour her.
God loves the church unconditionally, perpetually forgiving her sins and providing her every need. God does not cast us away because we disobey him on a daily basis, he loves us despite our sins. He provides for us, protects us, in spite of all our shortcomings. As a result of this unconditional love for us, God sacrificed his only son who paid the ultimate price for the remission of our sins, who wouldn’t love such an awesome God. It is natural for the beneficiary of such care, love, support, protection and benevolence to love, submit to and worship the provider, this is why the church reveres, totally submits to and worships our God without reservations. This is the type of Lord and Master God wants Christian husbands to be to their wives in total obedience to his word , one who loves, provides and protects his wife disregarding her imperfections. Do this to avoid deliberately disobeying God, even when you feel she is not worth it, as long as you are married, you are biblically required to love her. Moreover It is only a foolish woman, a daughter of Jezebel that will not appreciate a man who treats her with such love and affection.
God’s instruction to the wife is clear, he stated in Ephesians 5:22 – 24 “For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.”The above scripture is self explanatory, to be a Christian wife means accepting in its entirety the teachings in the bible and trying to the best of your ability and by God’s grace to adhere to them. The bible says submit to your husband in everything as to the Lord himself, this is the sticking point, some women argue that this level of submission will subjugate them and make tyrants out of the men.
Submission and total respect can sometimes activate the love and care a woman deserves. For as long as you remain married, even when you feel he is undeserving of it, submit, obey and respect your husband, and wait for God’s favour because even when we feel God has forsaken us or has not answered our prayers, we still pray, fast and seek his face. This is what God expects from you, to obey Him and submit to your husband as to the Lord himself. Job went through untold hardship and still refused to denounce and curse God, he remained loyal despite the fact that God allowed the devil to tempt him, he stood firm in total submission to the will of God, at the end God blessed him tremendously, restoring everything the devil took away. God’s laws are not selectively applicable, we are not at liberty to choose what to obey and what to disobey. In as much as a man and a woman become one after marriage, death dissolves this union, everyone will face God in judgement alone. Do not because a man fall short of God’s glory, obey God’s commandment even if the man is being stubborn, he will answer for himself.
God designed marriage to last forever, in Genesis 2:18, God said it is not good for man to be alone, and in probers 18:22 the bible tells us that he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from God. All these scriptures point to divine approval for the institution of marriage and finally in Mathew 19:6 God makes the permanence of marriage clear when he said “What God has joined together let no man put asunder” Only God through death can dissolve a marriage – Sir Stanley Ekezie