CHERISH YOUR SPOUSE – IN LINE WITH HIS WORD
As an institution created by God, marriage is a sacred and honourable covenant relationship between a man and a woman; a covenant only dissolvable by the demise of either of the partners. It’s clear that from the beginning, God’s intention for every marriage is for it to be blessed, happy, and fulfilling. In Genesis chapter 2, God declared that Adam was incomplete without a companion with whom he could share his deepest thoughts and love. When God led Eve to Adam, the Scripture records that Adam exclaimed with joyous satisfaction, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23).
God also instituted marriage for the preservation of purity among God’s people (1 Corinthians 7:2). God hates sin and, therefore, commands everyone to have and keep their own partners in order to foster fidelity. As the apostle Paul reveals, marriage is also an emblem of the spiritual union between Christ and His church. In Ephesians 5:22, 25, the apostle instructs wives to place themselves under their husbands’ authority as they have placed themselves under the Lord’s authority, while equally commanding husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave His life for it.
Although the divine purpose and pattern for marriage have been marred by the Fall of man in the Garden of Eden and further perverted by man’s ideology, God-ordained ideal for marriage from the beginning remains unchangeable. According to His laid down pattern in the Scripture, marriage is still a union between one man and one woman (Genesis 1:27). Even though today’s increasingly degenerate world is pushing the idea of same-sex “marriages”, all forms of marriage besides heterosexual monogamy are perversions of the marriage union and God frowns at them.
In order for a marriage to succeed and truly be a happy and prosperous union as God originally intended, it must be in line with God’s precepts or guidelines on marriage as outlined in His Word. This is the only antidote to the problem of broken homes in our societies today. A marriage will thrive when the partners willingly cleave to each other in the union (Genesis 2:24) and make constant commitment to love each other selflessly for as long as they live. While it is true that there is no marriage without some form of challenges, God expects that in a Christian marriage, there will be forgiveness, tolerance, Christ-like love, and deliberate effort to live by the Word of God and work harmoniously together to make the marriage work.
In 1 Peter 3:5-9, we have a summary of what the conduct of Christian couples should be: “For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands. . . . Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” As you pattern your marriage according to God’s Word, your marriage will not only be a source of joy and blessing to you, it will also be a source of inspiration for others; a model worth emulating and God will be glorified.