Excerpts from a paper delivered to Daystar Leadership Academy on Family Success.
The concept of Marriage is sacred, divine and spiritual. It also has some physical attributes as well. But this physical attributes are manifested based upon the observance of certain principles in the spirit realm and which to bear in the physical.
These principles; commitment, obedience to God’s word, Selflessness and understanding of each other, let us examine one after the other:
- Commitment: What do we understand by commitment? What is our definition of the word? Or how does it operate? In my opinion, commitment is when you give yourself to something no matter what happens; a cause, a person, a job or whatever. We can also say its when one has a sense of obligation (a deep one) to / for something no matter the cost.
Looking at it in the context of marriage, the subject matter, two people who are married are in a relationship as in any other relationship. Now for that relationship to be mutually beneficial to both parties they need to give themselves to it totally; that is their body, soul and spirit is totally involved in it. They both need to understand that they are obliged to each other in that relation to move it ahead no m matter what may go wrong. We are actually have a model for commitment in marriage and it is from the scriptures; the relationship between God and Abraham, God and the Israeli nation and Christ and the Church.
Well we can say that the relationship between God and Abraham was that of friendship (Gen 17 & 18, Heb 11:11 -12).The more classic example is between God & the Israelites. God was committed to the relationship between Him and the Israelites and he mandated them as well to do the same. More often than not, when they don’t honour their end of the commitment and he allows misfortunes and all the sorts to come upon them, it’s always a commitment to the relationship that resuscitates it back and keeps it going. You can check Hosea 2:19 -20, Isa 54:5-8 just to mention a few.
The commitment between Christ and the church is the greatest and the best model of all. Eph 5:22-25 says something very interesting which personally to me is my guiding principle of commitment in marriage. The passage says, ‘Husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her and wives likewise to love and submit to their husbands as unto the Lord.’
We can view it this way; husbands commit yourself unto your wife as Christ committed himself to the church up to the point of death. Likewise, wives commit yourself to your husbands as you have committed to the Lord as the lover of your soul.
- Selflessness: This is thinking of the other party before thinking of you. It is when you are thoughtful of how what you want to do will affect the other; good or bad.
Looking at our classic model of Christ and the church, it was a selfless giving on the part of Christ that brought about the redemption of the church. The Bible makes us understand that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. A selfless act you would understand. The Bible makes us understand further that not that we loved God first, but he loved us first on His own volition. A selfless act. Jesus said, I lay down my life willingly and voluntarily and was not forced to lay it down.
It applies for a successful marriage as well. If we are selfless in our acts of love, selfless in our attitudes, selfless in our commitment, our marriages would be a tremendous success. All we need to do each time we want to take a step is to simply pause and ask this question, ‘How will this action affect my spouse?’ Positively or negatively?
To be continued.