Concluding part to the principles for a successful Marriage.
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?
- Understanding Each Other – Prov 19:14 says something very interesting. It says, ‘Parents can provide their sons with an inheritance of houses and wealth, but only the Lord can give an understanding wife. (NLT). Very interesting you would agree with me? We can also do it this way, give their daughters inheritance of houses but only the Lord can give an understanding husband. Fantastic! This tells me something, in marriage relationship, husbands and wives need to have an in-depth understanding of each other. This entails knowing each others temperament and personality types which is very crucial to understanding, job nature, family background orientation and a whole lot of things that needs to be known. Adam and Eve were naked in the garden together and they were unashamed. That is, hold no skeleton in each others cupboard/wardrobe. Be open to each other, feelings, emotions, and fears whatever. For in knowing all these, that understanding sets in and takes root which leads to a successful home and marriage. I Pet 3:7 says the husband should dwell with the wife with understanding, if he understands; she is bound to understand in a reciprocal manner as well. Christ himself as well understands our frailties, our weaknesses, so He relates with us on this understanding by providing his enabling grace for us to surmount our difficulties and challenges.
- Obedience to God’s Word – It is on this point that the others lie on. It’s the very foundation of a successful marriage. James 1:25 says that whosoever looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues thereon, he not being a forgetful hearer but the doer of the word. This man shall be blessed in his every deed. It says, and God will bless you for doing it. This is the pillar stone of obedience to God’s word. The scripture is full of so many passages that admonishes obedience to God’s word and the end result thereof. Marriage is an institution established by God with its foundation and sustenance rooted in Him. Looking at the earlier principles of
commitment, selflessness and understanding, they have their underlying roots in scripture, the word of God and it is only adherence to this that can actually bring success to marriage and every other human endeavour. It’s quite interesting to note that the bulk of the responsibility for a successful marriage/home is charged to the man in the scriptures and only a wise man will understand this and move in line with it. Look at Adam, he was given the responsibility and when he failed, he was held accountable. The woman is also charged with the responsibility for the home, the marriage and the man as well. But the underlying intent for both is to obey that charge to be successful.
I will like to end on this note, of this good old song which says, ‘Trust and Obey, for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.’ To change it to “Trust and Obey, for there is no other way to have a successful marriage than to trust and obey the word”.