Have we gotten the entire notion of marriage, wrong?

Before I begin writing this, I was rationalizing in my mind, how one could determine the spouses God had predestined for us. However, as I ventured deeper in meditation, it dawned on me that we will never understand predestination if we do not understand eternity and the power of God. This led me to consider eternity as a starting point of marriage. Do we know who we are in the eyes of God? Answering this will determine our respective calling and whether or not God has predestined spouses for us. Going deeper, we will be able to tell exactly who God has predestined for us — down to the specifics like one’s interests, passion, and heart.

This was where I begin meditating on the topic of eternity, focusing my attention on Jesus’ rebuttal to the Pharisees about marriage and the resurrection.

 


 

“But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.”
— Matthew 22:29-30, ESV.

If I’m interpreting the scriptures correctly, Godly marriages appear to be solely the doing of God, not us. If this is so, why then are we concerned whether or not the one we are dating is “The One”? Why then do we add pressure to our peers if they’re single or unmarried? Why then, do we retreat from single brothers and sisters in Christ when they’re struggling in their singlehood and unable to find a partner? Why aren’t we helping each other within the church on the topic of marriage and accountability? Why aren’t we stopping fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are marrying outside the Christian circle?

You see, we all know this verse, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:6, Mark 10:9, ESV). We can even recite it by heart. But do we really know what this meant?

If God is the one who joins people together in marriages, why are we, as the church, acting as if it is our doing? Why are we pressuring our younger generation by constantly prompting them, “Why haven’t you found a date?” Or, “When are you getting married?” Or, “Sorry to hear you’re still single, maybe God had called you to singlehood.”

For those who are attached and are in a struggling marriage/relationship, why are we counselling one another with, “Oh he’s a jerk, you deserve better,” or, “You don’t deserve her,” or, “I doubt you two belong together”?

Why can’t we acknowledge God’s doing in all of this? Why can’t we acknowledge our struggles within the church? Why can’t we render help to the struggling, and accountability to those who are married? Don’t we, as a church, know that if we stop doing this, sin will creep in?

Consider this. Corruption increases on earth along with human-centred marriages. We see them here in Genesis 6.

“When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
— Genesis 6:1-2, 5, ESV.

If we enter a marriage just because the other party is attractive, and we never sought God nor the church, then corruption and unchecked sins will seep into our lives. Marriages are bound to fail without God… And we all know that.

This is why Jesus quoted the story of Noah when He taught His disciples about His second coming.
Pay close attention to the sins listed here:

“For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
— Matthew 24:38-39, ESV.

If I’m reading this right, then I must conclude that marriage shouldn’t be decided by oneself. In fact, it should be a communal decision — a church’s decision; God’s decision. After all, the church represents Christ. The church is the Body of Christ and we are members of His Body. And if one felt the need to be married, this need ought to be met through the approval of the church.

I debated in my mind why was ancient Israel so particular about marriages. Sure, it’s about continuing God’s blessings and the continuation of the inheritance down the family line. But considering marriage as a communal concern? Now that’s new. Look at this:

Then the elders of the congregation said,What shall we do for wives for those who are left since the women are destroyed out of Benjamin?”
— Judges 21:16, ESV.

If God gives us spouses, God will do it through the church. If we do not have spouses, the church needs to do something for us too! And if God gives us spouses, the spouses too must belong to the Lord (ref: 1 Corinthians 7:39, ESV). After all, if the church is God’s mouthpiece to the world (ref: Ephesians 3:10, ESV), how much more will God teach and guide us within the church?

So, have we gotten the entire notion of marriage wrong? Do we decide who should we date or marry by ourselves? Or do we consult the body of Christ? Are we being our own God in our families or are we letting God be the Lord of our household? Do we, as a church, consult God for the marriages of our members? Do we, as a church, stand together to guard the families of our members? Do we, as a church, let God be God of our lives?

God forgive us.

Image by Joseph Redfield Nino from Pixabay
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3 thoughts on “Have we gotten the entire notion of marriage, wrong?”

  1. This article has made me think, and that is a good thing. We must not be afraid of thinking outside the norm. This is how God guides us into deeper knowledge and understanding.

    The human marriage is a metaphor for our union with God.
    Ephesians 5:31–32
    “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. (NIV84)
    With man the union is one of flesh, but with God, the union is one of spirit. As a husband enters his wife, and so consummates the union, so to the Spirit of God enters into the believer consummating that eternal union.
    John 3:6
    Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. (NIV84)
    John 17:20–21
    “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (NIV84)
    Now, the church does not choose me, but rather, God chooses me, and so the church does not choose my spouse, but rather I do. This is an act of my free will, and I make a declaration before God that my union will be for as long as I live on the earth, and God will hold me accountable for it.
    The point here is that I have made a faith-bond with my spouse, and I must never break a faith-bond. This marriage vow is very similar to my vow to God that made in faith when I came to God.
    Romans 10:9–10
    That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (NIV84)
    It is true that many people enter into unwise unions, but that does not release you from your vow. You must never break faith. However, you do not have control over your spouse. You cannot stop them from breaking the faith-bond with you. If your spouse is determined to leave you then there is nothing you can do. The sin of breaking the faith-bond with be on them if you have kept yourself from all sin in this matter.
    Peace, My Brother,
    Mark

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mark for leaving a comment! 🙂 I praise God when people participate in discussions like that. One thing to note though. The union I’m referring to — the union that God had predestined (not marriage, but eternal partnership) — may or may not be the person we marry in our lifetime.

      I hope it isn’t too hard a concept to get our mind around. I firmly believe that God created a man for every woman and vice versa. And for whatever reason/sin that person may have encountered: that person may have perished, or declared gay, or whatever have you. I’ve covered this in another article on homosexuality (https://themanifoldwisdomofgod.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/being-homosexual-isnt-about-love-its-murder/). But the point here is this: Eternal union does not equate earthly union.

      Now, the point I’m driving at is that the “ideal” spouse God had predestined for us is the one God had prepared for us in eternity. They are the ones serving alongside us before God. Understanding this helps us put things into perspective.

      No doubt, unwise decisions lead to ungodly earthly unions. But they’re still earthly covenants we must uphold. After all, God honours them too. But if we were able to understand God’s calling for us in the realm of the eternal, then we’ll be able to discern what God has in store for us in our lives.

      Like

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