“Open your eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (psalm 119:18).
A Wedding is a joyous occasion and God intended that marriage should be happy. But we do not need to look far to find many marriages do not have a happy ending. Why are our lives filled with quarrelling, fighting, selfishness and unhappiness? Why do so many marriages end in divorce? Why are so many marriages a failure?
Marriage was first given by God and it is the closest and most sacred relationship on earth. God saw that Adam was incomplete and it was not good for him to be alone, so he gave him a wife to be his partner- a part of him. Of all partnership, this is the most intimate and lasting.
Happy marriages do not just happen. They follow the pattern that God has given in the bible. God wants your marriage to be happy and he has given some rules to guide you.
Unhappiness comes when we follow the thinking of men and do not follow God’s pattern. In accepting God’s idea of marriage you may have to change some ideas that have been handed down by those who do not know God.
What is the purpose of Marriage?
“Then the lord said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him. ‘Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:18, 24).
Many people has wrong idea’s about the purpose of marriage. Some look on marriage as a legal means to satisfy lust. Others want marriage because they desire children or want someone to work and care for them. If there are no children they want to try another wife. Children are blessing from God, but raising a family is not the primary purpose of marriage. The fact that there are no children is no cause for seeking a divorce. Many childless couples have been blessed by adopting and caring for children who have no parents.
The purpose of marriage is union. Marriage is not two people living their own lives under the same roof. It is the union of one man and one woman to become one flesh. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife: and the two shall become one flesh: so that they are no more two, but one flesh” (Mark 10:7-8).
This intimate union means sharing not only physical emotion but also the whole life. Because this new relationship is more important than any other, a man must leave his old ties and seek to please his wife rather than his relatives.
How long does marriage last? Is it only until the quarrels begin? We can have friends and leave them when we quarrel. But it is not so in marriage. In the sight of God marriage is binding until death (Romans 7:2, 3).
“What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder” (mark 10:9). :Let not the wife depart from her husband… and let not the husband put away his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:10, 11), Marriage lasts for a lifetime.
Because marriage means giving oneself completely to one person, it excludes all others. It shuts out any sexual relationships outside of marriage. Fornication and Adultery are grievous sins before God, and the bible gives strong warning against them. It shut out other wives for three cannot be one flesh one flesh. It shuts out relatives. When a man marries he leaves his family to begin a new home with his wife and a wife’s place is with her husband. She should not be running home to her father and mother. Your relative should not be more important to you than your husband or wife.
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“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one.” And I say to you “whosoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity (fornication), and marries another, commits adultery.” (Mattew 19:5, 9).
Choosing a Partner
Because marriage is a life contract before God, it is a very serious matter. You choose your life partner as you wouls choose a suit or dress, or even as you choose your life work. Once the marriage vow has been made, it cannot be changed.
Therefore be careful that you choose the right partner with whom you will share your life. A young man should not choose to marry someone just because she is physically attractive nor should a girl choose a man just because he has a senior position or a fine car. While these are things that many seek after, the truly happy marriage is based on something much deeper than these. Beauty may fade and money may vanish, but character will endure. Look under the surface to the real character of the person you wish to marry.
Ask the lord to lead to the right choice. This is very important. God knows better than you do, who is the one best suited to be your partner. When young people usually enjoy many of the same things. If one has no intrest in what the other is doing, there can be no companionship.
Do not think that you can make your partner any different after marriage. If he is a drinker now, he will not stop after the wedding. If she has a fiery temper now, the marriage ceremony will not change her disposition. If he deceives you before you marry him, he will continue to be unfaithful afterwards.
Do not rush into marriage. If your love is genuine you can afford to wait and be sure that you have God’s choice for you. Do not be deceived into thinking that you can have sexual relationship with the one you want to marry before you are legally married. The sin of fornication will bring unhappiness to your marriage.
God warns against mixed marriages when he says, “Be ye unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath the righteousness with unrighteousness” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16). Someone has said, “If a child of God marries a child a child of the devil, he is certain to have trouble with the father-in-law.”
A born-again Christian is free to marry only another believer. Two people separated spiritually cannot be really united in their marriage. A person cannot give himself completely to the lord and at the same time try to please an unbelieving husband or wife.
The problem of mixed marriages also exists whenever two people of different beliefs marry. Often both may even call themselves Christians and think that these “small” differences of beliefs do not really matter, but only trouble can come from such a marriage. Sometimes one partner has to sign away the religious freedom of his unborn children, promising that they will be brought up according to the religious practices of the other partner. This can only lead to friction and unhappiness.
“Teach me to do thy will for thou art my God! Let thy good spirit lead me on a level path” (Psalm 143:10).
“ And be kind one to another, tenderhearted forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:24).
The Secret of Happiness
Even though both husband and wife are Christians this alone does not guarantee a successful and happy marriage. Marrying a Christian will not solve all the difficulties and disagreements. People sometimes feel that marriage itself should bring happiness, but it may also bring troubles, even while it opens the way for added happiness. There is the added care of making living for more than one, the responsibility of making the family and seeing that they follow the Lord.
Happiness in marriage is an achievement. Happiness does not just happen when two individuals begin live together, there are adjustments that must be made. Each one must lovingly consider the other. The rights of the individual must be yielded to the rights of the marriage.
Adjustment takes time. It takes time to become accustomed to each other’s way and give up your personal will to please your companion. You have to pay a price for happiness. It takes daily carefulness and duty to maintain a happy marriage.
God has given us the secret of happiness in one word- “LOVE” love is able to change two entirely different people so that they become one in the miracle of marriage. Without love marriage cannot succeed. With love, even through poverty and trouble, marriage can be happy.