And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. ~Genesis 2:23-24
Marriage, the final frontier, or institution, of man and woman, in-that, so very few marriages last anymore. The divorce rate is sky high, and growing; men and women are treating marriage as if it is a disposable piece of equipment and right after something happens they are looking for the next newer model; and let us not forget the younger generation playing at being married and not wanting to be so, or have the responsibilities of it – thus, the increase of single parent families. It is sad, really!
Marriage is, and always has been the institution in which God intended for us to maintain until our death, or the death of our spouse. My wife and I have made it 30 years…surprisingly so to many, myself included. Marriage is that one relationship in which we two should be spending much more time on, than we actually do. But after the honeymoon is over, we all begin to take each other for granted. Diminishing the marriage bond that we have, the vows we have taken, and minimizing our spouses.
We need to come to the reality of the fact that for our marriage to last any length of time, we need to place God in first place above all others in our lives! For without God there would be no breath of life, and without the breath of life, there would be no two to become one flesh! Once we have gotten that straight in our minds we need to remember the fact by God’s grace and good wisdom we were able to choose our future spouse. To do so takes a good long time of thinking and seeking God’s blessing and wisdom. This person that we choose is to be with us until our, or their, last breath. We need an extra dose of wisdom for such a task. We are also in need of the ability to wait, placing our personal and immediate pleasures on the back burner. As so many of us tend to jump into a relationship of marriage without ever cultivating the relationship of friendship. Thus, basing our entire relationship upon one or two aspects of a multifaceted relationship. In so doing, we sell ourselves, our families, and our spouses lives & relationships short of the goal of lifelong.
By selling ourselves and our spouses short in this relationship we will tend to create a relationship where certain things that should have been spoken will then be unspoken; and thus create a love-hate relationship or a prison relationship and will build up resentment along the way. By doing so, a relationship is doomed to failure. Everyone will be seeking a new partner for life, or shorter. The thing each of us fails to remember, is that we tend to bring the same person, and habits, into the new relationship with us…which will create the same problems and finally the same result. I know of, or have met, many who have been married more than two, three, or four times.
We tend to acquiesce and take the traditional vows to marriage, but much like a military oath, we have a bad habit of not taking the words very seriously. But each word, as well as, and the entire vow has a very specific meaning and we should be very adept and aware of what we are saying. According to James we must be careful of what we say, “But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.” (James 5:12) We are placing blinders upon our eyes when we do not pay attention to the words that come from our mouths by way of the heart: ‘Or if a person swears, speaking thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or to do good, whatever it is that a man may pronounce by an oath, and he is unaware of it—when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty in any of these matters. (Leviticus 5:4)
The traditional vow goes something like this: ‘I, (Sarah/James), take you (Sarah/James), to be my (wife/husband), to have and behold from this day on, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do us part.’ After a period of time everyone tends to forget the “better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and in health, love and cherish; until death do us part.” I look around, see, read, and listen to the reports on the breaking down of the family unit, the traditional family, etc. Only part of which is the initial relationship and the nonchalant mindset that each person places upon the vow and promise to each other.
The wedding band, the marital vow, and the love of Christ have two things in common: 1. Each has no end, and 2. All three are intended to be all encompassing of eternal love! We are intended to place Christ at the head of the marriage and the man at the head of the relationship; however, this is not to mean that the woman has no say as the two are to be one. The word of God should be the guiding factor within the marriage and be relied upon for decision making. Just as throughout the bible where many leaders had not sought God’s wisdom and advice, they tended to make faulty decisions. So, we should all take heed in such things and seek God’s Wisdom in all things; regardless of its perceived triviality!!
I would plead with you all to take your relationship with your spouse, or prospective spouse, very seriously. You will live well and do well by cultivating that friendship throughout your entire lives. Also, by acknowledging God as the head of and His word as the centerpiece for your marriage. Your marriage is not a trivial thing, it is the second most important relationship in your lives – your relationship with God being the most important.