How did the human race manage to miss the concept of marriage? I mean, to take something so beautiful and dilute it to a business transaction.
So the question I want to ask is: Why do people get married?
What an easy question! – For love of course!
But what if I told you marrying for love is a relatively new concept. I believe its only been 24 years since couples can truly say, with conviction in their hearts, that they’re marrying for love.
Can’t be… Surely not!
See, 24 years ago, in 1996 women for the first time in the history of South Africa had the same rights as men. It’s mind boggling that before 1993 a husband could almost do whatever he wanted with his wife and get away with it. Women were considered second class.
Moving onto the mid 1500s, the church decided to get involved in marriage.
During the time before that, like I said previously, marriage was watered down to a business transaction which families used to either gain power, or improve their financial position.
And when Jesus walked the earth, women were only recognized for their ability to bear children.
It was a culture where a husband’s wife was his posession, and if they stumbled into loving each other, it was considered a bonus meant for the lucky few.
In the beginning… Genesis… God created the earth… And God saw that it was GOOD!
It’s the theme of any sermon or discussion regarding the earth’s creation. Especially the part where God saw that it was good. It’s mentioned 5 times in Genesis 1.
But did you know that there came a point in chapter 2 where God says that it is NOT good. “It is not good for man to be alone.”
And so God created Eve. But as always He works with a plan. He didn’t create her from Adam’s head, so that she could reign over him, and He didn’t create her from Adam’s feet, so that he could walk all over her.
He created her from Adam’s rib, not only because He knew they were a team, but also because it’s under the arm so that he could protect her and close to the heart so that he could love her.
Naturally Adam was extatic. God had made him the most beautiful woman in the world.
At first glance his response spans two verses, but the second verse speak of parents and children. A concept that Adam and Eve didn’t understand at that point in time.
According to scholars. Moses, under the direction from God, wrote Genesis. He was educated by the Egyptians, so he knew how to read and write, and he had more than enough time due to the wandering in the dessert for 40 years.
So it stands to reason that God is the one making reference to parents and children in that second verse. But let’s have a look at a particular event that was recorded in the Gospels of Mathew and Mark.
To give you a bit of context. Jesus was in Judea, and as usual large crowds of people flocked to Him. The pharisees, always with a plan to try and trick Jesus, wanted to hear His opinion regarding divorce.
The part that I’m referring to is when Jesus not only confirms that God had a specific idea for marriage and created it, but He makes reference to this exact piece of scripture in Genesis when He replied, “You surely have read about this in the Bible.”
Isn’t that amazing!? Marriage is holy, marriage is beautiful, and clearly it is valuable to God.
Marriage has to have tremendous value. Like the knife your grandfather gave you. Or the vintage coal stove you found in the antique shop. Or the four legged children running around your house with tails wagging.
So how do we go about doing this? Unfortunately there is no magic formula that can change things in a day, but there are a couple of things you can consider in taking your first step to a better marriage.
1. Respect. When you respect your spouse, you’re saying to your spouse that you accept him/her just as he/she is. A husband and wife are equals, which means that neither of them have authority over the other.
2. Cooperation. Say the words, ask the question. One of the keys to developing a cooperative relationship is communication. Communication in a marriage is like a river. When thoughts and feelings flow smoothly between husband and wife it’s fun, feels good and strengthens emotional support.
3. God Will See. It’s easy to gauge how well it is going in a marriage based on the abundance or lack of pictures family and friends post on social media. And even then, most of the photos are only of the happy moments in their lives. We never see what happens in those moments when they’re alone together. It’s those moments that are the most important.
I haven’t had the privilage of visiting the Sistene Chapel, but Michelangelo painted it’s ceiling for four grueling years while working on a hanging scaffold. Although the labor was demanding, Michelangelo maintained an increased standard of excellence. In fact, the project started off as a simple depiction of the twelve apostles but in the end included more than four hundred figures, and nine scenes from the book of Genesis. When asked why he was working so hard on a dark corner of the chapel that no one would ever see, Michelangelo replied, “God will see.”
Find motivation in knowing that nothing you do for God goes unnoticed. Respect each other and communicate well, because even in the dark and seemingly unnoticed corners of your marriage, it’s important to remember He sees it all.
Once you begin to take marriage seriously and understand that lifelong love is a lifelong choice, your marriage will not only stand the test of time, but ultimately flourish.
I’d love to hear from you! What are you doing to add value to your marriage?
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