“Marriage is honourable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).
Marriage is not man’s idea. It was God’s initiative and it came into existence with a guiding operating manual. Every brand new car comes with a manufacturers’ manual. Any attempt to operate the car outside the guidelines provided by the manual will definitely lead to problems.
In the same vein, any attempt to play in the marital institution or operate marriage outside the guidelines provided by God in his word will result in marital problems.
In this information age, the negative picture portrayed about marriage and what it has to offer has continued to expand, with more unmarried people, resolving never to enrol in the marital institution. This is based on formed perceptions. Many are even asking whether or not, marriage is still a good idea.
When the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable. Ignorance and wrong perceptions about marriage is largely responsible for the growing failure rate in the marital institution. Ignorance and wrong perceptions have been more destructive to this institution than economic situations. In the days of our parents and grandparents, intending couples consulted mediums such as oracles, concerning the future of their relationship. Even though this action was within the limits of their exposure, belief and understanding at those times, at least, there was an acknowledgement of the fact that a superior power needed to be involved in the process of making this destiny decision. Today, most of our young men and ladies take marriage for granted and jump into this lifetime journey based on naive judgements, without any enquiries or even mental preparedness, as if it is a joke. They then, jump out shortly afterwards or stay in a problem that is avoidable in marital relationship.
Look at this. When you aspire to become a lawyer or medical doctor, you could spend over four years in the university, preparing yourself and gathering knowledge and information to practice a profession that you could dump after some years and make a switch to music, agriculture or some different area of endeavour. Now, you intend to enter a marital institution where you will spend the rest of your life. You are not interested in gathering information about the institution. Marriage seminars and other educative fora don’t interest you. Why then should you expect surprise when you meet avoidable challenges after getting married?
One of the vital information required before engaging in marital relationship for instance, has to do with difference in variables in behavioural patterns, even in areas of economics. If for instance, you have the belief that all men are the same in everything regarding commitment to relationship; or you have a notion that all women are the same, you can hardly have a happy marriage because no two individuals in this whole wide world are the same in everything.
Let us look at family economics for instance. If a man grew up in a home where his father did nothing but left his mother to shoulder all financial responsibilities of the family, the man is likely not to contribute a penny to the financial upkeep of his family when he gets married. You cannot accuse him of not loving his wife and family based on that character because he sees that lifestyle as a norm. If it was his father that shouldered all financial responsibilities when he was growing up, he is not likely to expect any financial contributions from his wife when he marries.
If it was a girl that grew up seeing her father shoulder every single financial responsibility, she is not likely to contribute anything financially to her family when she marries, even when her husband’s income is a peanut when compared to hers. Don’t accuse her of not loving her husband because she is doing what she believes is right. On the other hand, if it was her mother that shouldered financial responsibilities when she was growing up, she is likely to aspire and actually do the same thing. It is only education, positive social interactions, informal exposure to learning or change of orientation along the path of growing up that can make things happen differently.
These are some of the background checks that ought to be made during courtship. This is why I wonder whether those who get married without courtship actually understand the meaning and implications of marriage.
Wrong orientation about marital relationship is a huge challenge. As a guy or lady, you have a friend of same gender. You are so close, love each other so well, and you have been able to successfully maintain this relationship for years, even as wretched people. In fact, people have even forgotten that you are mere friends rather than blood brothers or sisters. The relationship has remained sweet with or without affluence. Now, you have married someone of the opposite sex that you supposedly love. Because of a minor offence, probably related to money, you are already contemplating separation or divorce. Would you say you are serious with life?
For decades, you loved and lived with your parents and blood relatives who frequently offended you and you forgave them. In fact, as you read this write-up, you know they will still offend you tomorrow. Are you contemplating divorcing them? Is it possible to do away with them? No, of course! So, why are you so embittered that your spouse of a few years relationship offended you? You are already contemplating divorce, forgetting that you made a covenant before your creator as marriage vow.
Is marriage actually honourable? See more facts in the next edition. Meanwhile, you can place an order for a copy of the book, MAKING YOUR MARRIAGE WORK by Albinus Chiedu. Your marriage shall be a blessing and a testimony in Jesus name. Amen.