I HAVE heard some girls say ‘Oh if I don’t marry him I’ll die’ and as soon as they marry him they wish they were dead. What’s wrong with some folks? Some are marrying and divorcing so many times that you’d wish their marriage certificate to be written ‘To whom it may concern’.
Although marriage was ordained and mandated by God, it is not mandatory for everyone and therefore no one should be pressured into it. Why do we jump into such things? Is there anything wrong with singlehood?
Satoshi Kanazawa, from The University of Canterbury, studied and concluded thus: “Scientist rather quickly desist (from their careers) after marriage, while unmarried scientists continue to make great scientific contributions later in their lives.”
It seems after marriage, they cannot think straight. This is not only true for science but for all other disciplines too like music, art etc. Some of the greatest compositions were made by single folks who fizzled off after marriage.
The implication is that one is more likely to accomplish much in life as a single person than as a married individual. This is true also in religion: Daniel, Paul and Jesus were single.
“Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: [It is] good for a man not to touch a woman. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.” (1 Corinthians 7:1, 7-8).
In this chapter, Paul says singlehood is good four times. See also verse 26. Jesus also embraces the same in Matthew 19:12: “For there are some eunuchs, which were so (i) born from [their] mother’s womb (ii) and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men (iii) and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive [it], let him receive [it].”
John the Baptist and Paul were single because of their own choices for the kingdom of heaven’s sake (Jesus’ reason #3). Daniel was single because of man-made physical loss (Jesus’ reason #2). Jesus was single because of His unique mission in life (Jesus’ reason #1).
Although we shall be talking about marriage and relationships, it must be emphasised that singleness is good. We must not underestimate the value and opportunities that being single affords.
Marriage still is a paradox. It is a universal desire and a universal headache. Those on the outside want to get in, and those in the inside want to get out; men are immature and confused while women are desperate and hurting. The catalogue of causes include; no love, finance, security, no respect etc but these are just symptoms. The really problem is the circularisation of marriage.
Marriage and the Sabbath are two institutions that God ordained in the Garden of Eden and remained as a gift to us even after the fall. The Sabbath has been changed from a holy day to a holiday. Marriage has been changed from a permanent sacred covenant to a temporary social contract. A covenant is a permanent commitment witnessed by God while a contract is an agreement to render or receive certain services from another. Almost like ‘You wash my clothes, I’ll pay you bills’.
Remember your vow? I…..do take thee…….to be my lawful wedded wife/husband and I do promise and covenant before God and these witnesses, to live together with thee after God’s own ordinance, in the holy state of matrimony. To have thee, hold thee love thee and honour thee.
I do solemnly promise before God, to be thy loving and faithful husband/wife, to be true and loyal to thee in every condition of life; in prosperity and adversity, in sickness and in health. I do promise to keep myself unto thee and unto thee only until death do us part.
All this I do faithfully promise, my Heavenly Father being my helper.
Wow! I remember 12 years ago I could not wait for the minister to finish so I could say ‘I do’. Nowadays we invent our own contracts and even add prenuptial agreements. Some contracts are even made between immigrants and natives for ‘papers’.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24).
‘Leaving’ means that all lesser relationships must give way to the newly formed marital relationship. (i.e., our dependence on parents, our parents’ authority, their attitudes and influences, our friends etc). ‘Cleave’ means glued, not taped. There is no freedom to leave if it does not work out. God’s plan for marriage is that it is monogamous, heterosexual and permanent. Why don’t you deliberately agree from the onset that divorce should never be your option when you meet problems (which you will) in future?
And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2: 8-9).
Firstly, God planted a garden for the first couple. Similarly, before a young man can think of getting married, he must be able provide accommodation for his bride. Not with the parents. In other words, he must be able to pay rent or mortgage.
Secondly, let’s draw lessons from the 4 types of trees mentioned in Genesis 2:8-9 above, as God prepared a home for His children:
- Trees pleasant to the eye: Personal hygiene (use of toothpaste and deodorant is imperative, it makes you nice to be near. A touch of make-up and hair-do helps) and keep your home tidy at all times. Men must help too. Girls, watch out for the fellows who say ‘I will swim the widest ocean, climb the highest mountain and cross the hottest desert for you’ yet won’t do the dishes.
- Trees good for food: Preparation of good food is a must if a woman wants to save her marriage. If she cannot cook, then she might not be ready for marriage. I’m aware that this is the 21 century, in the West and also mindful of the feminist ideologies, but I’m being real to those who are serious about their marriage. Luckily you cannot fight God…He is up there! By the way, I can cook and I’m very fast!
- Tree of life in the middle: Jesus is the eternal life giver and should be the centre of your marriage. I have no space to illustrate how wonderful marriage is when both husband and wife meet at His feet. Divorce is not even thought of though trouble comes.
- Tree of knowledge of good and evil: Choice, his and her individuality must not be stifled. Create an environment were your spouse will reach their full potential. Don’t seek to change them. You can’t.
Though marriage is every woman’s dream, today it has become a nightmare to many. The reason is we have neglected the ‘little things.’ Watch this: a bride’s best friend was giving a speech at the weeding and she had planned to ask the pastor to read, first John 4:18 which says, There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. But when her turn came, she panicked a bit and asked the pastor to read first, John 4:18 which says, For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: See what difference just a little thing as the movement of the comma to either side of the word ‘first’ changed the meaning altogether.
We shall explore what Abraham did to find a good wife for his son Isaac in Genesis 24 under the sub topic, Just a little drink: John 4:7; 1Kings 17:10; Genesis 24:17.
v: 4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. Racism is not of God. But you must marry someone of your religion. Catholics to Catholics, Methodists to Methodists etc. Don’t say “I’ll bring him to my faith later” These are the famous last words. It does not happen that way usually.
Abraham’s servant determined to ask ‘just for a little water’ (a small thing) from Rebekah and watch what she did. v: 18 And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink.
v: 19 And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw [water] for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. They say a camel drinks 30gallons of water in 10 minutes and they were 10. You don’t want to marry a lazy, lazy fellow. Look how kind and industrious Rebekah was.
v: 16 And the damsel [was] very fair to look upon, She was beautiful too (fair). Look for someone beautiful. Remember in God beauty is not skin deep, but a humble and meek spirit. That’s real beauty.
v: 16 And the damsel was a virgin, neither had any man known her: Get yourself a virgin; somebody with a solid character, and moral rectitude. Bear in mind that some people have made mistakes in the past and have learnt something and are willing to re-walk with Jesus, almost like Mary of Magdala. Such make good spouses.
Remember, Abraham’s servant only prayed for just a little drink but is getting the beauty, industriousness tender heartedness as added bonuses. How good God is to those who wait!
Did you catch her language even to a stranger? No swearing. v: 18 And she said, Drink, my lord: Watch for his/her language. If they swear when they are angry, have nothing to do with such fellows.
Kindness should not be an occasional act but a general attitude; Elijah met the widow in the morning, Abraham’s servant met Rebekah in the evening and Jesus met the woman at the well at noon. This means that you must respect all you meet all day every day. Who knows you might strike a lifetime relationship with some of them. You don’t know.
Success in this life, success in gaining the future life, depends upon a faithful conscientious attention to the little things.
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. (Luke 16:10, 19:17).
It is not the big house you buy for her, neither is it the nice car but the little things of life, like flowers etc. Also bear in mind that marriage is made in heaven and so is thunder and lightning!