Proverbs 4: 20-22 My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.
Marriage is one of the most simple but yet complex relationships anyone can ever have. I have a great deal of respect for couples who are able to maintain their marriage truly till death because it is not easy. Because men and women are so different, and we all come from diverse backgrounds, there are bound to be areas where two people don’t agree and toes are trampled on.
Getting married to my wife Efe at the age of 30, I felt I was ready for marriage. But I soon found out I didn’t know the first thing about what “being married “actually meant. I had a lot of secrets and I lied a lot in my marriage and this caused a lot of hurt for my faithful wife. I saw her respect for me diminishing as I struggled with my weaknesses and repeated the same errors again and again. She didn’t trust me anymore. When we fought, I would seclude myself or run away, and that aggravated the situation. She began to resent me. She thought I didn’t care for her or our children. The hurt and pain destroyed and hardened her, and I began to resent the fights and constant nagging on even the most petty issues like washing the baby s dishes right. It all regurgitated the hurt of the past. It got so bad that we were literally going through the motions and routine of the day in our marriage. It felt like the love was lost and we were just trying to be there just for our children
Many marriages are going through different hurt and pain. From lying spouses, infidelity, addiction, financial mismanagement, volcanic anger, abuse …the list is endless. When couples go through these things in the physical they don’t realise that a battle is going on in the spiritual. This is clearly demonstrated in the Book of Job in the Bible.
Job 1:8-12 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
Who was Job? This wealthy landowner and father is one of the best-known biblical heroes. But we know little more than that he was stripped of everything, without warning, and that his faith was severely tested. Job’s plight of undeserved suffering compels us to ask the age-old question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” God allows pain for good reason, but He may never reveal those reasons.
Job did not reject God, but Job did challenge and accuse Him. The Almighty quieted Job decisively when He finally thundered His own perspective on the situation. God did not answer Job’s question of “Why?”—He instead overwhelmed Job and his friends with the truth of His majesty and sovereignty. Job came away with a deeper sense of God’s power and splendour, trusting Him more:
When we get married, we MUST get married ONLY because we love our spouse. My favorite definition of love is “to give not caring what one gets in return.” Many would call this love, agape, the Greek term for God’s love for us. To agape means a married person is saying to his or her mate, “If at some point I don’t have loving feelings for you, I will still love you. If you get sick and can’t respond in love towards me, I will still love you. If you treat me unlovingly, I will still respond in love towards you.” This type of love is divine, and it is this love God originally meant to be experienced in marriages.
Marriage was originally meant to be a reflection of God (cf. Gen 1:26-27). God made Adam and Eve in the image of himself. Yes, they were made in the image of God independently, but even more so together, as one flesh (Gen 2:24). Therefore, in marriage we are meant to reflect his love, his commitment. Scripture actually teaches that God is love (cf. 1 John 4:8), and though, we are not sovereign like God or holy like him, we are still called to imitate him in all relationships and especially in the marriage relationship (cf. Eph 5:22-33). Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
The devil does not want us to fulfil the purpose of marriage. That is why his attack on marriages is so severe. When you destroy marriages, you destroy families and at the bedrock of this destruction are innocent children who end up finding their way through life without two parents working together in harmony. Broken homes produce dysfunctional children and that leads to rebellious behaviour and untimely death. That signifies victory for the devil.
Pain inevitably afflicts each one of us. Suffering is unavoidable in this life. Will your relationship with God be enough when trials come? Will you trust Him through your suffering? Read Job 38–42. Spend time with the Almighty. Pray for a stronger faith in the powerful Creator described in those chapters. Pray for a right perspective of Him so that you might see your situation through His eyes.
Instead of asking where God is in the midst of your pain, the book of Job affirms God’s control and asks us, “Where are we in our pain? Are we trusting our Creator, even though we cannot understand our circumstances?”
Proverbs 27: 11 “Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice, so that I can make a reply to him who taunts me.”
These words, written hundreds of years after Job’s death, show that Satan was still taunting God and accusing His servants. When we live in a way that pleases Jehovah, we actually help to give an answer to Satan’s false charges, and in that way we make God’s heart rejoice
Will & Ceci Chaniwa – Twitter @matrimonyfn