The starting point for marriage is relationship: a man and a woman meet, directly or by proxy, to express their love to and for each other. Marriage is the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.
More importantly, a scripture-based marriage is a recognized union between a man and a woman and it is expected to be a life contract that death is the only major factor upon which it can be terminated.
Marriage is a journey of two partners which requires sacrifice, patience, forgiveness, self-denial, hardwork, taking up responsibilities, showing care and love. Marriage is therefore meant for partners who are physically mature, emotionally stable, gainfully employed and above all, God fearing. No man or woman should allow love at first sight to overshadow the most important considerations for an enduring and blissful marriage. A couple’s proper understanding of the needful before marriage will build a shock absorber mechanism to sustain the marriage.
Scripturally, marriage is hallowed and the first institution that God created.
“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 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, shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:21-24.
Hebrew 13:4, says, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
A scripture-based marriage is divinely instituted for the manifestation of the perfection of God in man. It is against this purpose that Satan has been waging war against marriage to the extent of adulterating the concept through all sorts of unions in the name of marriage.
Jesus Christ must be the foundation of a marriage for it to withstand the storms of life and attacks from the devil. In a marriage where the husband and wife have come together on the basis of the word of God and remain steadfast, it would be extremely difficult for the devil to manipulate or scatter it.
Experience and research have shown that the fundamental problem in most relationships stems from culture built on the wrong foundation. One of the primary ways we build on the wrong foundation is when we focus on physical attraction. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with physical beauty; however, it is a shallow foundation for marriage. What is constant in life is change thus the physical traits that we value so highly are likely to change. Laying emphasis on physical attraction is certainly not the foundation that God intended for our marriages.
Other areas where we build upon unsure foundations include: wealth, power, position, recreation, hobbies, and cultural tastes. Whether we are beginning to build or whether the house is already built, the foundation is essential and the word of God is the sure foundation. Since marriage and family are institutions established by God to produce godly offspring, we can be confident that God has a plan to ensure marriage success.
Making Christ the foundation of your home is fundamentally a choice. However, the church assists couples by providing resources like meaningful premarital counselling – a message series that focuses on marriage and mentors. It should be noted that God instituted marriage for the purpose of companionship (Genesis 2:18), procreation (Genesis 1:28) and sexual satisfaction (1 Corinthians 7:2-5). God’s purpose is for couples to love each other. Where there is true love, there will be understanding of each other’s feelings and expression. God created Eve out of Adam because He said it is not good for man to be alone.
God said we should be fruitful, multiply, subdue the earth and replenish His image, the manifestation of God’s love. This love is reproduced in our offspring. This is the reason regular sexual conjugation in marriage enforces intimacy between a couple; couples should not deny each other. Many marriages are experiencing turbulence today because the couples misplaced their priority for building a successful union. Many are ignorant of what it takes to live as husband and wife. Marriage requires the couples’ proactivity to their immediate and future challenges. Each couple is to build their marriage on the rock of Christ which is a solid foundation, not on the sinking sand of power, fame, money, charm, etc.
As an intending couple, if you’re convinced of God’s involvement in your relationship, you should have a broad plan of how you wish to live together with your potential spouse. Very important: the intending husband must be gainfully employed to provide for his wife and expected children. Many young girls, out of eagerness for marriage, commit blunders by taking up financial responsibilities meant for the men. For instance, in a situation where a wife-to-be is the sole financier of her wedding, the likely impression of this action to the to-be-husband is the feeling that she is desperate about the marriage. These feelings always have bitter consequences for the female partner. The husband after the marriage ceremony could turn out to be irresponsible, envious, abusive, unfaithful to marital vows and may decide to terminate the marriage or cohabit with strange women in order to embarrass the wife, if she protests. Every wise lady should therefore note that any man who’s not gainfully employed is not ready for marriage yet.