Before we go into the teaching of today, I would like us to have an overview of who started marriage, how and why marriage came about, the definition of marriage and the definition of a healthy relationship.
This glorious institution called marriage, how did it come about and who is the originator.
They say if the purpose of a thing is not known abuse is inevitable.
God is the originator of marriage, He started it. In the Book of Genesis 1:1 the Bible makes us to understand that ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and everything seen and unseen’, the first man Adam was part of God’s creation and the Bible explained further to us that God looked upon all He had created (the works of His hands) and it was all good.
Gen.2:8 tells us that the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden and there he put man whom he had formed to dress it and keep it.
The Origin of Marriage
Gen 2:18 ‘And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him an help meet for him, verse 21-24 ‘ 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 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.
Marriage is of God, He had a desire and a will in His heart when he enacted marriage, and His desire was for Marriage to abide forever.
Why God created Marriage:
- For Companionship
- To raise Godly seeds
- To build up physical, spiritual and emotionally healthy homes, churches and nations.
- For effective soul winning.
Most times people leave God out of their marriage and when it begins to crumble they blame God.
Marriage is like a triangle, the link between the man and wife is God, without God the link is missing and there is a possibility that the marriage might fail but that is not our portion in Jesus name.
Marriage is a relationship where trust is built over time as committed couples set aside their own interests for the good of their partner and develop skills for keeping the relationship positively open and thriving.
A healthy relationship is a relationship that is filled with happiness, joy, giving and most importantly love (unconditional love, the love that does not expect anything in return). It is characterised with the following features, friendship, effective communication, trust, reliability, supportiveness and a forgiving spirit (You fight, you forgive and forget each other’s wrongs).
Here are some signs of an unhealthy relationship:
- Physical abuse: your partner pushes you, hits you or destroys your things.
- Control: your partner tells you what to do, what to wear or who to hang out with.
- Humiliation: your partner calls you names, puts you down or makes you feel bad in front of other people.
Some Tips on how to prepare for a marital relationship:
- Establish & develop a relationship with God:
The very first step in developing healthy relationships in every area of our life is to first establish a relationship with God because this builds an excellent foundation for all other relationships to develop.
John 15:1-5 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Discover your purpose in life. Ask yourself the question: What do you want most out of life? Most of us would rank healthy relationships high on the list. Knowing Christ and having the hope and assurance of eternal life in Him helps us develop healthy relationships which make life enjoyable. Whom you choose to marry can either mare or make your destiny.
Acts 17:28 ‘For in Him we live and move and exist [that is, in Him we actually have our being], as even some of [a]your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’(Amp)
You can make all the money in the world, but if your relationships are broken or shallow, your life will be empty. A poor man with a loving family and good friends is far richer than a rich man who is poor relationally.
The Bible ranks healthy relationships as the most important thing in life. A Jewish religious expert asked Jesus in the book of (Matt. 22:36), “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied in (Matt. 22:37-40): “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
This attribute helps a lot in the area of hearing God clearly regarding a marriage partner.
- Search the scriptures for the desire of God in marriage. We have discussed this under building a relationship with God and knowing God’s mind & desire regarding marriage. Marriage is an assignment from God and not a competition between two people.
- Prepare your body, soul and spirit by reading books on Christian marriage, raising Godly children, how to build and keep a Christian home, attend conferences on marriage, identify examples of Biblical marriages amongst the Brethren and get mentored by these couples. The Bible says in Proverbs 27:17 ‘Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend’.
Luke 14:28 ‘For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?’
- You need parental guidance and consent: Ephesians 6:2-3 (‘Honour your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with a promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”). (NKJV). Even if they are not in agreement with your choice, you will need to seek their consent with a lot of prayer and fasting, trusting God to touch their hearts and change their perception.
- You will need guidance and Godly counsel from Spiritual Leaders & Mentors.
Proverbs 11:14 (Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.)
Proverbs 13:20 (He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.).
- Develop & establish good relationships and conduct within and outside the church. Ruth had a good testimony from her Mother-In-Law, which Boaz heard and he took a liking to her.
Ruth 2:11-13 ‘And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. 12 The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. 13 Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens’.
- Make yourself presentable at all times, try to wear a smile at all times and be courteous. They say first impression matters, you never know who is watching and observing you.
The way you dress is the way you will be addressed, do not dress up to attract kiss & peck Brothers.
Jacob was drawn to Rachel because of her appearance, Genesis 27:17 ‘Leah’s eyes were weak, (NLT) says Leah’s eyes had no sparkle, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance’. (AMP)
It’s important to establish relationships that bring blessings into your life. The most important thing to remember in creating healthy relationships is to live your life with purpose.
- One of the best ways to find your life partner is to be a happy, successful single person living the life that you really want in the Lord. Find your completion in the Lord, a life partner in a marriage can only compliment you and not complete you, if you have issues in your life, for example with self-esteem and self-worth, then you need to deal with it before marriage. Do not go into marriage for selfish reasons otherwise, you will be disappointed.
For the Brother’s, prayerfully seek for the help that is meet for you, someone whom you will build with and develop your lives and destinies to the glory of God, for the Sisters please look for a Gardner, the one that will cultivate you (someone who loves you, tends to your needs, cares for you, if he sees anything that is not good in you, he prayerfully corrects it with love).
- Know what types of people are bad for you and avoid them. There are people who bring the best out of people around them or people who come their way, yet on the other hand, there are people that bring the worst out of other people.
1 Corinthians 15:33. ‘Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners’.
1 Thessalonians 5:22. ‘Abstain from all appearance of evil’.
- Don’t just wait for someone to come knocking at your door. It can be a long wait. Get out into social situations like attending functions: weddings, conferences, be part of a department in the bible believing spirit-filled church you attend, be active in the youth ministry of your church.
Be spiritually alert and sensitive to your environment and to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
They say love is blind but marriage opens the eyes. As you are praying, believing and trusting God in this area with one eye closed, please open the other eye, so you are seeing properly.
- Seek out healthy choices in potential partners.
Amos 3:3. ‘Can two walk together, except they be agreed’?
Deuteronomy 32:30. ‘One chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight’.
Ecclesiastes: 4:9. ‘Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour’.
- Create an attractive and compelling life, as you walk according to the perfect will of God, a life that someone would be eager to be a part of. (What attracted me to my husband: excellence & a good handwriting)
Proverbs 18:24. ‘A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly’.
As you run this race of life faithfully, you will discover those who are drawn to you. Choose relationships with those that are on the same page with you spiritually and emotionally. You don’t just want any relationship. You want a spiritually healthy relationship.
The relationship is healthy if:
- You are attracted physically and emotionally to the person. Please try not to be attracted to the physical attributes only, study the character and habits of the person. They need to love and fear God. The zeal of the house of the Lord must be seen in them and in how they go about the Father’s business.
Eagles Test Before Trusting – The female eagle during courtship always takes a male eagle into the air after picking up a twig from the ground and dropping it from a certain height for the male to chase it. Once the male catches hold of it and brings the twig back, the female flies into a higher altitude and drops the twig in the same way. This is repeated until the female eagle gets an assurance that the male eagle has mastered the art of seriously picking up the twigs in real love and affection. Once they get hooked up in trust, the father and the mother eagle mate for life.
The eagle is such an interesting bird to study, there is a lot of wisdom to learn from the way they behave. The eagle and the vulture are of the same parentage, but the eagle chooses to eat living things and the vulture choose to eat dead things. Brethren live is about good and bad choices. I pray with the help of the Holy Spirit that we will make the right & good choices at all times in Jesus Mighty name.
Observe how they react to different situations of life for example, how do they behave when they are under pressure, how do they behave when they are angry, (Proverbs 22:24 -25 ‘Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: 25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
How do they manage and perceive money? Money is a means and not an end. Money in and of itself doesn’t bring you fulfilment. However, if you recognise that money is there to help you meet your needs and reach your visions, then it has been seen that money actually cannot contribute to your joy. But that’s because money is not the end goal. Money cannot buy everything, it cannot buy salvation, joy, children, a good home, integrity, etc. 1 Timothy 6:10 ‘The love of money is the root of all evil’.
How do they handle lack? (Do they demonstrate spiritual maturity in this area, 3 essentials: food, raiment & shelter), there is nothing wrong with starting small and building together. ‘Mary the mother of Jesus married Joseph as a carpenter which was not a very noble profession at their time). Do they see beyond now, are they vision-oriented.
1 Timothy 6:6 ‘But godliness with contentment is great gain.
There are times in your life you will have enough and there are times you will suffer lack, but you need to see these experiences as seasons of your life and believe and trust God that it will get better in Jesus Mighty name. Tough times don’t last but tough people do. Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:12 ‘I know how to live on almost nothing or everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.’(NLT)
How do they handle success? King Solomon allowed being affluent take his heart from God and he gave it to strange women (300 wives and 700 concubines). God have mercy, only one man.
Can you take their words to the bank (a person of integrity). Matthew 5:37 ‘But let your Yes be Yes, and your No, No. For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.’(NKJV)
The bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:9(Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour), do they demonstrate a ‘me, myself & I’ attitude (are they selfish and think about themselves only). Marriage is all about commitment, it involves two people that have made up their mind by the grace of God to give their relationship all their best and are committed to making it work regardless of whatever comes their way or happens.
- You have the same values and beliefs. 2 Corinthians 6:14 ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?’
- You find friendship first and allow it to sustain the relationship.
Keep an open mind and heart. Don’t put your life on hold waiting for a relationship to happen, but instead show yourself friendly and seek out those who add encouragement and inspiration to your life. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:22 ‘Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.’ Ladies I am not trying to say you should be too forward, but a woman can also find a husband because some men cannot just make up their minds. God will help us. My prayer for our singles is that God will lead you and help you find your good thing in Jesus Mighty name.
A sermon delivered on June 14, 2020.