Marriage Is A Very Beautiful Thing. The Family Is The Second Church. By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
The church carries God's presence. It may be in the gathering of two or more. A single person who has come in the name of the Lord carries the church with him also.
Therefore, a church is a place/thing where God has been given His place – be it in a man, a home or a congregation. The church is built by revelation, by the Spirit of God. The church carries the light and the truth of God.
When the church succumbs to darkness, the entire nation becomes dark. Therefore, there is the need for the light in the temple to keep burning. Amen. "Man" is the first church of whom Christ is the head. When a family is made, another church starts - the second church.
When a man gives his life to Christ, a church is born. And when he gets married, a church is also born. With his wife, he now becomes the head of the woman as “Christ is the head of the church;” this is so because God has made man inexcusable for failure by providing more than enough for man in all things.
So, in marriage, a woman has her burning role and a man has his place. It's is from the first church (man=male, female) that the second church would be built upon God's truth.
This is for marriage and marrying couples – not for those who have chosen to remain celibate for their vows or any other reason.
Since Christ is the head of the church, the church should be a perfect place: perfect in foundation. What it means is that, the foundation or the foundational rules must be in place to be able to counter, contain or diffuse any challenges. When a man gives his life to Christ, Jesus becomes his head. And when he gets married to a Christian woman, he becomes the head of the woman while Christ is his head. As the Lord has loved us in all things, He expects us to submit to Him in all things. Likewise, as the man loves his wife unconditionally, the woman is expected to submit to her husband in all things.
When the children come, they will easily grow up and adapt to the training for Christian maturity. This is the church that will glorify God with one voice. It's so because God is not afraid to release divine responsibilities to us; He knows that we are coming home to meet Him some day and He wants to prepare us for kingdom principles in heaven. No matter how many we may be, we will all be united as one body by the Spirit of the church. 1 John 4:17, 1 John 3:2.
Our places of worship is the church – the third church. When we have made our hearts the temple of God, and we have joined ourselves as partners in this knowledge and faith, our bodies are built in marriage as one temple. And when we come together, there is a church. In this church, we are individual temples and, at the same times, parts of the large temple. We become bodies and parts of the whole. That is how acceptable sacrifice is made unto our God: a church built under Christ's love and kept in His love through our love for Him and our obedience to His standards for marriage.
But the church of this generation has met with challenges in matrimony as a foot would against a stone. People – Christians – now recoil from the truths of marriage. Why we have problems in the third church (the congregations and denominations) is just because the first church and the second church have not invited Christ in to dwell richly and to take center stage in our individual and marriage lives. And so, when different such 'church 1s and church 2s' meet together as a church, the atmosphere becomes the corruption we see today. That's why the Bible admonishes us in Proverbs 22:6 to "train up a child in the way he should go so that, when he is old, he will not depart from it."
When a man grows in the fear of the Lord and a woman values her virtues, the church is blessed and marriages mean what they were ordained for. There are laws that guide every successful (Christian) marriage: The man must "love" his wife unconditionally, and the wife must "submit" to his husband as to the Lord. Col.3:19, Ephe. 5:22, 25.
The challenge of marriage today is not to be blamed on satan but on man because neither satan nor God compels. Satan applies tricks, intrigues, schemes and baits to lure his prey to the slaughter; he has no right to “compel.”
His only right to man is fed by man's fears of darkness, and his unbelief in God's infallible truths. When a man disbelieves, he shuts God out and pays attention to that old serpent. While God calls you “greater than” you think you are because you are a man of the spirit and should, therefore, see things that are above, the devil says: “No, you are all you see – flesh and blood. Enjoy what you have now before it's too late.”
Whose report will you believe? As it is written: “If you sow in the flesh you shall reap corruption but if you sow in the spirit you shall reap life.” There have been many records where men were led astray to disobey God by the women “they loved,” but the fault is not to be laid on the woman: the fault is on the man. When God speaks His word to you, it's your duty to let the Holy Spirit teach you because no other thing in all creation has any excuse whatsoever to alter His word one bit.
So, when Adam pointed at Eve, when Sampson bemoaned the betrayal of his love by Delilah, or when King Solomon followed the Queen of Sheba to spurn God, it was all man's desire to hate that which loves him. The man is ordained to love in all firmness but when true love is corrupted, the one loved thus becomes the god worshiped. Today, from the mouths of our youths, we can hear all God-due praises lavishly poured on women for the intent of fornication and adultery. The beautiful names of God now belong to women and, in other to prove their love, men of no value have gone extra miles to cast aspersions and make God who created the woman and all she's proud about of no consequence in their lives.
Contrary to what they (men) expected to get from this falsehood and arrogant blasphemy, it has not turned women into what they imagined. This group of people falls in an out of love with the blink of an eye and, if they marry today, tomorrow's divorce will be termed: “due to irreconcilable difference.” Falsehood and blasphemy are the blindfold of the evil one; behold the truth and be free indeed. Many men today still blame women when the chips are down. God said: “Love and obey me First!” There can be no true love unless it flows from God himself. Why do you think there are more divorce cases today in the church? It's because of the very disobedience of Adam. For those who accuse the flesh, we now have “The Spirit” who “helps us in our weakness.”
You cannot, as a man, expect genuine love and submission from your wife if you are not submitted to God; and, as a woman, your husband may not love you enough to treat you as the word demands if you do not have the spirit of submission. It's a spiritual law which has no short-cuts about it. And you can be sure that God's ordinances carry immeasurable pleasures within but, until you fully surrender, you would not experience it.
Some people, mostly women, argue that the leadership of the home is determined by who makes the/more money. A thousand time, “No!” You cannot be wiser than God and we all have seen how deeper down the ditch marriages have gone when women challenge God's wisdom in the setting of a home. It's not your room to give God excuses why you would not submit to your husband; the injunction, (not an advice) is: “woman, submit!” In proverbs 31: 10-31, the Bible describes what a Christian woman is like: supportive, hardworking, caring and submissive. And you can be sure that such a blessed woman's husband is to her as Christ is to the church.
It's not money or material things that build a happy home, it's God who does; and if you want to have a happy married life, let God's word gather you together and build you into a true church and temple – fit for kingly sacrifices. In a family where one do things to please the other without seeming success: do not give up! Go to God and make an unqualified dedication to Him with your life. He will turn your story around and cause you to sing for joy.
A home is headed by the man and God overseas it all. When you see answers which the man cannot give, the children, the woman's burden, may feel the failure of their father. Now, no woman wants to see pains in the eyes of her children. The way to avoid this is to submit to your husband because there always is a provision in marriage for that man who have made unqualified committal to his God. And if you are only about to get married, be sure he is a man who places God above you for, then, he will love you just as God has commanded him.
Now, regarding questions from people who asked if God can choose a spouse for you, I have this to say: God does not "choose" a spouse for someone as some parents would point to a girl or boy and say to you: “Hei, you must marry him/her or you will be disowned.
A thousand times “No!” By the way, it's the man who goes out of the way to marry- Gen.2:24. What God says is that "he who finds" a wife "has obtained favor" from the Lord- Prov. 18:22. But we must remember that there are women who are like the baits of the devil, but the Lord assures that the man who "fears Him" will escape her net-Proverbs 7:5. In another place He says that, for him who fears Him, he shall hear a voice from behind - telling him which way to follow in every matter - either to the right or to the left-Isaiah 30:21. God is so much in love with His creation that He has given us the freedom to look around, see all His goodness and decide whether to love Him back and selflessly or not-John 1:11-12, 3:16. He does not compel anyone. But just as the Bible says in Psalm 103:7 that, in the wilderness, while the children of Israel were busy making one demand after another, God only made known to them His deeds; but for Moses who 'followed', God made known His ways.
A man who only knows about "the deeds" of the Lord but not "His ways" is bound to be deceived by his sight and is bound to live an ungrateful and unbelieving life. This means that you have the right to choose whoever you want - besides marrying an unbeliever if you are a believer. But if you believe in the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, you should know that God is interested and wants to be involved in every single detail of your life: He wants to be involved in your choice of woman and He wants to be involved in your home and life- Isaiah 45:19.
If you are a man who gives the Spirit His place, He will tell you what He thinks of any choice of woman you may be about to take as wife. He does that very clearly for His own. He loves everyone but He knows that not everyone "fits" into you as a life-partner - even from among Christians. You will know when He is not in support of a particular choice, but He will not push it because, after all, He does not barge in on man: He stands at the door, knocks, and only enters where the door is opened to Him-Rev. 3:20. And for the woman, she has to keep herself worthy of receiving "the best of God."
Bottom line: For a man who fears the Lord, God will not allow your eyes to drag you into hell nor your flesh to be caught by the baits of the devil: many marriages are hell on earth and many Christians have been caught in this web. God is your help and salvation. For couples yet to marry: He will advise/warn you and, depending on the rights you have given Him in your life, He can stop you from making a wrong choice. And, surely, He blesses you in your marriage. He's such a God who takes care of every detail in us for our own good. Amen.
Finally, I'd love to advice our Christian men and women all over the world: those who have married should return to the table of God's principles in marriage. Those yet to marry: be sure you started it the right way else you will fall into the avoidable loopholes.
Getting into marriage should not be a necessity and remaining in marriage should not be a burden that must be carried simply because of the children already born: marriage should be a union of two people who have surrendered to the will of God for their lives and for marriage, and love each other enough to respect the roles each has to play in their union.
It is to such caretakers that God has willed to send His children yet unborn to; it is to such people that God has given charge of the church. But if you, by the wills of your flesh, fall away from God's standards and lead your children in that path through your obstinacy, be sure that children are precious to the Lord and He will require their ways from your hand.
To those pastors who divorce and marry at will and encourage others to do so: please, do not lose what you have; do not send many to heaven and go to hell! Why should marriage make you lose your place? If you cannot see God in your spouse, if you cannot love him/her enough to tolerate her mistakes, and if you cannot be patient in faith – believing in God's intervention in whatever challenges may threaten your union, then by all means: do not marry! Whatever God has ordained is beautiful; marriage is very beautiful because, for the church to be what it's called to be, families must be founded under God's law for the church. May God bless your marry and bless His Church. Amen.