3 CHARACTERISTICS OF A CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE
Sometimes ago, I read the story of a beautiful woman I call Dreaming Beauty in a book titled: “The Ages Of Madness”, written by a Psychiatric Doctor. (Names and terms in this story are for illustrations.)
Dreaming Beauty always dreamt of marrying Prince Charming who must be good looking, rich, kind, loving and able to take good care of her. With a man like that in her life, she hoped to raise a family of her dreams. The fairy tale books like “Sleeping Beauty”, cartoons and movies further inspired these dreams.
Dreaming Beauty eventually found and married Prince Charming who shortly after their marriage turned out to be the “devil incarnate”. When her marriage became exact opposite of most of the things she dreamt, she became mentally disturbed and began to live in her dream world. In the dream world, everything was exactly as she had hoped. In reality, she never had any child nor good husband. She was taken to the hospital where she was treated as a psychiatric patient. The Psychiatric Doctor said he had two options which were to either live her in her dream world or bring her back to face reality. He chose to leave her in her dream world because bringing her back to reality could cause her to die of depression and frustration.
I received a lot of questions from mostly women with troubled marriages. Thus there is need to explain the three characteristics of a Christian marriage.
Firstly, there is need to define a marriage that is recognized by God. It may not necessarily be the one that was conducted in Christian way.
When God instituted marriage by bringing Adam and Eve together in Genesis 2:22-24, the Bible says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and become one flesh.” In Exodus 22:16, the Bible says, “If a man entices a virgin who is not betrothed (engaged to another man), and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price for her to be his wife.”
Based on the above passages, the three main ingredients of the marriage that is recognized are:
1. The families of the couple are involved in the marriage.
2. Marriage rites, especially payment of dowry are always performed.
3. It is always between a man and a woman. Jesus emphasized the above passage in Mark 10:7-8.
The three characteristics of a Christian marriage are found in Ephesians 5:23-33, which are as follow:
1. Submission of wives to their husbands. If a Christian woman picks non-Christian as a husband, she would be yoked with him for life with verses 22-23. Although this yoke can lead to hell, but she can still make heaven if she is willing to carry the extra cross.
2. Love of the husband for his wife must be to the point of death, according to verses 25-28. Thus if a Christian man marries a non-Christian woman, she can use this feeling of love to manipulate and control the man. She can even break his heart if he does not yeild to her desire.
3. Inseparable union. According to verses 28-33, married Christians cannot divorce because they have become one body. Separating them is like dividing human body into two.
As for those who have done contrary to the above biblical principles of marriage out of ignorance, the Bible says to them in Acts 17:30, “truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now command everyone to repent.”
I pray that as many as have received this message will find favour before God and receive blessings in their lives and marriages in Jesus name.