Marriage: Populist Notions vs. Christian Realities

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For a significant chunk of my life, I’ve tried to shape a philosophy of marriage; an unshakable ideology that will lead to marriage and keep me married. I’d listened to the populist notions about marriage, but found them wanting.

If the Oprah-centric beliefs are true, then America wouldn’t have a divorce rate of over 50%! Back home, people wouldn’t be cheating at the alarming rate that they do. A visit to a popular bar may well reveal your married friends (without their wedding bands) patronising “flesh merchants”. You may have also lent a shoulder to a married friend who confessed their sexual misdemeanours to you.

Many of the populist notions about marriage tell you that marriage is simply about companionship, procreation & the extension of your bloodline, spending a lifetime with your best friend, not being alone, legal sex, maturity, responsibility… the list is endless. For those who don’t really have a clue, people say it’s just something to do when you get to a certain age. It’s natural. Simply follow the instructions and things will turn out just right. Hmm…

I’ve listened to all these ideas. Some are plausible, others are not. So, I return to my fundamentals. I return to God. As a Christian, the things I do must relate to my faith or else I might as well not bear Christ’s name or espouse his principles. I may as well live according to the principles of the world and maintain integrity. I must be true to who I am, even on the subject of marriage.

As I consider God’s word about marriage, matters have become much clearer. Marriage is a delight, yes. In truth, Gid cares about my happiness and wants me to enjoy the best of friendship and companionship. But, he also has specific assignments for me. Marriage may make or mar them.

This means, before we consider marriage, God would have us uncover the things he’d have us to in life. Perhaps when you discover that, you may learn to your surprise that marriage may not even be in the picture at all (for example, Paul the Apostle).

Why do we plan our lives and then get God invoiced afterwards? Now I know how risky it is to get married until I’m mature enough to sense in what direction God is leading me. This will influence my choice of spouse. As a companion and helper, I must also understand my prospective husband’s life assignment. Am I suited to it or would I be redundant?

The picture of marriage that I see in scripture is that of Jesus and his bride a -the church. We pursue one agenda – the Father’s.

Sometimes I really get troubled at the pressures young, urban Christians face. We seem to be marrying out of a need to escape loneliness and sexual pressure. And we rarely speak about those pressures. I think as more urban Christians speak out, we may avoid making private mistakes.

I’m hoping to get married someday. I don’t know when or to whom. But everyday, my purpose becomes much clearer and surer and for that, I am eternally grateful.

I've listened to populist notions about marriage, but have found them wanting. Click To Tweet


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