Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Marriage Vows

As Adam woke out of his deep sleep, he knew, without a doubt, that the person, whom God was ushering towards him, was his wife. 

In a moment of great realisation and intense joy, Adam knew that the colossal emptiness in his life was now over and he burst into spontaneous and brilliant poetry.  What Adam pronounced in that exquisite moment were the first marriage vows.  Rightly so, isn’t it?  Only the marriage vows would be fitting for that moment. 

God instituted the husband-wife marriage relationship, but it had to be the man, who had to initiate and pronounce the marriage commitment.  The relationship of marriage was a covenant built on the commitment that Adam pronounced.  It would be wise to look closely at the major themes within the marriage covenant. 

Woman is a unique creation of God, but made out of man.  The husband is made complete by the woman, whom God brings into his life.  Similarly, the wife is made complete by the man, whom God brings into her life.  This completeness consists of every element of their personalities.  It includes their physical makeup, their emotional build-up, their intellectual development, their social capabilities, their spiritual growth and their relation with the environment.  Therefore, the husband and wife, in total abandon, give themselves to each other in order to make the other complete. The husband does not selfishly seek his own completeness through the marriage relationship, but he desires to make his wife complete.  Similarly, the wife’s desire is to make her husband complete. 

For the husband and his wife to give themselves to each other in total abandon, requires for them to delink from every other previous relationship.  There remains a mandate though, for the husband and his wife to be responsible towards all of their previous relationships.  They now ensure that these responsibilities are conducted within and through the development of their own covenant relationship with each other.

To nurture the husband-wife covenant relationship, they both are always in a state of celebration and romance.  Yes, there will be differences, but every issue that causes a spark will result in them being drawn closer and growing fonder of each other.  The sexual celebration experience is looked forward to with anticipation and excitement. This experience is reserved exclusively by God for the husband and his wife.  The husband and wife therefore protect each other from falling prey to temptation in the area of sex.  They guard and nurture the sexual celebration experience within the marriage covenant. 

Marriage is instituted by God and under His authority, wisdom and strength we are bequeathed to enjoy great marriages. Let us not, foolishly, cast away our inheritance.  

Sunday, 14 December 2014


It was God who said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him”.  If this is what God decreed for the most intimate of all human relationships – marriage, between one man and one woman - then this is how human society should be knit. 
In this unique and beautiful relationship of marriage, man and woman find their fulfilment and happiness. Since this is a God-instituted human establishment, Satan is determined to do everything to attack the institution of marriage and bring it to ruin. He wants to look at God and say, “Look how effectively I have destroyed the most beautiful human relationship that You set in place!”

So, to strengthen and build the marriage relationship, mere human answers will not suffice. Spiritual solutions are required.

There were three important, interlocking principles that God put in place for a joyful marriage relationship. The first principle is to enjoy friendship and companionship between and with each other.  God saw that man was alone; and so would a woman be – alone - without a man. God knew that they needed companionship. However, man and woman cannot cultivate their friendship and companionship with each other without being God-dependent.  At no point can a man or woman take this principle for granted as it will result in a breakdown in marriage. Isn't it evident from the fact that a man and woman can be husband and wife for several years, yet be so distant from each other?

Secondly, they are helpers of each other. Neither one can insist on a superior position in the marriage relationship. They help each other to accomplish God’s purpose for them in marriage. Adam was assigned a task and Eve joined in with him to discharge God’s mission for them. To be helpers to each other, they constantly need to deal with their egos, reckoning themselves dead with Christ. Do we not see how ego clashes are destroying marriage relationships?

Thirdly, they are comparable to each other. Comparability refers to being as good as each other. Roles, therefore, are shared and supported in a marriage.  Comparability marches alongside the truth that men and women are created uniquely different and they bring their uniqueness into the marriage relationship, completing the image of God. The traditional role assignment for men and women in marriage is a fallacy. Men and women need to submit and rely on the Holy Spirit in order to shed long-established viewpoints on marriage.   

God’s heart breaks when He sees our marriages breaking up.     

Tuesday, 2 December 2014


Man’s life began with God.  Man was formed from the dust of the ground and it was God who breathed His breath into the nostrils of Man and Man became a living being. This was not just physical life but Man was now, whole and truly alive.   This wholesomeness for Man included his spiritual, mental, social, physical, ecological and personal well being. All of Man’s wholesomeness lay rooted and rested in his relationship with God.

In order for Man to continuously affirm for himself that he needs to be in relationship with God, God placed a tree in the middle of the garden.  Man was instructed by God not to eat of the fruit of this tree.  It was a crucial dynamic for Man’s wholesomeness.   Every time Man passed the tree, they were reminded of their relationship with their Creator. They would say, ‘no’ to eat the fruit of the tree and by doing so, affirmed for themselves, creation and to the Creator, “We choose to be in relationship with God”.  Man by choice, chose to remain in relationship with God and thereby experienced and enjoyed, wholesomeness. 

We see what this meant to God.  God’s heart was pleased with Man.  He watched them rejecting to eat the fruit, every time they passed the tree.  The communication from Man to God was, “God, we love you and we choose to obey you”.  Man was in a love relationship with God and Man demonstrated his love for God by rejecting to eat of the fruit of the tree.  The result - Man continued in his wholesomeness. 

Along with the instruction to Man, not to eat of the fruit of tree, God also warned them, informing them of the consequences.  The warning was that the day they ate the fruit of the tree, they would surely die.  The death here meant that they would be separated from their relationship with God.  The result of separation from God was that Man would break down and the wholesomeness that Man experienced and enjoyed because of his relationship with His creator, would end.

Man was not ignorant of the consequences of his choice.  The choice that Man made to eat the fruit of the tree did not happen as an impulsive act. It was DELIBERATE.  Man chose and still chooses to rebel and reject a relationship with his Creator. In doing so, Man breaks down.  This is what we see in us and all around us.  We are a broken people and we resemble Humpty Dumpty. 

Sin, therefore is deep and total.  Sin is rebellion against God and Man is in sin because we are in rebellion against our creator.  There is no superficial, band-aid remedy for the problem of sin in Man, which has caused Man’s broken down state.  Man’s condition is terminal and Man by our own effort cannot restore relationship with our Creator and regain wholesomeness. 

Man is now both helpless as well as hostile toward God at the same time.