Let me begin this piece by examining the words of Jesus concerning marriage written in Matthew 19:4-8. I believe it is a familiar passage of the Bible that we have read and heard people quote a lot of times. It says:
“And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate. They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away? 8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.”
One can begin to ponder on these words of Jesus from now till eternity and still continue to enjoy the graciousness that comes with those words. Jesus started by indicting the Pharisees about their knowledge and understanding of the law of Moses concerning marriage. The Pharisees sure were knowledgeable people. They were the custodians of the law. They knew the law of Moses from A-Z and most times, they punish anyone who is not seen practicing the law as Moses laid them down. They were religious folks, who on most occasions, feels they were more sanctimonious than everyone else.
For instance, on many occasions, the Pharisees spoke against Jesus for healing on the Sabbath and also for teaching the people in the synagogues on Sabbaths. On countless occasions too, the Pharisees forced the law of Moses on people while they themselves fail to uphold some or are hypocritical concerning some. So, when they came to Jesus testing Him about marriage with what Moses had written to them in their law, Jesus also began by indicting them about their level of reading and comprehension on the said law. Jesus said: “Have you not read…?” Now, let us begin from that phrase that Jesus made to them.
It would interest you to know that marriage is first and foremost, founded upon knowledge. Many people go into marriage today not understanding what marriage entails, how to conduct themselves in marriage and how to even stay married. Because it is one thing to get married and it is another thing to stay married. Staying married is usually founded upon the revelation of marriage that you know. It is true that marriage would present us with some lifelong lessons as the journey progresses. But there are few things that intending married couple must know about the institution of marriage before it is even dabbled into. Knowledge they say is powerful. Ignorance of anything is not an excuse. The only thing that damages one’s ignorance is nothing but the right knowledge. It is wrong to go into marriage with assumptions.
A lot of folks in our world today married on assumptions. There are many who are still going to marry on assumption. And the truth of the matter is that assumption is the worst form of knowledge. If you begin to investigate why some marriages end in divorce, you would be shocked that some of those couples involved married each other on assumptions. How can you see a potential red flag in your spouse’s behavior for example, and you still go ahead with marrying him or her? A man who obviously beats you during dating or courtship would of course, increase the doze of beating in the marriage. Going ahead with such a spouse is marrying on a faulty assumption that he would change, of which, he may never change.
Some of those marriages end up with statement such as “had I known.” Of course, you knew, you just weren’t knowledgeable enough to have walked away from an obvious red flag. Don’t assume your spouse is what he is not or what she is not. Don’t assume anything. The first thing you must arm yourself with before marriage is knowledge; knowledge about the marriage institution, and knowledge about your spouse as well. A lady once asked me if a guy she was dating at the time and who consume too much alcohol would change if she gets married to him. My response to her was simple. The chances of him changing in marriage is slim. If indeed he would stop in marriage, what stops him from putting an end to it while dating? It is important that you have enough knowledge of your spouse even before marriage. Don’t assume anything.
Another thing from that text I would like to touch on is what Jesus said about the two becoming one flesh. Marriage suspends every idea about individuality and emphasizes on oneness. Jesus was shocked that the Pharisees did not understand the mystery behind this oneness. He said: “‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.” The mystery of oneness in marriage cancels everything known as individuality. The husband and the wife are so intertwined that they become inseparable. As a matter of fact, this oneness was what informed what the apostle Paul talked about in 1 Corinthians 7:4 that: “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”
In marriage, the husband and the wife are not two, they are one. They are not competitors, but ‘complementors’. Where exactly does this oneness comes from? First, it comes from the sexual relation that exists between them. Just like Jesus said concerning the sabbath: “man was not made for the sabbath, the sabbath was made for man” (mark 2:27), the same principle could be applied in the light of marriage as well. Marriage was not made for sexual intercourse (marriage institution is bigger than sex), but sexual intercourse was made for marriage. The question is: to what end? So that the oneness of the husband and the wife can be effective and solidified. It is a shame to think that all married couples do is have sexual intercourse. And it is also a disastrous thing for the marriage if husband and wife don’t come together to have sexual intimacy as they ought to, “except with consent for a time” from either of the couples, apostle Paul said, “that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
What am I saying? Two powerful revelations drives the marriage institution and it is important that married couples and intending couples understand these things. The first thing is that marriage is founded on knowledge. God knew (knowledge) that Adam was lonely, and then, He brought Eve to her. Jesus also indicted the Pharisees on the ground that they haven’t read so much about marriage and so, it informed their warped understanding about the institution of marriage. Knowledge is key when it comes to marriage and resolving marital issues. The second revelation is the mystery of oneness. You are one with your spouse and you therefore, cannot be separated from him or her. Even though when it appears that there is a physical separation, there is always this longing of the soul for each other that always surfaces.
The idea behind this oneness is God showing us one simple truth: that He (God) hates divorce. God never intended that married couples separate. If you truly understand what oneness means in marriage, then divorce would be the least of your worries in marriage. Even though you and your spouse have issues here and there, divorce would be the last thing on your mind. The truth is, marital issues are not insurmountable. Going to social media to ventilate your anger in your marriage wouldn’t solve it. What resolves marriage challenges is the couples coming together and working on their differences. This is why you need revelation for your own marriage. Don’t allow little disagreements or misunderstanding to bring about an end to your marriage. Learn to come together as couples and have a middle ground where you both always meet.
I pray that your marriage be heaven on earth, in Jesus’ name!