Together Forever Vol.1

 

God’s Idea

When God created the first man, Adam, He knew that “it was not good for man to be alone”. God took the initiative to form a woman (meaning taken out of man) to be a help meet, for man. The woman was taken not from his head, so that the man would lord it over her (or vice versa), or from his feet, so that he could trample upon her (and vice versa), but from his side, so that they could walk together, side by side in obedience to the will of God.

 

Miracle at Cana

The importance of this holy institution of marriage is emphasised in that Jesus performed His first miracle (St John’s Gospel), at a marriage ceremony, in Cana of Galilee, where He turned water into wine. This miracle has a lot of spiritual significance for us today. The wine had run out at this wedding ceremony. The occasion would have ended sooner than expected, and all the guests would have left. What did Jesus do? He provided the “best wine” just at the time the ceremony was almost over. Perhaps some of the ladies present would have been picking up their handbags, and the men their jackets. And suddenly ‘the best wine’ emerged. This prompted ‘the governor’ (chairman) of the occasion to ask ‘why is it that you are serving the best wine now? Is it not usual for the best wine to be served first?’

 

Never too Late with God

What does this tell us? It is never too late with God. If right now, the wine (of love) in your marriage has run out, Jesus is able and willing to give you the ‘best wine’ you’ve ever had. And this is regardless of how really hopeless might be the situation in your home. Perhaps you are a Christian lady, passionately in love with Jesus but your husband is not saved, or has backslidden. You have done everything you know best to do, yet he seems to be getting worse. Your life has become a drag, and almost meaningless. What do you do? Walk out on him? Maybe your husband is an alchoholic, or has been involved in an adulterous relationship. It could also be that he has become violent, or persecutes you, and does not like your involvement in Christian activities. Has your marriage gone sour? Do you feel trapped in your relationship and can’t seem to find the way out?

 

Does it Make Any Sense?

Well, this is what you have to do – “Whatsoever He says to you”! Let’s go back to this wedding in Cana of Galilee. The mother of Jesus said to Him, “son they have no wine”. Jesus instructed them to put water into water pots and begin to serve them to the guests. Was that rational? Did it make any sense? What if they had spent the whole day arguing about the foolishness of what Jesus asked them to do? They would never have received the miracle they needed – wine for the feast. They only wanted more wine, but Jesus gave them more than they asked for – THE BEST THAT WAS EVER POSSIBLE! What was the key to their receiving this miracle? OBEDIENCE. It is possible that God has been speaking to you about your relationship with your husband/partner, but you have been disobedient. But if you just let go, and let God, you will receive your miracle. It may not happen instantly, but as you remain faithful and committed to God and to your marriage, God Himself will step into your situation. More importantly, He’d show up when you least expect it.

 

An Everlasting Covenant

Many of us forget that when we entered into a marriage relationship, we made a covenant with each other, before God, and before many witnesses, that we would ‘love and cherish … in sickness and in health … for richer for poorer … for better for worse’ until death do us part.  Breaking a marriage covenant is a very serious thing before God. As a matter of fact, I shudder at the thought. ‘The fear of (reverence for) God, and faith in His ability to do all things, will keep us from breaking our marriage covenant.

 

Jesus Our Model

 Many of us fail to realise that going to the Cross was not easy for Our Lord Jesus Christ, yet he surrendered His will to that of the Father. And Jesus said in His Word, that any one who does not take up His cross and follow Him is not worthy of Him. Your cross could be leaving with an alchoholic, and loving him with the love of God until He gets saved. When we picture Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, wrestling in prayer until his sweat was like blood through His pores, then we would appreciate that it is not always easy to surrender our will to God. Imagine what would have happened if Jesus walked out on God in that Garden, and said to Him, “Father, I’m sorry, but what you are asking me to do is impossible. I didn’t commit any sin, and yet you are asking me to die for the sins of the whole world?” Since Jesus was able to conquer His will in that Garden, He is saying to you, ‘take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I meek and lowly at heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light’(Matt. 11:29-30).

 

Impossibility with God?

 I believe that one of the worst sins we can commit as christians, is underestimating what God can do, or questioning His authority. If because of the seeming ‘hopeless situation’ I face in my marriage, I consider that the best option is to walk out, then we are in effect saying ‘God I’m sorry, but this is one situation I think is beyond your ability’. Is this really true? If we make it our goal in life, like Jesus, to put God first, and His glory, before our seeming ‘discomfort’ or ‘unhappiness’, then we would be willing to endure all things for His sake.

 

Just last week I heard an 18-year old girl on the KILROY talk show (topic: ‘I’m proud to be a single parent’) blaming her mother for what happened to her marriage. She felt that her mother should have tried harder in the relationship. And that is the point. We live in a society where divorce seems to be the vogue, to the point that even Christian men and women are now caught in the web. If that is the case, where is our witness? If God cannot keep our marriages together, how can we witness to unsaved friends in difficult relationships about the saving power of Jesus?

 

Divorced, and So What?

Many of us in our ignorance, think that divorce is the end of the story. That is far from the  truth. When we divorce, we’re saying that the wine of love has completely run out of our marriage. And so what? Jesus still brings divorced people together! I know a lovely couple with children who divorced and went their separate ways for two years (and both even entered into new relationships), yet the Lord brought them together again, and today, they are both faithfully serving the Lord, and are more in love than when they first met. Is anything too difficult for God? I know another couple with four children who went their separate ways for fifteen years, and God brought them together again. If God is the Author of marriage, can He not put it together if something goes wrong? If I want my home appliance repaired, I would take it to the manufacturers, or to those trained to repair such appliances, and not just to any body. The problem is that some of us take our marriage problems to those who cannot help us. I know a Christian lady whose solicitor advised her to divorce her husband because he had been involved in an adulterous relationship. Today, by the grace of God, the marriage is being restored, even though they had been apart for a few years. When we follow the manufacturers’ instructions, our appliances work better. So it is in our marriage relationships. Our ‘Instructor’s Manual’ is the Bible. We can never go wrong by following its instructions, and even when we do, it will always help us to retrace our steps.

 

Love is the Key!

A framed text on the wall of our home says ‘God’s Love Carries An Eternal Guarantee’, and that  is the truth.

The point is that as believers, we have the love of God, and, as the Bible says, ‘love shall cover a multitude of sins’. Therefore, no sin is too small or too great that we cannot forgive. If God can forgive and love us as He does in spite of all we’ve done, why can’t we forgive others?  The love of God is ETERNAL, and is summarised in ICor.13: 4-8, as follows:

Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter the cost. You will always stand your ground in defending him. All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, BUT LOVE GOES ON FOREVER (IT NEVER ENDS). (LIVING BIBLE)

 

God will Turn it Around

A lady left her husband and went into an adulterous relationship in which she had two children. She returned to her husband after some years. He forgave her and took her back again, with her children. So, whatever, you may be experiencing in your marriage, co-operate with God and see Him make you a living testimony of what He alone can do. Jesus has left us an example, to follow in His footsteps. Even if you think you made a mistake in the choice of your spouse, God can, and He will turn it around. Always remember this, THERE IS NOTHING IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD, and, all things are possible to those who believe. If Lazarus could be brought back to life when the world thought he was in a stinking state, God can bring life back into your marriage no matter the state it is in.

 


 
Together Forever Series
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© 2014 Ngozi Okike