Together Forever Vol.4

 

Dearly beloved, it is my joy and privilege to wish you a very happy New Year. Wow! Praise God! We’ve survived another year. To Him alone be all the glory, in the highest heavens.

 

Well, it’s that time of year again when many make resolutions. I wonder, are you making or have you made any resolutions regarding your marriage this year? Whatever we have resolved to do, we must always bear in mind that we cannot do anything in our own strength for “it’s not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.” We can, and we will be able to do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

 

Forgetting the Past

One of the things that will help us progress in our marriages this year is to yield to the admonitions of Paul, in Phil. 3: 13 - “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before.”

There is no reason for any one of us to bring in anything from the past year into this new one. By this I mean, any hurts, disappointments, and failures in our spouses or us. We can make up our minds that through the help of the Holy Spirit we will forgive and move on, that we will be more determined to pray for our spouses and children this year than we did in the past. And, we would be a strong defence for our home, against all the wiles and attacks of the enemy.

 

Lies of the enemy

One of the ways the devil hits us really hard in our marriages is to make us feel we made a mistake in our choice of partner. That is a lie from the pit of hell.

Now let me ask, did you choose that partner, or did God choose for you? Even if you got married when you were both unsaved, and now one of you is saved and the other is not. Yes, this does cause a lot of strain in a marriage relationship because the Bible says, “Can two work together except they be agreed?” The point is that when each of us determines to play our part, as we should, then we can overcome whatever obstacles and challenges the enemy will throw at us. Of course, in situations like this, it is expected that the saved spouse, who is presumed to have found the light, will bear a greater part of the responsibility. For, “the light shines in darkness, and the darkness cannot comprehend it.” The Christian man or woman who has an unsaved spouse is the “light” and “salt” in that home. Through their lives and godly example, they can win their spouses, and there are many real life examples where this has happened. In 1 Peter 3: 1-2, the Bible says, “wives, fit in with your husbands’ plans; for then if they refuse to listen when you talk to them about the Lord, they will be won by your respectful, pure behaviour. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words.” This passage lends credence to the fact that we can win our spouses through our godly examples.

 

First Love

Before you married your spouse, there was something you saw in each other, which made you decide to get married. Although, there is enough evidence, which suggest that many have often gotten married for all the wrong reasons, only to want to quickly get out of it, as they went with into it.

One can recall that although Jacob served Laban for Rachel, he was given Leah. She was not his choice at all; yet, we have no account of him putting her away or rejecting her. If the Patriarchs of old could make their marriages work under the old covenant, what excuse do we have under a new covenant? We have everything we need, which pertains unto life and godliness through the atoning power in the blood of Jesus.

 

The point is this; many marriages are suffering from the demise of their ‘first love’.

 

When you went before the altar with your spouse, you believed you had found one with whom you would share the rest of your life. You made a covenant in the presence of God, and in the presence of many witnesses that it would be ‘for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health … until death (do you) part’.

 

Sadly, it is with deep sense of remorse that I submit to the fact that the Body of Christ have let God down in the area of marriage.

 

The devil is so smart that he knows where he can best hit the Church. The CBN reported recently that the divorce rate amongst ‘born-again’ believers is now higher (27% in America) than amongst the unsaved (24%). As a matter of fact, it was reported that the atheists boasted in their web site that they had a lower rate of divorce than amongst those who believed in God. Wow! It is time for the Church to shake up itself! Where is our testimony? Where is the difference Christ makes? Why would an atheist want to be saved if so-called believers cannot keep their homes intact through the ALL-SUFFICIENT grace of God?

 

Wanted: Cross Bearers

We live in a convenience-driven society, such that it is almost becoming impossible to ‘forbear with one another’. Yet the Bible admonishes us in Heb.12:1-4 to look ‘unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself. Lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin’.

 

Cry Aloud

Dear friends, this is the time for deep mourning for the Church. It is time for the Body of Christ to rise up and put on the armour of light, and shake off this demon of destruction that has been unleashed against Christian marriages. This is not the time to stand in judgement; it is a time for a deep cry, a time for us to intercede for one another, for God to have mercy, and to restore our first love for Him and for one another.  

 

Together Forever Series
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© 2014 Ngozi Okike