In today’s society the sanctity of marriage is totally lost. The frightening increase in divorce, domestic violence, extra-marital affairs are breaking up families and destroying lives-even in the Church! It is no wonder that we are called the ‘broken-up people’.
- Love marriage: It follows the principle: “Fall in love and marry. Fall out of love and leave!”
- Arranged marriage: A missionary who worked in South India for many years, concluded that many marriages in the region are frequently based on ‘Six Cs’: Caste, Community, Cash Colour, Career, and lastly Character- and in that order!! Is it true of us too?
- Internet marriage: Many inform their parents and seek their blessing of their approval and presence. Others, make the decision independently and just inform their parents, and get married whether their parents approve or not- bringing hurt to those who love them!
In the above cases some have worked out to be fulfilling marriages-but many have not! Recent trends are more casual and frightening, where they base their interest only of the sensual pleasure for the moment- casting aside God- designed values and morals in relationships.
- Gay marriage: This same-sex marriages are promoted by liberals in US and even in India, The Paul in Romans1:26,27 warns us strongly against their perversion as being “ inflamed with lust for one another”
- Live-in relationship: Youth of today think: ”Why marry-when you can have the relationship without the responsibilities!” The couple live together and if they feel they cannot get along with one another, they break off-and move into another relationship! Sanctity of the marriage relationship is gone!
- Corporate spouse: With the long hours at work, today’s trend is to have “Corporate Spouse” Ever heard of it? You have your spouse at home –but you enjoy that relationship with someone else at your workplace!
A marriage cannot be based on emotional reasons, no matter how strong they may be, or on good physical appearances(these fade away one day!) or love of money and traditional values of caste, or one’s self-centred pleasure or convenience! The critical factors that make for a good marriage is a godly character, grounded in God’s design and purpose and lived out by the principles as revealed in His Word.
As Christ’s followers, we are warned “not to be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind..” (Rom 12:2). God calls us to holiness of life and faithfulness
For this to happen, the couple must first be committed to the Person of Jesus Christ and then to each other. Marriage is therefore a pledge of mutual fidelity according to the vows we take – “ For better, for worse, in sickness and in health ….till death do us apart!”
It is a covenant relationship
Marriage therefore, needs be sought for the right reasons and based on strong spiritual foundation of the Word! Just like you need to prepare yourself and be equipped for any responsibility in a job, more so you need to know and understand how marriage works between two people from different backgrounds and different temperaments.
Let us recognize that human beings did not create marriage! Therefore, apart from God, we cannot know God’s true purpose of a meaningful life with the same person for life. It is almighty God, who made the heavens and the earth, who also designed and created marriage. So, it is important that we go to His Word to understand how we can build a happy, intimate and healthy relationship with one another. Only a we draw closer to God, will He be able to draw us closer to one another.
Though marriage is often looked upon as merely a physical union, starting with a wedding ceremony, it is actually a divine institution, created by God Himself. The Christian marriage is God’s way of building up future godly generations. The Creator God designed marriage to be a source of the great happiness and intimacy a person can enjoy in this earth. We can have an exciting, happy, marriage, but only if you follow God’s design and purpose- to “become one”. It’s a lifelong process. It is a learning process. It is one of God’s ways to refine us and make us what He wants us to be.
Dr. Juliet Thomas is President and Editor-in-chief of the new Christian Lifestyle magazine Vashti Woman. . She is also currently founder President of Thara Wholistic Development of Women, aspiring to bring disadvantaged women, in the urban/rural areas and slums, a better quality of life. She has been an integral part of various national/international forums/committees for more than 25 years. Author of six books, she has often written and spoken about women’s issues both in India and abroad.