By Rev. Evangelist Adetokunbo Emmanuel
Your personal definition of success eventually becomes your purpose irrespective of whatever reason God made you for. Whatever that is, becomes your object of pursuit into which you plow all your potential to achieve. Everything you’ve got will be deployed and directed in the direction of achieving what you see as success.
Meanwhile, our definition of success may be wrong, in which case, we pursue the wrong things with all of God’s grace and providence in our lives, and may be unfortunate enough to achieve them, because here on earth, God has given humans the power to achieve things, even if contrary to His will.
We shouldn’t be deciding the purposes of things we didn’t create. Only the manufacturer should tell the reason for creating a thing, to avoid its abuse by a user. If we didn’t invent it, we can only discover its purpose and not determine it. The usefulness of a thing to us may be an abuse of it if we don’t receive its purpose from its maker. The maker is the only one who can tell why it was made, the problem it is to solve, and how it should be used to maximize its potential.
Marriage can be useful to us in so many ways. It creates companionship and solves the problems of intimacy and procreation. It creates a home for people and forms the foundation of society from where people are groomed to be useful to their communities, both physically and morally. It creates a nursery where people are nurtured in an environment that affords their survivability and their thriving toward their independence and interdependence. Marriage creates a loving hub where people can learn love, relationships, and responsibilities. If every married person is asked what it brings to his or her life, we won’t be able to exhaust the topic.
While marriage may be so useful to us, we can only make the most of it by knowing what was God’s original intention for creating it. Of course, all the usefulness listed above include the reasons why God made marriage, but the usefulness of marriage to God, who made it will be the ultimate and the original reason for it, while the rest can be secondary reasons.
God’s ultimate goal as at today is His coming kingdom where righteousness rules. That’s what Jesus Christ was sent here for. That why He died on the cross. That’s why He taught us to pray for the kingdom to come. That’s why He said we should seek the Kingdom first and above all else. When we seek His Kingdom, we seek His righteousness. When we seek His Kingdom we seek His will. The Kingdom of God is the reason for the new birth and the new creation. God is giving birth to the citizens of His coming Kingdom, sharing His nature and Spirit with them, so that they can walk in the culture of the Kingdom.
Marriage is useful to us to form our own society among humans, where we teach our ways and traditions to our children to live morally and responsibly in our own society as citizens. The question is, who determines those values we teach to our children? Who determines what good home training is? Who determines societal morality in our day? Is it God or some professors of sociology and some human right activists?
Marriage is useful to God in the formation His own community and society. Through the home, God intends to teach people the ways of His Kingdom, so that they can enjoy all that His Kingdom offers. Through marriage, homes where God reigns and where His will is done are built. Marriage creates micro-kingdoms for God. Every marriage is meant to be a microcosm of God’s ultimate Kingdom where God reigns and rules through His Word and His Spirit in righteousness.
“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.” 1Corinthians 11:3
A marriage succeeds when God heads it and it becomes God’s Kingdom. Marriage isn’t succeeding, according to God’s word quoted above, if God isn’t the overall head. He is head not because we so pray alone, but because His word is obeyed and His will is done. In recognizing Him as the King over the marriage whose word is the law and the constitution, the resultant association and community become God’s Kingdom. There, the culture of His Kingdom is learned, His righteousness becomes tradition and the determinant of core values and morality.
“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12
This is why marriage becomes the major target of the enemies of God. The battle to make God the King of the home has never been fiercer than it is today, and the more people dethrone God from being the head of their marriages, while even enjoying the usefulness of marriage, the more society slides into evil.
To make God King of that marriage and home is the battle that every marriage must fight through decision, determination, dependence on God, diligence, discipline, and being deliberate. That must be the overall goal and vision of the marriage. It isn’t a battle to outsource to the church, to the school system, or to the government. They can be of great help as they were meant to be if they aren’t corrupted already themselves, but this is a battle to fight by those in that marriage themselves with help from God.
Check how you define the success of your marriage, check what you’re investing and getting out of it, and ask yourself where God, who gave marriage, is in all of that. I pray God to bless your marriage with His leadership as you seek His Kingdom in that home in Jesus’ name. Amen