Marital Relationship Inside Easter?
The book of John 3 verse 16 is a very popular Bible verse, that talks about how God loves mankind and sent his only son to die for our sins to reconcile us back to God so that you and I will seek to live a holy life in order to go to heaven after our life in this world and avoid hell fire or everlasting damnation.
This is the popular perspective of John 3:16, which is the epicentre of the celebration of death and resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter. However, there are perspectives of this scripture that affect marriage. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
1. FOR GOD SO LOVED: Marriage is not man’s idea. It is God’s idea. “He created them male and female and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created” (Genesis 5:2).
“And he said, “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh” (Matthew 19:5, Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:31).
That was the origin of marriage. Now, “FOR GOD SO .LOVED…” Who is God? “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1st John 4:8). In other words, your marriage has to be founded on love. What type of love? The love of God.
If you claim to be a Christian or to know God without God’s love for your spouse, you are God’s enemy because the identity of God and his presence in your life is love. The type of love referred to here is not the type that the world gives. It is the type that forgives, even when you offend 70 times 7 times. Perhaps you are bearing malice with your spouse and yet, go to church every Sunday to clap hands and shout, and disturb the whole environment and deceive yourself. Maybe you even go for night vigil almost every day and claim to love God. My dear, you do not have any connection with God. God is love and his kind of love produces forgiveness without delay. God’s kind of love is always interested in fast reconciliation whenever there is offence. God’s kind of love does not imagine a husband beating up his wife or wife beating up her husband. That is devil’s kind of love. If you are the person that lies to your spouse or defrauds or envies your spouse, intimidates your spouse, sets up your spouse, disgraces your spouse, cheats on your spouse or even hates your spouse, you are an enemy of God, irrespective of the title you carry in church (Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Deacon, etc). God is love. If anyone claims to love God and does not love, the love of the father is not in him or her. “For God so loved…” What are some other evidences that you love your spouse?
“Love is patient and kind. Love does not envy or boast. It is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrong doing but rejoices with the truth. Loves bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1st Corinthians 13:4-7).
If you truly love God as you claim, that love must be reflected in your relationship with your spouse. So, examine your ways.
2. THE WORLD: “For God so loved THE WORLD that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” What is the meaning of the world? Dictionary describes it as “the planet we live on, and all the people, cities and countries on it.” After creation in Genesis, the attitude or acts of humans was evil continually, so much so that at a point, it repented God that he created man (Genesis 6:5-6). Satan also rebelled against his creator. Out of God’s love for mankind and his determination to reconcile man back to himself, he sent Jesus to the world to die and save man from sin. But God continued to warn you and I against loving the world.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1st John 2:15-17).
The things of this world are always in enmity with God. This explains why Jesus said “The Prince Of This World Cometh: And He Hath Nothing In Me” (John 14:30).
The things of this world include their ways of reasoning. So, Bible said “Do not be conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that by testing, you may discern, what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways…,” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
So, if you are unmarried and you decide to enter marriage the way the worldly people do it, you are offending God. The ways of the world involve fornication, lying, deceit, fraud and so on. Why make yourself an enemy of God while he continues to stretch froth his hand of friendship with you. If you are the type who insists that your spouse must meet your material demands before having sex with you, you are following the ways of the world. If you are living an adulterous life, you are a worldly person. The implication is that peace may elude you because the world seeks peace where there is none. But Jesus gives a reliable kind of peace (John 14:27).
Until you begin to see your spouse and marriage from God’s perspective rather than the world’s perspective, you may not find joy.
3. HE GAVE: “For God so loved the world that HE GAVE his only begotten son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Marriage is about giving and sharing. God has defined giving for you by letting go of what is dear to his heart. Giving is driven by love. For God so loved, he gave. If you tell me you love your spouse but you cannot give to him or her, you are a liar. You can give even without loving but you can never love without giving. If you love your spouse, it means your heart has been released. “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” (Luke 12:34, Matthew 6:21).
Are you finding it difficult to give your time, attention, assistance or money to your spouse? You don’t love the person. Besides, God gave you and I the only son he had. That is something we can never pay for. What is the purpose of your own giving? Do you give and expect to be paid even if the payment involves committing sin? If so, you are working for Satan, irrespective of your status in church. You are insisting that you have sex with a lady outside marriage, just because you assisted her with payment of school fees or some other financial assistance. You are a staff of Satan. Perhaps you have turned the young person in your house into a slave because you harboured and assisted the person. You already have your reward. That is not God’s way of giving. As an unmarried person, you claim that you have given your heart to Jesus Christ. Yet, you are giving your body to Satan by submitting it for fornication, adultery or prostitution. Examine your ways.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
4. HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON: “For God so loved the world that he gave HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”Because God loved you and I, he gave us his best; the only son he had. Please, to prove that you love your spouse, give him or her your best. Stop treating your spouse like a stranger. When you get to your office, your boss who may be much younger than your spouse in everything enjoys your utmost respect and honour. You come back home and disrespect your spouse. You are in error. If you love your spouse, give your spouse the best of love with evidence, just as God gave his only begotten son to you and I to show that he loves us.
5. WHOEVER BELIEVES: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that WHOEVER BELIEVES in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The salvation that Christ Jesus brought to you and I through his death and resurrection was for whoever believes. Jesus Christ died to save the whole world and not SOME PEOPLE from sin. Salvation and relationship with God is a heart thing.
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10).
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11).
So, if you are insisting that you must find someone from your denomination or tribe, race or association before you get married, then, you do not know Jesus Christ, neither do you understand the implication of his salvation. The salvation is for whoever believes. It is not for some people. Stop looking down on your spouse’s spirituality or claiming to be more godly, simply because you married him or her from another denomination that you consider less godly or from another race. Salvation in Christ Jesus is a personal individual experience and is for whoever believes.
6. IN HIM: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes IN HIM should not perish but have everlasting life.” It is those who believe in Jesus Christ that are saved. Salvation is not for those who believe in a particular denomination, church leader or church brand name. Today, many marriages are breaking because of belief in various things other than Jesus Christ himself. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life…’ (John 14:6).
“Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
If you put your faith or belief in pocket gods, denomination, handkerchiefs, anointing oil, holy water and many other things, you have left the Almighty saviour. You are on your own. For instance, you may be given a handkerchief, anointing oil, holy water or any other item purchased from the market and as someone looking for a spouse, they tell you that whoever you touch such item with, will become your spouse. If you depend on that, you are simply using an alternative power to HIM in making a destiny decision. Marriage is too serious for such gamble as a method of choice. Whoever believes in Jesus will make it. Look unto HIM, “the author and finisher of your faith.” Believe in Jesus Christ and nothing else. Ignore the distractions of the world and desperate moves you see others make against God’s will. You are not the same.
7. SHOULD NOT PERISH: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him SHOULD NOT PERISH but have everlasting life.” God’s intention is that if we believe in him, we should not perish. There is no reason why a husband or wife who is possessed by the spirit of the resurrected Jesus, should marry, and that marriage eventually fails. Jesus Christ and his nature have nothing to do with failure. Jesus Christ and his salvation form a total package. He died so that we should not perish, fail or suffer unnecessarily in any endeavour. Jesus Christ’s nature represents excellence, wisdom, marital success, business success, skilfulness, purity, fruitful work and even, holiness. Christianity ought to be a license to a joyful marriage rather than a troubled one. If it is not so, one or both parties have some explanations to make. God never sent us into this world to perish or suffer unnecessarily. In Jeremiah 1:5, God said: “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb. I knew you.” He sent you into this world for a purpose. Failure to discover God’s purpose is the problem. Why should you get married without consulting or carrying along, the creator of both you and the person you are to marry? Many married people are suffering today either because they made the wrong choices or made the right choice but went through the wrong procedure that contradicted divine instructions. Some others are suffering because they just refused to listen to or involve God in their marital affairs, even in the midst of crisis. If you are this person, I want you to know that Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection were intended to ensure that you find joy in your marital life. See Jeremiah 29:11.
So, it will pay you if you seek to discover God’s purpose for your life and his will in your marriage. Don’t just do what you see the people of this world do. Copy cart life does not produce self fulfilment. Only Jesus can give you satisfaction and deliver you from suffering here on earth, and from perishing in hell fire. Many people may end up in hell fire just because of marriage. May your own marriage lead you to heaven in Jesus name!
8. HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him should not perish but HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE.” Only a few people today exceed 100 years before departure from this world. The life beyond is more important. We came with nothing and we will go naked with nothing. So, it is phony when you invite someone to give his or her heart to Christ and the person says: “Hold on. I am still young and yet to marry. Let me enjoy my life first.” What a display of ignorance! If Christ is to appear today to take his people, is he going to give you a sign or take permission from you or consider your marriage target or whatever target you have in life? We are talking about the owner of your life who has the prerogative to decide whether or not you will ever marry anybody.
“Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).
“But the fearful and unbelieving and the abominable and murderers and fornicators and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8)
Who are the other people that may face God’s wrath? If you are tormenting your spouse emotionally or physically, God is not happy with you. If you have refused to forgive your spouse a particular offence, your heavenly father will also refuse to forgive you your own offences, according to Jesus Christ in Matthew 6:15.
Besides, Bible says “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26). This means that as long as you have that grudge against your spouse, there is no relationship with God because there is no love, and God is love. In that case, your prayer is just noise making and fruitless exercise. So, reconcile differences with your spouse so that you will not miss everlasting life. The heavenly lifestyle is to be practised from here on earth. Otherwise, you will be a stranger there. May you not miss heaven in Jesus name. Amen.
Let us see John 3:17. “For God sent not his son to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved.” The ultimate purpose of Jesus’ death and resurrection was to deliver you from sin and ensure you make heaven. He did not come to condemn you. So, maybe you have been cheating on, lying to, maltreating, defrauding or even deceiving your spouse. You don’t like doing this. You have regretted your actions several times but you found yourself doing it again after regrets. You are the reason for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He shed his blood on the cross for you and that blood carries mercy. He wants to save you from sin only on one condition; if you believe. See Romans 10:9.
So, are you ready to embrace Christ’s salvation from sin so that you gain eternal life at the end? Are you ready to be a godly husband or wife from today so that you will become God’s friend rather than his enemy? This is an opportunity for you.
Please, if you do not believe what the Bible says, then throw it away and stop carrying it every Sunday. Don’t parade what you don’t believe. Jesus truly saves. Believe, obey God’s word and enjoy your marriage in Jesus name! Amen.
FOR PRAYERS, QUESTIONS, COUNSEL, CONTACT
Pastor Albinus Chiedu