“And here’s a second offense: You fill the place of worship with your whining and sniveling because you don’t get what you want from God. Do you know why? Simple. Because God was there as a witness when you spoke your marriage vows to your young bride, and now you’ve broken those vows, broken the faith-bond with your vowed companion, your covenant wife. God, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does he want from marriage? Children of God, that’s what. So guard the spirit of marriage within you. Don’t cheat on your spouse.” Malachi 2:13-15
Two good friends of mine, who are a couple, recently revealed that their marriage was in serious trouble. They wanted to seek my advice, so I listened to their problems. After understanding their situation, I realised that their problems were no different from what most married couples experience. Neither of them addressed these minor issues and, as time passed, their marriage deteriorated and those minor issues evolved into a full-blown crisis.
Both my friends are not believers and this is the biggest headache for me trying to help them. I had a hard time explaining the fundamentals of marriage without bringing in the author of marriage, our Almighty God (Genesis 2:24-25). When two people get married without God as a witness, there is very little implication except those of legality. This is why many non-believing couples choose to live together without tying the knot. They believe that if there is enough trust then the “piece of paper” is not really necessary. It may make sense but unfortunately when that trust is broken, as in my friends’ case, the worthiness of the marriage is taken away too.
Christian marriages are different. In Christian marriages, God is the witness of the marriage covenant, thus making it holy. The marriage is holy all the time, whether it’s a good or bad day. On good days we thank God for them, and on bad days, we run to God for strength to commit, courage to change, wisdom to comfort, and the ability to forgive. We do this even though it’s difficult because we know that He is the witness of our marriage covenant. These verses in Malachi tell us we will no longer be in God’s favour if we are not faithful to our spouses. That itself should be a pretty good drive for us to love our spouse faithfully.
Let’s make God the centre of our marriages by:
- Thanking Him for modelling what marriage is in our covenant with Him where the church is the bride and Jesus is the bridegroom; and,
- Asking His help, forgiveness and guidance in our marriage. Also, pray for your married friends, if you are single.