What Is Marriage.

To re-define marriage is the current debate of our technologically advance society. Same-sex marriage is the #1 topic on this lust driven agenda.
As time and circumstances change, indeed some things become archaic and change is justifiable. But, there are certain foundational principles that cannot and should not be altered irrespective of the times or cultures.. The Bible says’ “Remove not the old landmark which thy fathers have set.” Proverbs 23:10.

Let’s take for instance—“Thou shalt not kill.” As old as this law is–according to the FBI-UCR program there were 15.693 murders in the US in 2015. Should we then redefine murder? Murder seems to be the highlight of our daily news.

By logical reasoning as with LGBT’s agenda, we should legalize this crime state by state. But, to do so would be foolish by any standards.
Likewise, marriage is one of those foundational principles that cannot be altered, regardless of modern-day trends. In the beginning, God created Adam and because he was alone God created for and from Adam a suitable helpmeet–Eve.
At first sight, Adam declared, “This is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”

Thus, God established a pattern for marriage–a man and a woman. But, by vile affections, unseemly behavior and un-natural acts, men and women continue to change the truth of God into a lie. And, since they do not retain God in their knowledge, He has given them over to reprobate minds, to do those which are not convenient. Romans 1:21-30.

However, marriage Is:
1. Marriage is, and always will be the union of one man with one woman in a holy covenant as established by God. Genesis 2:18-25.
She was physically and emotionally different; therefore she complemented him–there was no need for competition.
She was suitable because:                                                                         A. Together, they could carry out God’s plan to multiply and replenish the earth.
B. None of the animal, birds or fish: could meet Adams needs.
C. God could not meet all of Adam’s needs. Eve was the created vessel to meet those needs. God is Spirit, Adam is Flesh.

Their sin was not sex—it was their disobedience to specific instructions.

2. Marriage is the most honorable thing a man can do in the eyes of God. However, honor wears a costly price tag—complete surrender. The noteworthy challenge is—if we will not submit to God, neither will we submit to a spouse. Honor thrives best in the spirit of humility.

3. Marriage is that divine crucible into which two people may enter, and by a series of sometimes excruciating, transformations, become one with each other. Ephesians 5:31 says, “They two shall be one flesh.”
Contrary to the modern-day trend, you cannot become one with your spouse while maintaining your individuality. “I need my own space,” is counter-productive, to becoming one. “I “ and “Me” must be replaced with “We” and “Us”. Like medicine, the taste may be un-pleasant, but it’s the panacea for the pain.

To Become Demands Change–the expense of: Time, Patience, Understanding and Forgiveness.

4. Marriage begins with a wedding, but it will take more than food and drink, gowns and tucks., pearls and diamonds, lips and hips, six-pack abs., or six-figure incomes, to have a marriage. Be warned: the emotional and physical demands are far greater than butterfly romance and tantric sex. “O for a closer walk with God” is going to be the hearts’ cry of everyone who dares to walk to the altar and vows, “I do.”

The ceremony may last a few hours, with expenditures amounting to thousands of dollars. The marriage however, is meant for life and will cost more than the proverbial “Arm and a Leg.” It has to be the total sacrifice. Not a matching 50/50, but each spouse committing one hundred percent.

5. In marriage God must be first. Not just in word but in practice. Spouses second, children third then family and friends. Every precept must be built upon a precept–first things must be set first. Initiating precepts, where there are no precepts is like trying to install a door or a window where there are no walls. Furthermore, it’s asking two people to love and care for each other, when there’s no relationship with God. The foundation of every marriage must be rooted in our devotion to God.

6. Marriage has no I did, or I will, only–I do. Yesterdays’ good deeds and tomorrows’ thoughtful intentions cannot be substituted for what is needed for the present. Therefore every day from that memorable moment at the altar, each spouse must continually say–I do.

The focus and future of the marriage cannot be the initial attractions or the honeymoon experiences. Changes in physical appearances, finances, health and many other issues do occur–so that, some of the exciting things you shared during the courtship may not be practical in the marriage.
The greater purpose for commitment should be the promises made, by the vow of the covenant.
“To have and to hold–I do
To love and to cherish–I do
In sickness or health–I do
For richer or poorer–I do.
For better or for worse–I do
Till death do us path–I do.
Each statement of promise exercised daily.
It doesn’t matter how you feel–I do.
Even when you don’t feel anything–I do.
When you’re unhappy with each other–I do.
Regardless of the circumstances–I do.

Every day should be a new day–a new beginning–all we’ll ever have is the stark reality of now–today. So that, over and over, and over again: I should be willing to do, until all that I-do–is because of all that I’ve become. Daily sacrificing self, while progressively reconciling all accounts, until the scale is balanced and one plus one, equals one.

                  What Does It Mean To Be A Wife or Husband?

7. In marriage, the husband is to the wife, what Christ is to the church, and the wife is to her husband, what the Church is to Christ. Ephesians 5:23.
8. Marriage and Christ-likeness are synonymous. Husbands must Love their wives as Christ loves the Church. Ephesians 5:25.
9. In marriage, the wife must reverence her husband. Ephesians 5:33. (Another word for reverence is respect.)

                                Roles and Function:
10. Husbands and wives are not equal. As the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:24.                                                                                        This has nothing to do with culture or tradition–it’s what the Bible says.
But because he loves as Christ loves:
He sacrifices himself for her comfort, happiness, and wellbeing.
She lacks nothing that she desires.
She’s his number one priority.
She’s loved beyond measure.
She has no care. Her provisions are in abundance.
She’s protected from evil, fear and worry.
Ps. Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him lord. 1 Peter3:6.

11. In marriage, the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. Ephesians 5:23.
Regardless of what our customs and cultures have handed down to us, the word of God is the final authority on marriage. Our only response is obedience.

Married with Children/Dogs

Three years went by before we exchanged vows in October of 2014. She is everything my heart desired–a tiny five feet three inches, 110 pounds, long (salt and pepper) hair, and an enchanting smile.

I learned a lot about her character and personality, from her profile on— “Christian Mingle.com.” Her core color—White. My core color—Red. Red is also her favorite color. It therefore, didn’t take much for me to convince her that we could easily blend into a beautiful pink–another of her favorite colors. She joyfully agreed with an exuberant– “Yes we can.”

But, on listening to the key-note-speaker, at one of the many pre-marital seminars we attended, the 85-year-old pastor testified; “My wife and I are now married 65 years. The secret—I did not fall in love.” Surprised… we looked at each other, as a deafening silence blanketed the entire audience of about three hundred.

The speaker paused–giving everyone the opportunity to tune-in, to the next statement he was about to make. “But,” he continued, “I made a conscious decision to love her, based on the wise and godly counsel of others who knew us both. Many turbulent years have passed, but I’ve stood by my decision.” “Of course,” he said, smiling confidently as he gently adjusted his glasses over his m-shaped nose–“I’m now more deeply in love with her than ever, and it’s only death that can separate us now.”
I had not heard such profundity, about love and marriage—spoken with such simplicity. Immediately 1000 watts of light turned on in my head and heart. At that very moment, I decided–this is the woman, I want to love, honor and, cherish–in sickness, or in health, for richer, or poorer, till death do we part. So help me God!

However, her marriage package includes two adult daughters, and a ten months old grand-baby-girl; who loves singing especially when we’re at church. Our favorite hymn is, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”
But, the other half of this nuptial bond, involves not one, no–not two, but three dogs. Gigi, Pork Chop, and Honey– all females.  Our “empty nest” is inhabited by other life forms, which follow her footstep, everywhere. I mean every–where!

No! I don’t like pets–not cats, not dogs, not birds, not even a fish. I did as a child but I grew up and I have no time for pets, and I doubt I ever will. (Go ahead and sue me, or you can report me to the local ASPCA.)

Oh yes! Courtship can be euphoric. But, I had no idea; these four-legged creatures were going to be such a menace to our marriage. Why did I commit to this relationship? Simply… I made a decision, to love my wife, and I’m determined to go all the way.

Nevertheless, I’m convinced that before I spend my time and money on anything with four legs—canine, feline, bovine or otherwise–I would rather feed a hungry child somewhere in the world. Pet maintenance is costly. Three different brands of dog food, pee-pee pads, treats, pet licenses, and visits to the Vet…

In addition to all of the above, I’ve bought more lint brushes in the last six months, than I needed in the last fifty-five years. Dogs’ hair is everywhere, regardless of  how much we vacuum, sweep or Swiffer.

Don’t sit anywhere–is the repeated warning I hear every Sunday morning as we get dressed for church.

The constant demand for care and attention: walking, feeding, rubbing, bathing, etc. I would rather give to a human being– “Paying it Forward.” Dogs, on the other hand–regardless of the number of years of training, walking, feeding and cleaning up after–will never learn to wipe their butts or their feet before coming back into the house. These barking, Chicken-flavored-dogchow eating canines, simply walk back in, never closing the door, and get right back on the couch like nothing just happened.

Furthermore, will man’s best friend ever learn to go walking on their own, and return at a decent hour?

Can they, simply inspect each other’s rear end, without all the fussing, growling and fighting for no apparent reason?

Will they ever learn to knock on bedroom doors before entering

Will they ever learn to take baths or showers, and tidy up their beds?

When will they learn to go to the pantry, and pour a bowl of Gravy Train–cleaning up any spills?

Will they ever be able to open the door, to go out to the bathroom on their own? They seem to know how to find the right spot in the yard–so, why can’t they just open the same door, we’ve been opening since they were puppies?

I empathize with the elderly, who–in spite of adverse weather conditions, or the severity of their aches and pains–must take their dogs out for a “poop and scoop” walk. I often wonder–who’s walking whom?

And why are they holding-on to that loaded plastic bag as if it’s contents were valuable?

Will they ever come-to-terms with the fact that the mailman is here to deliver the mail and there’s no need for alarm? Enough, with all that barking and scratching, I’m sick of it!

Moreover, the older they get, the worse it becomes. Gigi’s recent visit to the Vet. for her constant vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite, cost a whopping $350.00. Then, there was the special diet for two weeks, while we nursed her back to health. Dogs, ahh hh hh!

 

Gigi is eighteen years old. Her sister Pork Chop is seventeen. These off-breed Chihuahuas are the typical retired, older-seniors, with all the morning aches and ailments. Instead of the usual 6:00 a.m. backyard bathroom, Gigi pretends to be asleep and waits until we leave for work. She then finds her favorite corner of the living-room carpet to do her business. I think she is trying to tell us; she’s too old to go outside. (especially during those cold-winter days.)

The issue now is, whoever gets home first is greeted by the offensive odor, and therefore, must do the clean-up. I have learned after several tours of duty to remain later than usual on my job-site. (I’m self-employed). Teresa is a state employee and is usually home by 5:00 p.m. So, with “Bounty” in her right hand, the kitchen garbage container in her left—she bows to her knees, applying the quicker-thicker-picker-upper to the obnoxious, excreted mixture on the floor and walls. How does that slimy, brownish, green stuff get on the walls? We have no idea.

Pork-Chop is legally blind and also needs hearing aid. She’s an introvert, who prefers the comfort of a secret hideout behind the couch. She also has severe gas problems. You cannot be in the room for more than two minutes without getting a whiff of her presence. Yeh–she stinks.

Honey, is a 7-year-old Cocker Spaniel. A run-you-over, over-active female with a personality that’s almost human. Whenever she gets ready to play, you can either take the ball from her mouth or pick it up off the floor. But, she’ll wait about two minutes for you to decide, before dropping it–as if to say, “since you didn’t take it from me, you can pick it up yourself–but, we will play ball.”.

In their frustration–being left outside for more than thirty minutes, they’ll wander off into the neighborhood. A recent call from a not-so-friendly neighbor, turned out to be a thirty-minutes lecture on the proper care of animals. On and on she painted several scenarios of what could have happened; repeating the words–“you people” at every pause. Listening to her snobbish criticisms, you would think the dogs purposely came over to her house to complain.

This triple canine package is what I subscribed to, on marrying the woman I so dearly love. But, as the saga unfolds, the dogging evidence proves, that marriage is one thing, but with dogs–it’s O M G!

Why should she be rubbing their tummy, scratching their heads or hugging them when that kind of affection works better on me? I’ve often suggested that she makes better use of her time, especially after I’ve had a hard days’ work.

Whenever we sit together watching TV, Pork Chop sits on her right, Gigi on her left and Honey on her lap, leaving me to sit alone while they enjoy the comfort of her touch. Whenever I do get a chance to sit next to her, they will step across my lap to get to her. I’m an extremely patient man, and I love my wife, but this has got to stop.

An occasional feeding, the constant opening of the door day and night, I’m learning to deal with, but sharing my wife with dogs—this is my greatest challenge yet.

Why am I putting up with all this dog-gone drama? Has our marriage gone to the dogs? Why does a simple hug have to be always, so carefully negotiated, lest we step on the dogs? The recurring answer is–I love my wife, and yes–she loves’ me dearly.

“Love endures all things.”

I’m certainly learning patience, meekness and forgiveness, and most of all–to love–as Christ loves the church and gave himself for it. (Ephesians 5:25,KJV).

In conclusion, My daily prayer is–Lord, whenever you visit our house–“Be-Ware of The Dogs.”

Why Marriage?

 

‘Because God said so‘ can, occasionally, be an okay answer for a Christian who trusts God, but to an unbeliever it is like eating fire; likewise, to a disconnected child it is going to mean absolute rebellion.

Every three-year-old goes through the phase where, whatever is said to them, they’ll ask–Why?
Martha, it’s time to go to bed.
Why?
Because it’s getting late and we need to be up early for work, and you have school.
Why?
Because we have bills, and you need an education.
Why?
That’s life in the real world. OK… Now let’s go on to bed.
Why?
BECAUSE–I SAID SO. Now—go to bed or you’ll feel what happens next.
With so many negatives attached to the institution of marriage, it’s almost justifiable to ask; why…?
Why get married when you can just live together?
Why get married when “men can’t be faithful, and women cannot be trusted”?
Why get married when you can remain single and don’t have to deal with a spouse.
Who needs a man when a girl can have all the pleasure she wants with her toys?
Who needs a wife, when you can have the woman over for the weekend.

So, Why marriage?
1.Because God said so; “It’s not good that the man should be alone. I will make him an help meet.” Genesis 2:18. Living single is not part of the Masters plan.

2. A man needs a woman, and a woman needs a man to carry out the divine plan. Adam and Eve were the only two people present when God said, “Be fruitful and multiply… ” Genesis 1:28.

3. Any sexual activity outside of marriage is adultery or fornication. It’s not open-mindedness, and It’s not sexual fluidity. But, It’s degenerative, it’s sinful, and it’s wrong.

4. Marriage is the foundation for the family. An in-committed relationship has no structure. Hence “wherever Papa lays his hat, that’s his home.” Mama is never at home because she always has some place to go. Where? No one knows. We can speculate, but…. Thus, the children are left to fend for themselves with no adult supervision.
God in his infinite wisdom established the family, a man, his wife, and the children. Regardless of ethnicity and even in the animal kingdom, the family is made up of a male, a female, and their babies.

5. The most honorable thing a man can do in the eyes of God is to get married and take care of his family–in doing so, he’s following the example of Christ.

6. In marriage, a husband learns to love like Christ. God’s plan is that marriage progressively molds the man into the image of Christ. A man at the moment of his most intimate pleasure is most vulnerable. A wise woman knows how and when to make her request known.
Like Christ—who, for the joy set before him endured the death of the cross. In His most vulnerable moment, “grace” flowed without measure.

7. The married pastor learns (first-hand) the relationship between, Christ and the Church. For, the husband is to the wife, what Christ is to the church. Conversely, the wife is to her husband what the church is to Christ. Therefore, the pastors home is his first church. “For if a man knows not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God. 1Timothy 3:5.

8. In marriage, the wife exemplifies the church–she learns obedience to God by submitting to her husband. “wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord in everything.” Ephesians 5:24. Her submission to her husband is directly proportionate to her submission to God. If she refuses to obey God, she will not submit to her husband.

9. Marriage is a mark of maturity, a significant milestone in our human development. In 1st Corinthians 13:11 the Apostle Paul writes: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (emphasis added).
Maturity involves taking on responsibility and a commitment to discipline. Someone has said, “The size of the man is measured by the weight of the responsibility he’s willing to carry.”

10. All men are not dogs. Many of us, have a sincere desire to be like Christ. In our quest, we don’t always get it right, but by the grace of God, we are learning obedience, by the things we and our fathers have suffered.

11. A basic rule in the royal family is never to marry a commoner. Old fashion as it may seem–it has biblical foundations. The Bible says, “Be not unequally yolk together with unbelievers… ” 2 Corinthians 6:14. Compatibility is essential in any relationship.

12. The ring–the symbol of marriage, should say, I belong, not I’m taken. To belong encourages yielded participation and a conduct becoming of the relationship. (submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.) Taken, however, conveys a sense of reluctant involvement fostering rebellion rather than yielded obedience.

13. Marriage is for love and because of love. However, love is a verb—it’s alive with action because it requires assembly. What good is having all the ingredients, if no one is willing to patiently mix them together, and bake the cake?

14. Marriage is reserved for compatible adults only. (“When Christians Mingle, Match doth come.”) Men and women who are willing to invest their lives together, in obedience to God. He, as architect and the wise master-builder; knows the end from the beginning, but like every construction project, each step is sequential. You cannot do step # 7, if you didn’t complete step 6.
It’s always costly and overwhelmingly frustrating when you have to go back, tear down what you’ve already built and start over again. Hence, ‘’Precept must be upon precept.”

15. Because God hates divorce. Malachi 2:14-16.

Ps. Same-sex marriage is not an alternative to Gods plan. The Bible said, it’s unnatural, unseemly and an abomination in the eyes of God. (Romans 1:24-28, Leviticus 18:22). Furthermore, two people of the same-sex cannot reproduce, neither should they be allowed to raise children: their actions will only serve to corrupt the mind of the minor.

Mama said, “Child don’t be silly, two left shoes can never be right regardless of who’s wearing them.”