“And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”
“Marriage is a great institution, if you like institutions.”
I was working in a medical clinic years ago, and these were the comical words of my friend who was older and had been married for some time. It was funny, but it was also sad. She really believed the joke she was saying. And she’s not alone.
These days more than ever, marriage is under attack. Especially biblical marriage. This is not news to anyone, particularly those who live in the US and other countries where the god of this age and popular opinion stand in stark contrast to what the Word of God teaches. Those who try to honor God face many challenges. Marriage is hard work, and it’s getting harder and harder as we are pressing against the tide of this world. Men and women don’t know their identity or who they are designed to be. Selfishness abounds and love has grown cold. Here in Kitgum, marriage is a transaction. Wives are bought and paid for. Men have multiple wives and think there’s no problem with that. When a woman is just property, she can be beaten when she’s out of line, replaced when she gets undesirable, and forced to do all the hard work in the home. The women don’t know their value in the Lord. The men don’t realize they have a much higher calling to be the spiritual leader in their home, and that God will not hear their prayers if they are not treating their wives right.
God’s design for marriage is so different from what we see today, both in the Western world and here. God desires for us to love, sacrifice, and become one with Him as the foundation. One man with one woman. The whole thing was not meant to be an institution, but a beautiful union. It was meant to be a picture of the Loving God who protects His Bride and gives up His life for her, and the Bride that respects Him and follows His leading. Yet, things have gone so wrong. The very fabric of family is unraveling with each new piece of legislation that takes us further from the way we were created to be.
For too long the Church has stood by quietly, and now things are so far gone…but there is still hope. In each generation, there is a remnant of God’s people who will not bow to the god of popular opinion. Let’s be those who honor God by standing up for biblical marriage, and by being the spouse the He intends us to be.
But beyond that, let’s consider this: marriage will never complete us. Only God can. It is a picture of a far greater relationship with a perfect bridegroom who sacrificed His life for us, who loves us even when we are at our worst, who forgives us for turning our backs on Him and for every selfish act and intention of our hearts. Single or married, we are made to be in this relationship with our Creator. It breaks my heart that the world is so openly defying and parading for the things that will destroy them - when God is there calling for them to turn to Him and find true freedom. They will never find it elsewhere. Neither will we.