TEXTS (Gen. 2:24, Matt. 19:6).
Delivered by Brother; Atigbi, W. E. (Elder Grey Congregation, Warri).
Obligation in marriage vary from place to place and from time to time as reflected in the roles people are expected to play in marriage. Husband and wife relationship should no long be considered as the old days when women chop wood for cooking and use of stove. Some relationship seems so demanding and rigid that they seem to enslave and become more than what some can fulfill in present day realities. Obligations in marriage should not destroy one’s individuality as God joined these two individuals together to stand before God at the time of judgment. (Eph. 5: 21, Gal. 5: 13 & 2 Cor. 5:10).
CHANGE IN SOCIETY SHOULD BE REFLECTED IN OUR MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP
As a result of change in the Society, there is the tendency on the part of many to cast aside everything that is traditional as we try to update the marriage relationship which is basic. To an extent, man is free to change as he tries to fit the family into today’s society, but caution must be exercised to avoid rushing into flood of changes and overlook some basic concepts.
There are some basic obligations in marriage relationship that have not changed since the beginning and will not change till the end of life. These are said to be basic because God recorded them in the Bible and recognized them from the beginning by Children of God. (Matt. 19:5, Mark 10:7-8 and Eph. 5:21-31).
RELATIONSHIP STARTS WHEN A MAN LEAVE HIS FATHER AND HIS MOTHER
Because of cordial relationship to exist between husband and wife, as designed by God for marriage and intimacies to be enjoyed by husband and wives, a break away from the two older families is necessary. This is an obligation that each marriage partner owes to one another. This is more than living outside the home where father and mother live, it demands a certain amount of maturity to appreciate marriage and face the vital obligation in marriage.
This relation is for two matured individuals to make it work as it is not considered to be kid stuff. There is no magical age where one becomes matured immediately he or she is ready for marriage. To leave father and mother for marriage relationship to work demands some amount of emotional maturity by the two individuals for marriage to succeed. This requires both parties to think objectively and realistically to discriminate between facts and feelings and be able to build upon facts that sustains cordial relationship in the matrimonial home.
Marriage is to be seen realistically, not as escape route from reality where one lives a pretentious life which may have negative impact on the potential partners for happy marriage relationship. Since love is the basis for a good husband-wife relationship, it must be based on reality.
PARENTS SHOULD PREPARE THEIR CHILDREN FOR POSSIBLE RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR PARTNERS
Another important consideration for cordial relationship between husband and wife, father and mother to influence the possible ability for their children to leave the home. Parents must let their children go and build their homes. Well-meaning parents must reflect on proper attitude when their daughter marries and say we did not lose a daughter, but gained a son.
If this is not done, parents will be interfering with what God wants for the married couples. This preparation involves a lot of requirements on the husband and the wife:
- Moral attitude builds up.
- Respect for both family members.
- The ability to cook good food.
- Taking care of the home.
- Taking care of children
This makes knowing the difference between comfort and commitment in marriage. (Eccl. 9:9)
It must be noted that there is no family that is completely free of conflict. When husband and wife says our marriage is conflict-free, I can tell you one of these three things is true of that family: either they are liars, one is an idiot, or the other is dead. Strong marriages anticipate conflict and remain committed through it all.
THE HUSBAND AND WIFE TO KNOW THEY HAVE BECOME ONE FLESH
Here is the ultimate in marriage relationship, the final accomplishment when two people leave their parents and cleave to one another. This relationship goes beyond sexual relationship but total union two personalities. Involving more than the two persons who have directly become one persons which is a misery. In marriage there is commitment to each other, dedication to each other and dependence on one another (1Cor. 7:1-4).
This basic obligation of oneness can be met with less difficulty if husband and wife have a lot in common, such as religion, education, interests, economic values etc. The proper balance in oneness can best be if the two people would think more in terms of the needs of the other rather than concentrating on what is best for self. What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder. (Matt. 19:6).
From this statement, it becomes clear God is involved in the marriage of two persons and to be permanent relationship for life. Consequently, cordiality is required by husband and wife to sustain this relationship. Divorce and remarriage defies God plan for marriage relationship except death and adultery. (Matt. 19:9, Rom. 7:2-3).
THE POWER OF SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE SHOULD NOT BE UNDERESTIMATED
Since the creation there has been the natural sexual attraction between men and women. Sex is so important in marriage relationship for cleaving and procreation in the home. God who created male and female sees sex as good. (Gen. 1:26-28; 1Tim.4:4-5, Deut. 24:5 and Prov. 5: 18-30). Sexual relationship out of marriage is condemned by God. (1Cor. 7:1-4, Exd. 20:14, Eph. 5:3).
God is aware of the sexual needs of His creation, and He has taken proper care to place the fulfillment of the need in the proper place for all mankind (1Cor. 7:1-4). The wife has no power of her own but the husband and likewise the husband has no power of his own but the wife. So in cordial marriage, relationship should not be over turned but to be fulfilled by both for procreation, pleasure and release tension build-up by sexual needs. This relationship is very important to avoid defrauding one another and temptation by the devil.
A Challenge to husband and wife is to fulfill God’s expected roles for them in having cordial relationship in their homes. This is required to create positive influence on their children who by the providence of God might replicate such loving characteristics in the formation of their own families. This could be transferred from generation to generation to the envy of other families who would want to identify themselves with a peace loving family. (Tit. 2:3-5; Eccl. 7:1a).
Husband and wife is not a separate unit but intimately related to each other in Christ. If you are angry, be sure that it is not of wounded pride or bad temper. Never go to bed angry, don’t give the devil that foothold. There should be no resentment, no more anger or temper, no more violent self-assertiveness, no more slander and no more malicious remarks. Be kind to one another, be understanding. Be as ready to forgive others as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. (Eph. 4:25-27, 31 & 32). This is the key to cordial relationship between husband and wife in the home and it is imperative.