14 Sep The Purpose of Marriage and Choice of a Partner
Even in this 21st century when ethical and moral values are decreasing rapidly, the importance of family as an institution cannot be denied. “Does a nation require a leader or a loyal person who has values?” questioned a professional editor. In another article published in The Week magazine the former election commissioner Shri TN Seshan who questioned ‘What constitutes a leader?’ ended up stating that it is moral values which make a person noble. Family is the first school, parents are the first teachers, and their life styles are text books. That’s why marriage is honorable in all, marriage is first institution of God even before the church and society.
In spite of sufficient doctrinal teachings we see and hear some of our believing graduates, who are knowingly making wrong choices and facing problems. As a result those who are active in ministry before their marriage have been inactive and ineffective later by this subtle trick of devil. Many times believers who were not obedient to the specific will of God in selecting the partner are getting into confusion about involvement in ministry.
The purpose of Marriage
Marriage is God’s plan for man – not to be alone, (Gen. 2:18) but to replenish the earth and keep the human race going (Gen. 1:26) and to prevent fornication (1 Cor. 7:2,9). In this postmodern world, sadly, marriage is considered to be a contract between two individuals, whereas it has to be a life-long companionship – “till death do us part”. . Marriage is the first institution created by God, even before the Church. Marriage is holy (Heb. 13:4) The Bible starts and ends with Marriage. First Miracle of Jesus was at a wedding, Marriage is an important and an irreversible decision.
The purpose of marriage is 1. Companionship: The affection, Love, and true companionship which grow out of a oneness of spirit as each partner models Christ’s Unconditional love (Amos 3:3) 2. Enjoyment : The physical relationship is a reflection of the loyalty and affection shared among marriage partners who have become “one flesh” (Heb 13:4) 3. Fruitfulness : The blessing of children in a marriage allows that relationship to reproduce itself physically. It is the fruit of the oneness that results in a marriage (Gen1:28, I Pet 3:7) 4. Protection: The husband protects his wife by laying down his life for her (Eph 5:25). The wife is to protect the home (Titus 2:4-5) and the parents together protect their children to raise up a godly seed (Malachi 2:15; Psalm 112:1-2) 5. Reflecting God’s image – Trinitarian God, His Character are reflected in marriage.
Knowing the will of God regarding marriage partner
As a believer, share your convictions about Marriage with your parents. Inform your parents about importance of God’s will in your decision making and convince them. If any proposal comes, inform to your Mentor for prayer and advice. In general Prayer, Word of God, Elders’ counselling, Circumstances are the four ways to know God’s will. Pray with burden, open mind and without any reservations about proposal to get peace of mind. Prayer changes things, Wait upon God for His time. In his time he makes all things beautiful.
Many youngsters and their parents set worldly criteria while looking for suitable partners – ABCDE; A for Age, B for Beauty, C for Caste, D for Dowry, E for Earning or Education, F for Family background (well settled). But as believers, we must let God be our Guide, not worldly. Otherwise, we will miss the Blessings of God and also become a bad role model to next generation.
The Process of Marriage
When both sides are clear about God’s will, the families can come together for an engagement where the marriage is decided. The partners to be may communicate and correspond with each other but not behave in a manner that would bring reproach to the Lord’s name or set a bad example for others. Behave with dignity and decency. The process of deciding about marriage can be in 3 stages: 1st Stage – Before praying for the proposal, get to know about their testimony 2nd Stage – Get to know God’s will and the approval of mentors and parents. 3rd Stage – For marriage arrangements, both side elders can meet together to finalise Venue, Date, Expenditure, etc Conclusion
Believers are to marry only believers. Your marriage is your right. Remember, marriage is a yoke, you shall not tie up an ox with a donkey (2 Cor. 6:14). Both old and new testaments condemned marriages with unbelievers. Marriage should be contemplated only after completion of your studies or after achieving some degree of financial independence in order to take care of the family. Last but not the least, consider the compatibility in age, mental and spiritual maturity and also vision about ministry. May the Lord help you to choose your mate not only with the sole purpose of meeting your needs but ultimately to bring glory to Him.
Mr. Prabhu Varakumar is UESI Staff for Communication Department based in Chennai. His wife Dr. Sowmya serves in a hospital in Vizag, They are blessed with three sons.