The third ring in marriage is ‘Suffe-Ring’
DO WE SEE MAD-RAGES?: Marriages are made in heaven, it’s said. Many wannabe grooms and brides hum this oft-repeated line without giving the serious thought it deserves to what it actually conveys. It presupposes that God had arranged marriages on our planet earth from heaven. In His divine wisdom, He knows best as to who and when we should marry. The tragedy is that in most marriages, heaven is dropped. Reason is propped up. Self-will brazenly snubs God’s will. And we see mad-rages everywhere. The sins of our youth come back to extract its pound of flesh, with interest. How true is the warning in Numbers 32:23, “And be sure, your sin will find you out.”
DIVINE OR THINE OWN MATCH-MAKING ?: The suitability factor had already been settled in heaven. But the ultra-modern lads and lasses of this perverse generation are least bothered to find out the flawless surprises that the Almighty’s meticulous match-making keeps in store. They believe more in their hunches, own choices and get carried away by the cares of carnal cravings. It’s unfortunate that many most marriages are no more initiated in heaven but in bushy parks, wild parties, dingy cabins of shady restaurants and even inside motor cars parked at dark street-corners. No wonder, the lusty drives throw Godliness out of gear, accelerate immorality and conk out in irreparable fiasco. Gods warns in Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage be honourable in all, and the bed undefined: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
GOD SHOULD BE HONOURED : The scripture says, “Marriage is honourable among all. We give a verbose lip-service to this veritable verse in every wedding worth its feast using it as a vehicle to virtually veil the vices of juvenile variations. Putting on a facade of respectability in designer suits and outlandish gowns with no added Gospel-charm of conversion experience and making vows in owlish innocence in the curious glare of a bedazzled mixed crowd, by itself, cannot give the honour due to the Author of our lives. Neither does the acerbic defence of customary adherence to the accursed marital traditions of the pre-Christianity era. God wouldn’t change His diktat for your sake. “For them that honour Me I will honour (1 Samuel 2:30).” The Lord doesn’t mince words !
THE GOLD-STANDARD : A holy God is dishonoured when unholy alliances are solemnly announced. Anything lesser than pre-marital chastity and post-engagement innocence will fail to measure up to God’s standard of holy marriage. Everything else is but folly-marriage to expect blissful joy out of which is like chasing an elusive mirage. Outside the Creator’s will, togetherness of two, at the end of the day, winds up in self-will-ignited fights over questionable bills and avoidable frills. The Scripture lays down the gold standard of ‘seeking His will’ to avoid temper-spill, “I am God, and there’s none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).”
VITIATION OF VALENTINE’S VALOUR : Despite the religious observance of Bishop Valentine’s (he was martyred in 270 A.D. by the Roman emperor for performing marriages in a world of unwedded live-in affairs) day, cases of clandestine pair-ups are on the rise. Those who take this socially permissive course give excuses like high cost of wedding or joblessness. But it is spinelessness seduced by a soulical spirit that motivates the wrong-trend-setting fulfilment-of- fleshy desires that cocky couples mistake for love-union. God-honouring weddings, for sure, can be performed within the constraints of one’s shoe-string budget. Secret run-away marital short-cut may cut wedding cost but the high ‘spiritual-taxation’ that would ensue may take several years for the couple to regain the Creator’s original intrinsic image in man and woman. Neither is there divine assent in descent to same-sex pairing. God created Adam and Eve; not Adam and Steve.
SORRY MARRIAGE : God says He will judge fornicators (Heb. 13:4). Elopement is a sacrilege to the God-ordained institution of marriage. Every physical union outside it invites guilt of sin and provokes the Almighty’s wrath. The incestuous lust of Amnon for his half-sister Tamar ended up in terrible hatred and disastrous bloodshed. Several cordial inter-family ties had been severed, if not shattered for keeps, by the notoriously knotty issues of elopement. It is an alarming blot on Christianity that many Churches which are meant to be custodians of righteousness, liberally legitimise illicit liaisons euphemistically named consensual tie-up by staging ministration of hypocritical make-belief unceremonious ceremony called ‘second marriage.’ Elopement jeopardises the sanctity of the holy marriage silly couples could have had for themselves !
SHAKY SECOND MARRIAGE: I know of the second Adam; second stage, second attempt, and second place in exam. But what is second marriage ? The first had not even taken place unless you equate mere amorous embrace with acceptable marriage. God never wanted wedlock to be messed up in this manner. In the shade of moments in the meadows of Eden, Jehovah said, “Its is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him (Gen 2:18).” A miss is as good as a mile. The only way to regain lost ground after ‘folly marriage’ is to repent to dust and ashes and knock heaven’s door in prayer for forgiveness.
CREATED TO RECLAIM LOST GROUND : Obviously, the first man couldn’t possibly be engaged in a sensible tete-a-tete with the rattle-rousing cattle in the unmanned garden. His capacity to think demanded that he talked and be talked to, loved and be loved by someone of his own ilk. Had he wished so, God could have filled the earth with the male-species only. But that wouldn’t have made a perfect setting. In His gracious wisdom, He had chosen to increase humanity family by family through holy marriages, not elopements, in successive generations that the earth dominated by the devil may be regained (Gen.1:26).
“And the rib, which the Lord had taken from man, made the woman and brought her unto the man (Gen 2:22)”.
RIB TRANSFER : Here’s a guideline for the ideal relationship of sexes. Woman was made out of man and for the man (1 Cor.11: 8.9). This is reason enough for woman to be modest, submissive and silently listen in the presence of her man. A crowing hen and a whistling woman, it is said, are neither good for God nor men. And that the woman was made out of man favours her to be his honour, glory and crown. Shunning divine will results in hassled togetherness that exhibit more frowns than crowns. Reliance on human hunches had made many a wannabe ‘prince of Wales’ a mere ‘prince of wails’.
SEEKING THE LOST RIB : When his rib was taken, “God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adams (Gen. 2:21)”. He just lay supine and didn’t make any move. Eve was created while he slept and was offered to him on a silver platter. Was Adam flattered by the painless rib-shift: Or did the removal of a bone close to the first man’s heart impact him in any way? All we know is that, as Adam was sold on Eden Madam, every man had been madly seeking the missing rib in the fairer species of own choice ever since. That some of the greatest love-affairs had involved only one actor, of course, is another story.
LORD OF THE MATCH : The matching was God’s own work. Today, itching teeny boppers match themselves right under the nonchalant noses of indulgent mothers. Some go by the precarious predictions of Horoscope to later discover the scope of horror widen in their marital horizon. Some get swept off their feet by appearance only to learn things the appalling way that appearances are not only deceptive but defective too. Yet, others resort to stylish courtship through expensive gifts that aren’t valued for long. After their bitter split, an ex-hubby demanded back in anger, the diamond necklace he presented to a lady celebrity he was occasionally married to. A woman of many acts, the smart fortune-hunter replied, “I never hated a man enough to return his diamonds”. That’s the world’s take on breakable man-made alliances.
LEANING ON OWN UNDERSTANDING ?: Top-Job professionals of the lap-top circle usually fall hook, line and sinker for the bold and the beautiful of the nattily-dressed circle who in no time make fall-guys, if not a mouse of the saccharine iconic suitors. And smart, svelte and scheming nocturnal socialites daringly bend rules to cleverly clinch deals of life-time oneness with promissory VIPs. But in due course of time, they struggle to fight impulses not to feel helplessly nailed to a shaky wedlock to very insecure persons. So, “Lean not on your own understanding (Prov. 3:5)”.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh (Gen. 2:24)”. (To be contd)