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YOUR MARRIAGE VOW versus DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE

"...to be my lawfully wedded wife and vow to be loyal to you in every way, to comfort you, to cherish you from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and health, and always to love you till death do us part according to God's holy ordinance to this I pledge myself." The husband as well as the wife voluntarily and completely surrender their individual lives in the interest of the wider and deeper life which they now have in common. A life of sharing both the pains, frustrations, disappointment, victory, joy and happiness of each other. A life of seeking what makes the other happy. A life of total dependence on each other. "The greatest of all art is the art of living together" - William Lyon Phelps. God instituted the marriage union for just a man and a woman; and these two become one flesh, never to be put asunder. No room in a man's heart is created to accommodate equal matrimonial love for two women. "The most important thing that a father can do for his children is to love their mother" - Theodore Hesbrgh. Scriptural mathematics says 1+1 = 1. So, each time you cheat on your partner, you are surgically seperating yourselves. Oh, how painful the operation as you cause your husband excruciating pain; as you cause your wife heartbreaking aches.

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Lola, a mother of three, is no longer the happy wife and mother she used to be. Today, in the tenth year of her marriage, she's sitting in the whirlwind that threatens to blow her family apart. All the carefree laughter has deserted the family and her heart churned with questions she has no answers for. What went wrong? When did it all start? What has turned her loving devoted husband into a stranger? She had seen the tell-tale signs of infidelity - late nights, absent-mindedness, coldness, leaving home at the flimsiest excuse, never going out with her anymore, flaring up at the drop of a pin and so on. But, she never gave it a serious thought, thinking it was pressure of work until the bubble burst in her face and her world suddenly caved in. The discovery that there's another woman in her husband's life has brought her heartache, panic, shock, disillusionment and depression. She looked at the letter lying on the chair beside her. The one she found in her husband's coat pocket. She picked it up with trembling hands and read it again.

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"My dearest,

     The doctor's report is out and it confirms that I am carrying your baby. I am the happiest woman on earth.

                  Your sweetheart,

                  Evelyn

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The problem of Infidelity is timeless. No strata of society is exempted from this problem; not even the church has escaped from this scourge. Infidelity on marriage destroys confidence in the home. It destroys the very thing the marriage institution stands for. It shatters the peace and trust of the union. A man that looks outside succeeds in making his wife lose her self-esteem. She's no longer sure of herself and her standing with her husband, "If he loves me, he will not do this to me." Even when the wound is healed, the scar remains, "Can I trust him again? Will he not let me down again?" Trust which is a very vital ingredient is destroyed. So as a man, do not get too emotionally involved with any other woman asides your wife. If you are her spiritual leader, let whatever counseling be done with your wife in attendance or let a third party get involved. "The adversary would rather spoil one preacher's home than a dozen of any kind. In doing so, he has touched hundred of other homes. No home is under attack more than the preacher's home" - Anonymous. Most men get ensnared before they realise what they have done. The man may think he's being sympathetic or helpful, he may not realise when he crosses the bounds of reason. Do not be overconfident in handling issues that affect women. Don't assume you're happily married and nothing can happen to you. Realise that Satan energizes some ladies to come and deliberately entice men to cause them to fall. If emotions respect wisdom, king Solomon wouldn't have fallen victim. If emotions respect anointing and power, the dreaded Samson wouldn't have fallen prey. If emotions respect status, it wouldn't have had a grip on the famous King David. Be careful.

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"A man should never be ashamed to say he has been in the wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday" - Alexander Pope. You should be open to your wife enough to let her know what temptation you are faced with. Let her know what steps she can take to help you overcome. Do not fight the battle alone; involve her.

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"Without the way there is no going, without the truth there is no knowing, without the life there is no living" - Thomas A. Kempis. A husband and wife who are unfaithful to the bridegroom is bound to be unfaithful to each other

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Lola moaned deep inside her being. Those words from the letter were like a dagger struck into her heart. The pain was devastating. Oh God! She moaned, except I wake up from this dream, I will die. I cannot survive this. But this was no dream; it was reality. How many women through the ages have carried this pain in their hearts, unable to express it in words? How many have whispered it into the dead of the night? How many have screamed it into their pillows in frustration? What would you do if you were in Lola's shoes?

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"Prayer is the mortar that holds our house together" - St. Teresa. No matter the marital challenge you find yourself in, look into God for solution. God who instituted marriage from the beginning, who brought the first man and woman together as husband and wife and gave them a beautiful home, is able to mend the broken walls of your family. Handing over this problem to God means you will let Him handle it His way, not your way. His way is the way of forgiveness meaning you will have to forgive your husband and let all the bitterness drain out of your heart. "forgiveness means pardoning that which is unpardonable or it is no virtue at all" - G.K. Chesterton.  So forgive, and then lift him up to God in prayer, that God will transform his heart and make him the husband he should be. Don't forget to examine yourself honestly; what kind of woman are you? Many women have inadvertently driven their husbands into the arms of another woman. Do you show in practical ways, your love for your husband? Are you a warm, comforting and eager partner? Is the communication line between you and your husband open? Are you a good listener? Do you know that when a husband says, my wife doesn't understand me, he most likely means, she doesn't listen? The husband who feels right about sharing his innermost fears and hopes with his wife will probably never feel right about sharing his bed with anyone else. Are you appreciative of his efforts at caring for the family or you are always critical? Let your words lift up, encourage and praise your husband [Col 4: 6; Prov 15: 1; 21: 26]. Are you interested in the things that interest him? It is said that the wife of Albert Einstein was once asked, "Do you understand your husband's theory of relativity?" She smiled, "Oh, my, I just know how he likes his tea." That's a woman who adores her husband. Do you have time for him? Or, are you so engrossed in your pursuit for wealth, fulfilment in career, church activities, so much that you do not give adequate time to him and the home? (1 for 10: 24; Philip 2: 4) Are you submissive or rather a real nag; contentious and vicious? (1 Peter 3: 1- 4) Have you allowed your husband to be the head of the home so you could be the heart? Are you a good cook? Is it not true that many husbands have been lured away from their wives with good food? Is your husband pleased with your cooking? Here indeed is an instrument of great influence which you can wield effectively to win your husband. Thrill him with delicious meals. If you do not rate an "A" in cooking, you can learn; remember, you are fighting to keep your man and your home. Do not stop at cooking delicious meals but also ensure that meals are served in an attractive manner. Pimp up your dining table. What about your appearance; are you presentable and a wife he can be proud of? The importance of maintaining a good physical appearance can not be overstated. Many women give up soon after the first child arrives. The fact remains that husbands desire wives who are physically attractive to them. What do you look like when he comes home in the evening? Has he not been seeking outside what he cannot get at home? You have a duty to satisfy your husband's intimate needs and vice versa. Many times, a woman is so preoccupied with the problem of raising the children, coping with her job, finances, managing the home, emotional stress, exhaustion etc. that she neglects this area of marital responsibility. This however should be a matter of priority because it is easy for a man deprived of intimate relationship to feel insignificant, beat down, discouraged or tempted in this area of his being. You leave your husband open to temptation and your union to far more destruction than you can imagine, when this area of intimate communication is neglected. Take time to always prepare yourself and place for love. Remember, the tone is set right from the morning hours by your attitude. You can't be a shrew all day and suddenly become loving at night. This honest self-examination is not to bring about condemnation, so don't be disillusioned. Now, take positive steps to get out of self pity and enslaving bitterness; be determined to win your husband back.

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"Every person is worth understanding" - Clyde M. Marramore. Assuming that every marriage which normally has its challenges and problems is dissolved for just any reason, thereby allowing either of the spouses to pick another partner of his/her choice, then what a confused society we would have. Imagine the pain and heartache to all members of such seperated families. When you "capitalise" on the ills or weakness of a partner which cause conflict in the home, 'twill be difficult to get a solution. God has called us to peace in such a case and not divorce and remarriage. (Rom 14: 19; Heb 10: 24; Mal 2: 16)

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