Entertainment for recreation and amusement purposes are a wonderful part of life. It balances out the seriousness of life and living! It gives our minds the opportunity to rest and journey into the land of imagination and creativity. It is healthy when done in good taste… Marriage on the other hand is not meant merely for entertainment purposes. It is one of the most serious relationships one can have. It is meant to be a beautiful lifetime relationship between a man and a woman. A great marriage should be built upon Love, Intimacy, Mutual respect, Integrity, Trust, and yes Sex. These marvelous attributes for marriage make up the great helpful acronym which = “L I M I T S!” These are healthy virtuous ingredients that are an important part of building a good marriage.
Life is serious and time is so very precious! How you spend the majority of your time is important! In marriage one should not become carried away into an unconscious state of oblivion and become out of touch with what is happening around them. It is not something to escape into because you are bored, are need somewhere to escape until you find something better to do… Many turn to marriage in order to just be entertained. Marriage is about learning how to give yourself to one another. Each spouse should become increasingly aware and sensitive as to how their spouse is feeling.
“L I M I T S”is a good acronym to remember for a lasting marriage! The desire to grow together and develop character is very important.
Marriage is for an emotionally mature man and woman who desire to grow together with a spouse as a life partner. The age in which one embarks upon marriage maturity varies greatly. You can be young and ready for marriage. You can also be older and still not be ready for marriage. Marriage is about working together to build the ultimate partnership. It is the ultimate relationship of “oneness.” Marriage is about growing and learning how to love.
Love is one of the most misunderstood emotions, feelings and or state of being. Love does not always feel good nor does it mean that things will always go well. At times you will have to say and do some things that may not be well received by one another because you love them. Yes, at times you will have to chastise one another. When you love one another you should want what is best for the marriage. Love is encouraging healthy boundaries and sharing transparently to build an intimate partnership. Love encompasses being disciplined and making sacrifices. When you truly Love someone you love them for who they are. According to the Word of God, “Love is patient, Love is kind.”
Marriage is wonderful but at times it can be difficult. You are two different individuals who have agreed to learn how to grow together as you share life. At times you will clash. This is why you want to marry someone who will be there for you through the thick and thin. Someone to weather the storms of life with you as well as celebrate the good times. Someone who loves you for you and not for what you do, or for what you have, or what you can do for them.
Each and every marriage is different. I have said before the formula that works for me may not work for you.
Just like what looks good on you may not be well suited for me. We were not created as I always say to be
“Cookie Cutter Christians”. Life would we be quite boring if we were all alike. We need to learn to respect our unique differences. Sharing our life experiences shines light on the darkness. The foundational principles we should apply in marriage are ordained by God. Love, truth, mutual respect, fidelity, and commitment should be woven into the fabric of your marital relationship. A God given soul mate is a precious jewel. Since 55-60% of marriages end in divorce it’s important that you don’t let anything or anyone come between you. After 33 years of marriage I still remember our late Pastor Rev. Ruth Johnson telling us that marriage was a circle. That we should not let any one come between us. God must be in the center of your marriage! Your committed relationship with Him will fill the void in the center of the circle. The Holy Spirit will teach, lead and guide you how to love your partner. Begin to divorce proof your marriage. In order for your marriage to weather the
storms of life God must be at the helm. Think of marriage as and unending circle with God invisibly and ever present in the center.
I vividly remember our pastor explaining the significance of the wedding ring. How it represented a circle. How we should not let anyone else in the circle. You see a circle is complete it has no end, We are one of the few couples that married at an early age. We were high school sweet hearts! I remember my pastor saying he saw a rare quality in our relationship. He had genuine love, concern and support for us. We respected his wisdom he had acquired over his many years. He was well into his seventies when he married us. Although he has gone to be with the Lord I will forever remember his words of wisdom!
I am also thankful that my Mother loved my husband dearly. He was her son -in -heart. My Mother has also gone on to be with the Lord who she loved dearly. At her beautiful and wonderful “Home going Celebration” my husband shared that in all our 33 years there was never a cross word between them. I share this because it was in that moment I realized what dear special gifts from the Lord was both of their relationships to me. I was my Mom’s only daughter and there is no doubts in my mind how much she loved me.
My Mother, husband and I shared some very special time and moments together. She never tried to come between us. She always encouraged me to respect my husband. Since we were one in agreement the three is a crowd did not apply. When any third party causes division this is definitely when three is a crowd! I also realize this is not always the case. In law-problems can be and often will induce marital conflict, interference and problems.
I must say that as my father’s only daughter he loved me as well. We spent many hours talking during my adult years before he died of cancer getting to really know one another. My father was in his 40’s when I was born. He was raised by a Methodist female minister which was quite rare in those days. I can recall many amusing stories of the early 1900’s he shared. He could recall way back when cars had kerosene lamps as lights. He too loved my husband and was happy that I was happy. I remember when the two of them together installed our new kitchen floor in our town home. I am thankful that my parents loved me and loved my husband. I have attempted to share little tidbits of my life to further give you a glimpse of any personal prejudices I might have.
My husband and I have always enjoyed spending time together. When we first met we’d pack a lunch and just
go to the park and sit and talk for hours. Or we would just take a long quiet drive. I just loved to hear Him play the piano or organ. Still to this day I will lie under the harp of the piano and just listen. It is a real treat. The Lord has really gifted him in this area. I believe it has attributed to him being so level headed. I know that music can calm the agitations of the soul. The time we spent together really gave us time to get to know one another. It’s important to spend time together just to share your fears, desires and aspirations. I will always cherish how it feels to know how deeply someone loves you. It is an indescribable feeling! There is a freedom that inhabits the relationship when you are open and honest with one another. True love is not contingent on things or circumstances! Love is trusting and never suffocates! Love is a precious gift from God!
In the beginning when God made Adam, He realized although Adam was in his unflawed state he still needed a helpmeet. A helpmeet is a partner. Someone to love, share, and confide in. Don’t let anyone or anything come between you and your spouse. There is a saying that a chain is as strong as its weakest link. There is certainly some truth in that saying. A couple should be united and committed. Your wedding vows should be taken seriously. Remember your commitment is to God as well as to your spouse. Always remember the circle!
Since marriages are under attack it is easy to see why the divorce rate is so high. The world continually advertises that marriage is obsolete. Or it’s okay that marriage lasts until I get tired of you. Or until those “intoxicating affections” run out! Marriages in the Christian community are statistically no different. I have found in general, people who are really committed to their marriages are usually more dependable. Infidelity is not of God! Trust can not be established when there is no sincere commitment. Marriage is the arena to work out your differences. Differences you will have.
If you have been married more than once work on letting this be your last time. You already know what it feels like to have someone or something come between you. It wasn’t pleasant I’m sure. When you recognize those tell tell signs do something. Don’t wait until you’ve reached a point of no return. The world has blinded the eyes of many. It has seduced the population to indulge in whatever feels right. It’s okay to change partners like a suit of clothing. It’s okay to have extra marital affairs. It’s okay to have everyone else before your relationship.
Too often single parents allow there children to fill their void in life. There is a fine line between being close to
your children and allowing them to be too close to the point you can’t develop and intimate relationship with
your spouse. It creates an unhealthly dependence between you and them! It establishes an unhealthy bond that keeps them fixated in a child like emotional dependency, often way into adulthood. There are many adults who have not grown up emotionally. They have not been able to move beyond the “apron strings”. Initially this may feel okay. But in the long run it causes them to not be able to “make it on their own”. They may even leave the nest but will find a replacement spouse or friend to supplement your place. Quite often they will reach to drugs and or alcohol to fill their void. Gently begin to clip those wings if you see any truth in what I am saying! Begin to release them before it is too late! It is not my intentions to lay a guilt trip on you. What if you died today? What would they do? Just look at what God has to say. He knew that Adam in his sinless state needed a companion. Adam needed a wife not a mother. When we grow, our relationships with our children must grow and change as well.
God wants your physical, emotional and spiritual needs met. He wants you to be whole. But it has to be done on His terms. Again I say don’t let anyone come between you. Does this mean you can’t have anyone else in your life? No. It means that your relationship with your spouse takes top priority. Erect healthy boundaries to protect your marriage. Remember to keep the lines of communication open. Remember two become one in marriage. Remember to cleave to one another! It is important that you develop healthy relationships with your children as well!
Marriage is meant to be a two party partnership. If you already have children or when they do arrive keep this in mind. Don’t allow the children to feel they must take a side. Keep them out of your personal differences. This will help you to create a healthy home environment. This will allow them to grow uninhibited. It will help them to freely love both of you. If you have allowed them to take sides, it’s never too late to stop. We unconsciously can implement relationship dynamics that are unhealthy. Once your eyes are open don’t allow pride to stop you from changing what you now know is wrong. Humility is honorable in the sight of God. Practice makes permanent. Practice including Godly principles in your home environment. I realize and have said before “differences you will have.” But disagreements are natural.
How you handle your differences will determine how well your children will handle their differences in the future. If you yell, kick, fight, rant and rave guess what? They probably will too. How you deal with situations makes a strong impressionable model. If you change partners every five minutes guess what? Even when you do model good behavior to your children there are strong influential worldly models that impact them. Parents have an awesome responsibility. Many have been taught you have the right to do whatever you please to your children. Wrong! Children are entrusted to us by God to rear in the fear and admonition of Him. They are not possessions to do with as you please. Children raised by united parents are by far a lot more stable. But they still will have their own personal issues to grow through. The love, patience, time and energy you put into them will help them weather the storms of life. It will give them a strong foundational base to fall back on in the midst of this perverse and unstable world. Did you know children don’t belong to you?
I would also like to insert in this chapter. Overly physically reprimanding your children will result in anger. I know this is a controversial subject. We were very strict parents. I believed in and used the rod of correction. I also implemented restrictions. But I explained to them that when they disobeyed, they were responsible for taking away their privileges. I thank the Lord that I never had a child to curse, or raise their hand to me. Nor did or has one spent a single night in juvenile or jail. Whew! I say this out of context of this chapter because unruly children can be that three is a crowd component. You can spend the majority of your relationship policing your children. Ask your self do you want to discipline a behavior or do you want to punish?
If you are a parent that lived in a worldly fashion before your children, be patient. Although you have changed some of those scenes may be reenacted in the life of your child. Remember behavior is modeled. Perhaps you lived before them properly? There is still room for improvement! The world still has it’s influence. Patiently allow them the freedom to grow. Give them some room with boundaries. Use this time to strengthen your patience and trust in the Lord. Remember He brought you through. In His time He will bring them through. In the meantime begin to sow the fruits of His Spirit in your life.
Taking out time to spend with friends and love ones can be great. Recreational outings can be fun. Spending time with friends and love ones is quite okay, but not to the point there is no time reserved for your marriage. Often in marriage when there is a lack of intimacy, friends become supplements. Meaning they can distract you from feeling the void in your own relationship. In this case their presence can actually inhibit the development of your relationship. How? You can spend so much time with others that you don’t develop a personal relationship with one another. This can be unhealthy to a degree. Anticipating time alone with one another brings thoughts of dread. If you can’t enjoy each other alone this is a real problem. Begin rebuilding your relationship. Just something as simple as watching a movie or taking a walk. Make it a point to find mutually satisfying activities.
Have you ever noticed how many marriages fall apart once the children are gone? Well, the children was what
held it all together. You stayed together for the sake of the children. Over the years you simply lost sight of one
another. Somewhere in time a gradual weaning took place. Quite often after the children are gone spouses virtually discover that they are two strangers. Take time to develop “two’s a couple”. Begin to nurture your marriage. Put some love logs on the fire. Don’t wait until your children are grown to realize that you unconsciously allowed them to be that three’s a crowd.
Have you ever started a fire and felt the warmth of it’s heat. Remember how it felt? A fire will keep roaring as long as you add wood to the fire. You may even let it simmer down a little. A faint glimmer of light might reflect in the low burning embers. But if you just take that ole poker and poke around a bit, add a log or two; that fire will start to roar. Its warmth will heat up a room. Keep the warmth of your marriage going. If it’s cooled down carefully and diligently poke around until you ignite that flame.
Pray for one another daily. God really does have power. He made both of you. God is always speaking. We just have to get better at listening. If He said marriage should last forever don’t you think He knows what He is talking about? That settles it! In order to keep your commitment you need God as the center of your relationship. Keep a place in your heart for your spouse and never let the flames die out. The marital relationship must be tended. Always take time to nurture your marriage. Children, friends, and relatives must be taught to respect your relationship. You must first respect your relationship! Let them know your relationship is of top priority. Remember the circle. What God has joined together let not man put asunder. Your marriage should last until “death us do part”!
SEVEN THINGS TO PONDER
1. The principles we apply in marriage are ordained by God.
2. Since 55-60% of marriages end in divorce it’s important that you don’t let anything or anyone come
3. God wants your physical, emotional and spiritual needs met.
4. Keep a place in your heart for your spouse and don’t let the flame of love die out.
5. Marriage is the perfect arena to learn to work out your differences.
6. The marital relationship must be tended.
7. What God has joined together let not man put asunder.
NEXT:Chapter 10 - Till Death Do Us Part
Today in this 21st century when considering getting married please don’t go into the relationship thinking that you will be able to change each other. When planning your big day; The Sacramento Bride & Groom can help you plan out your wedding! For those of you who have never been married before, you must allow for a period of adjustment once married! Living with someone is not the same as dating or being married. You have not really made a total commitment and you realize that you can opt out at any time…
After the honeymoon period is over and you hit a kink see this as an opportunity to take your marriage to a deeper level! It is during this time you need to work together rather than pull farther apart!
If you have not married; please do not manipulate your potential spouse into a relationship; because if you do it will be an ongoing dynamic in your relationship! You should genuinely care for this person and desire to grow together! You want to encourage transparency in order to build a strong secure marriage! Before marrying really have some candid and open discussion as to how you would like things to be in order to see if you are on the same page! Don’t just assume?
For those of you in the Sacramento Area, The Healthy Marriage Project teaches a class that helps builds couple and family strengths! It is called “Smart Steps!”
It is a good thing to find out more about what each other likes and dislikes! Are you a morning person? Do you sleep with socks on? Do you snore? Are you patient? Do you yell scream and curse to get your way? Or do you sulk and stay quiet, remote cold and unexpressive? Or do you like to talk things through… Do you quit when the going gets tuff?
It really is the seemingly little things that add up and lead to arguments! It is easier for some to say how they feel when they are angry! Learn to be open and honestly discuss how you are feeling… Don’t make sorry a sorry word! Chill out and warm up to one another! It really is better to say “I am hurt!” Don’t let pride and insecurity dominate your marriage! How else will you settle disputes? Please do not think that by not talking about issues they will go away; they won’t!
Now that we have discussed some of the not so good things we can move towards what it takes to build a better marriage! You sit down at work and discuss whatever the problem is, right! Why? Because work is a priority and you do not just opt out of your job when things are not going your way! It is important that you like and respect one another in marriage even more so! Why? Because you say you love this person! You love them enough to get to know them better! You like them enough to care about their wellbeing! You care enough to develop loyalty in your marriage! Make sure to have a weekly marriage date! It is important not to lose sight of this or you will just take one another for granted and improving the marriage will no longer be a one of your top priorities!
Life is about priorities and taking the time out to do or tend to the people and things that are important to you! Marriage is the ultimate relationship between a man and a woman! If your marriage is going to last you have to make a conscious effort to work at it and keep the embers of love burning! To keep it exciting! To do interesting and adventurous things together still! You want to build a mutually satisfying sexual relationship between you as well! Coming together physically as one should be a special time of sharing… To experience a time of euphoria that can be experienced when you freely give of yourselves to one another in a loving environment. Keep the embers burning and be affectionate and caring towards one another! Each couple is different so together build what works for you…. It is okay to have your physical needs met, no reason to be ashamed. The marriage bed is honorable in the eyes of the LORD! Tend your marriage as you would a lovely well kept garden! Take care and tend it as you do everything else that is important in your life. If you leave your clothes lying all over the place and hang them up whenever you want to guess what? If you are selfish and insensitive and don’t really care what happens, guess what? Be attentive, respectful and thoughtul towards one another!
Preventive maintenance is the key! Each marriage is different and each marriage is what you make it! If you want to make it better and if you want to improve start improving you! Stop neglecting yourself and only fixing yourself up for everyone else or when you go to work or attend worship…! Men are visual and so are women. Change for the better not the worst! Do you take care of yourself like you did when you were dating? We are older; no! Still no excuse! Age like a fine antique… Or do you just throw yourself together now because after all you are married to him or her so what! Be the BEST YOU at any age!
Your marriage can last! Marriage can be a wonderful experience of growing with the one you love! Make it a point to get better not bitter! You truly can continually refine your relationship!
Make it a point to keep your marriage and your spouse happiness a priority! You can still enjoy the company of friends and loved ones. But don’t let everyone else but your spouse know what is going on with you and how you are feeling about you or them! Keep one another and your marriage a priority! True Love lasts through forever! You both desire what is best for one another and you want one another to be the “Best You” you can be with one another by your side! This is true when God is in the center of your marriage! You want and desire your marriage to last! You can’t make them happy but you can contribute to creating an intimate, loving, caring, warm, transparent, stable, mutually inviting environment where both of you can continue to grow and flourish together and make a beautiful fragrant bouquet that says “I LOVE YOU!” Now and through FOREVER!
In the Sacramento Area you can find many interesting stories about couples that are indicative of what is happening everywhere! Many couples are going through! But don’t be discouraged!
A great marriage really is definitely possible! Marriage requires love, commitment, patience and lots of work! Counseling is an alternative that helps and it can enhance your marriage! But your goal must be to work through the kinks in the marriage rather than let them persist! If you wait until your problems are seemingly insurmountable it will take some time to plow through your relationship dynamics!
There are times when counseling is sought just as a last resort! You simply attempt to appease one another and are trying to buy some time… When this is the case; by the time the couple goes to counseling the problem is so bad that they just want to find out which spouse is responsible for their marriage problems? They are often just seeking support and approval to justify why they act or behave in the manner in which they do? The fact of the matter is your communication skills are lacking to the point you have lost some of your objectivity.
You now need or desire a neutral third party to help you see if you can revive the marriage and get it back on track?
You can and should also incorporate the Bible as wise counsel in your marriage. Not in a rigid legalistic manner but in a way to enhance your marriage! It is important that you marry someone who values the same life principles! However if this is not the case you can still consult the Lord’s Word! There is some superb, really great “stuff” in the Bible that many are not aware of! I mean this in a complimentary way! There are some great love stories as well as excellent examples of tests and trials. The Lord never intended for any of us to be unhappy and disappointed all the time… I suggest that you to go to Galatians 5 and learn the differences between the works of the flesh and the Fruit of His Spirit!
Please, don’t just read the Bible you must actually implement the principles into your own personal life and marriage. It is not wise to use the Word to manipulate or hurl insults upon your spouse! After all the Lord KNOWS what He is talking about!
If you have a friend that is having marital conflict encourage them to seek helpful ways to resolve it! It is important to respect your marriage as well as the marriage of others! When asked for advice make it a point to be objective! Don’t experiment on their marriage and suggest things that are harmful rather than constructive! Help them look at the situation from all angles! Sometimes a listening ear is all that is necessary to sort through the problem. Never support abuse on any level in anyone… Learn to be a better friend by encouraging them to do what is right!
What is so interesting is that as adults you can do as you please! That is, unless you simply have no self control yourself and are rather compulsive. In that case you just cannot restrain or discipline yourself and you freak out at the slightest little thing! If this is the case you need to put yourself in check and seek out getting some professional help! By the way prayer really does work!
Please if you know that your spouse has a short fuse don’t try to purposefully set them off! This does not mean that you are to be a doormat! Choose your battles wisely don’t encourage abuse or dysfunction in yourself or anyone else. Don’t be an enabler!
So why can’t you make a decision to work out your problems? It’s because you have opted to go the way of the majority or just “do your own thing!” You can simply do what makes you feel good instead at the expense of your spouse? Live together and really be miles apart! But is it really good for you or your marriage! No! That’s called being selfish! At this point, the marriage has become more about “you” rather than about “us!” It’s my house, my car, my money, my furniture my name my, my, my… Somebody has a bad case of “Me”ness! No wonder you are in such a quandary! You have now or will be joining the not happily ever after club soon! That is unless you decide to make your marriage a priority! So get busy!
The first step for getting your marriage back on track is taking responsibility for your own actions! Stop behaving as though you are in the relationship by yourself! It is called being considerate! Your spouse is neither your servant nor parent! They are supposed to be your partner… Start treating your spouse the way you would like to be treated for starters! Celebrate your marriage! Encourage one another and if necessary encourage yourself like King David! Don’t let anyone steal your JOY! If you have get busy getting it back!
PRAYER FOR MARRIAGE RESTORATION”
Give Up “Me-ness” for “We-ness”
Marriage is ordained by God! It was meant to be a Covenant relationship sanctioned by a Covenant God! A Covenant is a sacred vow witnessed by God! For Christians it is the most solemn agreement that one can make between a man and woman! A Covenant requires sacrifice it represents the merging of two lives. The “two becoming one.” This does not mean one gives up their own personal identity. Two strong hearts join together as One! They cleave together not out of neediness, but because of an undying Love & Commitment and the desire to have a loving complimenting companion!
Many marriages are dissolving for a plethora of reasons! Many are and have been “unequally yoked” from the very beginning. Many have embraced worldly concepts and the idea of “what is good for me” takes precedent. Many have allowed manipulation and deception to embed itself in the relationship that only smothers intimacy! Many have behaved so repulsively towards one another that respect and sensitivity have been cast into the sea of unforgiveness! Many have allowed domestic violence and abuse! Many are bound by compulsion and ambivalence that only serves to vamp the very life out of one another… Instead of building a healthy home environment. They build a marital nest of confusion, pain and unhappiness. Marriage was never meant to be a competition of wills nor a degrading of one another’s character. Divorce comes about because of the hardness of the heart. Divorce is leaving many casualties!
Life presents many challenges as well as Celebrations! Marriage is about learning how to commit to someone who you can learn to be transparent with. To build and share an ongoing growing, loving, lasting mutually satisfying physical, emotional and spiritual relationship. To nurture, one another and give each other healthy space as well. To have one another’s best interest at heart. To celebrate and encourage each other through the challenges that life presents from time to time. To together live your lives to please God an allow him to use you to spread that love to others! Just think how life would be if this was really the case! God really has a marvelous workable plan for marriage! Instead, God’s design for marriage is constantly being pushed to the background! Too many instead embrace infidelity and alternative sexual relationships…..
If you are at a place in life and you know that your marriage is not all that it is meant to be… Or if you are having an affair either emotional or physical … Or if you never really thought about the vows you made or the seriousness of marriage…. Or if you have let anything and everyone come between you… Know it will not just get better on its own. Marriage like anything else of value takes work! You must do something , don’t continue to live in a mystic haze of unhappiness! Repent! Which simply means to CHANGE it! Keep in mind you can only change yourself! Think about it! Had you ever really thought about God knows what’s up? You are not fooling Him! Start by giving the courtesy that you extend to your friends, coworkers, acquaintances, lover, strangers or whoever to the one who you supposedly committed to Love, Honor, Trust and……
Again and I think it is worth repeating that divorce comes about because the hardening of the heart. Here is what the WORD of God says: “And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” They said , “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.” And JESUS answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote this precept. But from the beginning of the Creation, GOD made them male and female . For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are not longer two, but one flesh. There fore what GOD has joined together, let Not man separate…” Mark 10
Take some time and really think about where you are going in your marriage? Have you taken a detour? Pray this prayer or pray your own prayer if you are seeking restoration for your marriage! It is your heart that the Lord is concerned with. Not how you make things appear to others. Embrace the powerfulness of TRUTH! It is here you will discover the TRUE LOVE that can only come from being connected to God! Life is precious! You can never ever really be happy when you jump from relationship to relationship without dissolving the former conflict. It just builds up and gains momentum and at some point those issues will appear again. Give yourself the gift of breaking the cycle of dysfunctional and sometimes generational unhappy relationships. It’s never too late! Commence to commit to discover and learn healthier relational dynamics then implement them in your marriage NOW! Pledge to committing to the building of a lasting, secure, committed, satisfying, realistic, rewarding, marriage where Love, Respect and mutual concern take the helm. And let “Jesus take the Wheel!” Begin to give up “Me-ness for We-ness!
We first want Thank to say You for being our God and our Father! We Thank You Lord, that we have You to come to at anytime, anywhere and in any and every situation. Lord we Thank You for Your precious Son Jesus Christ who sacrificed His life that we may live life to its fullest. Lord, we come in the name of Jesus asking that you would open the pathway for healing for ________ (name of spouse and his wife ( husband) and restore their marriage. As your servant Lord I come realizing that you know what the needs are here. Without saying Lord you alone know what is going on, and all that has ever happened!
Lord, I pray that you will allow healing and reconciliation to take place. That whatever hurts or disappointments they have experienced can be mended through the power of your undying eternal Love. We realize Father that they cannot change anything that has happened. But, they can go forth together keeping, renewing and once again honoring their vows. Father we realize that much spiritual warfare is about them. We realize that it wants to divide and separate them. We ask Lord that they invite you into the messiness to bring about order! Lord we realize that ALL of your promises are true. We ask that you endow them with the necessary strength and wisdom to endure.
Father we ask that you would knit their hearts closely together and allow nothing else to come between them. Lord we ask that they both take personal inventory, repent and seek forgiveness for any wrong doing. We pray that they extend love and patience to one another and that the lines of communication, sensitivity as well as understanding are once again opened. We ask that you will allow all the pain, hurt and disappointment to begin to subside. Lord we ask that forgiveness is welcomed by each of them. Lord we ask that you would allow your JOY to flow once again from heart to heart between them. Father we ask that you direct them as they seek you first in building trust, transparency and intimacy. Father we pray peace over their household. Lord we Thank You for being who You are and we realize that all the power, honor and glory belongs to You now and forever, and for this we give you the PRAISE. In the WONDERFUL name of JESUS ….…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a Marriage Educator, licensed Christian Counselor, life coach and ordained minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. She is the author of a pre-marital guide “How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do,” and just released her second book “Holy Matrimony: Now That You’re Married”.
DeBorrah has written extensively and has a plethora of columns and commentaries on life subjects that are widely published. DeBorrah along with her husband is co-founder of Alpha 7 Ministries, a Counseling and Music Ministry that reaches “Beyond The Walls”. There are times when we all need some encouragement in our walk with the Lord. The Counseling Ministry was designed to encourage, motivate and uplift you in your journey. The Music Ministry produces and records music for every musical taste: Contemporary Christian, Gospel, Praise & Worship, Instrumental Gospel/Jazz, and Easy Listening.
God has instilled in all of us a desire for relationship. But we must realize that our true security and significance can only be unearthed and experienced in a relationship with Him. When we embark upon the quest for a partner, we must keep in mind God’s principles. One of the main problems occuring in marriage is “being unequally yoked”. One common denominator that is essential for a successful relationship; God must be Lord of both lives! Light and darkness can not have true fellowship. How can a Godly woman expect an unbelieving husband to be subject to God. How can a Godly man expect an unbelieving wife to be subject to God as well. Submission is a humble compliant act. It means submitting to the authority of another. God is a God of order. The husband submits to God. The husband and wife in turn submit to one another. The goal of marriage is to experience the spiritual and physical oneness God has deemed attainable.
In marriage both partners must be willing to give up selfishness for the sake of the relationship, as well as forsaking all others. God does not want us to have a joyless experience. Jesus died so we might relish “the abundant life”, abundant means plentiful, overflowing. He wants our lives to overflow with the fruits of His spirit. They are: Love, Joy, Peace, Long-Suffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. Galations 5:22-24 (NKJV). The scriptures says “Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church: and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore just as the church is subject to Christ so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” Ephesians 5:22-29 (KJV) To walk in the spirit is to be controlled by the spirit. It is the infilling of the Spirit we must pray for over and over and over again. When a wife submits to her own husband as to the Lord the Lord’s order is established in the marital relationship. But remember the husband must be subject to the Lord. When we are walking in the Spirit this type of relationship is possible. God has provided us with a formula for a fulfilling marriage. We must learn to trust that he really knows what is best for us. Now, step out on faith.
We must ask ourselves are we ready for marriage? Are we prepared to relinquish our selfishness? Are we ready to put the other partner’s well being first? Are we willing to share? Better yet are we willing to remain faithful and to partake in the joys as well as long-suffering that life often offers? Are we truly ready to spend the remainder of our life with this person? If you can answer yes to these questions, it is quite possible you are ready?
In this 21st century more than 55% of marriages end in divorce. Divorce is taking too many casualties! It is important to take some time and really ponder if you really want to make a lifetime commitment! Divorce and infidelity are raging a battle against marriage! Don’t let your vows just be mere words!
Marriage is the oldest institution there is. God created it to be Beautiful and last for a lifetime! Think long and hard before you presumptuously commit to Marriage. Planning for a wedding is so very exciting! It should be a wonderful magnificent, memorable and breathtaking grand occasion whether its large or small! All too often it is the idea of all the exciting Showers, Parties, Celebrations and activities that many have come to enjoy rather the marriage itself! A committed marriage takes a lot of work, it does not just happen! Make sure that you have thought about the future as well. I have found more often than not the last thing a couple wants to hear while planning to marry is are you sure?
Marriage between a man and a woman is the ultimate commitment of Love! Because of the alarming number of marriages ending in divorce and resulting in infidelity, I wrote this quick easy read premarital guide that takes less than a half an hour to read! Look and listen to the news! I have heard too many couples say “I never thought about that?” If I only would have known! You do not want a life of heartache! First know you cannot change this person you want to marry! Ask you self; Do you want to wake up to this person every morning for the rest of your life? Are you willing to work through life’s challenges and do what is best for the marriage? Are you ready to close the door on all other sexual partners? Each marriage is totally different. But the same basic principles are true! Together you have the opportunity to build a unique relationship that mutually suits your temperaments! Think long and hard? Take some SERIOUS time and really think about if you are ready to say yes to a lifetime commitment! If you are I wish you a Loving, eventful, committed, lifelong, happy, God-centered marriage, “What God has joined together let not man put asunder.”
LESSON HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Find three scriptures that refer to marriage other than those used in the lesson. Research the word submit. Be prepared to discuss the contents of this lesson at your next counseling session.
NEXT:LESSON 3 – How Compatible Are We ?
Marriage on the rocks or on “The ROCK”
Is your marriage on the rocks? Have you done, or did all that you think that you could do and you still are not happy? Do you live under the same roof and barely speak or to say the least, your communication is just not happening?
Is your physical relationship few, far and in between or basically just nonexistent? Or on the other hand is your physical relationship all you have going on? But you both are just going through the motions? Do you jump at the opportunity to spend time apart and or enjoy the company of everyone else accept one another?
When you get angry do you often resort to disrespectful name calling , foul language and go as far as far as physical blows? Are you so tired of fussing and fighting and now you just want to go your separate ways? Do either or both of you just drink yourself under the table because you just can not take life without being under the influence of something in order to function? If yes to two or more of these questions your marriage is on the rocks! You are not just having a bad day, you are relating in a very bad way.
Did you get up early on Sunday morning, get all decked up or dressed down depending where you are going or what Sunday it is and go to Church? Once you got there did you teach Sunday School, sing in the choir, participate on the praise or dance team, serve on the Deacon Board, Ushers Board, Mother’s Board, serve on the welcoming committee, lead the morning altar prayer, give an offering or pay your tithes or sit in the pulpit or the front row or any other row? (I know that was a run on sentence.) But just be patient. Did you listen to a great sermon, a good sermon, a so so sermon or was it just rhetoric or just disguised gossip or plain messy? Or did you just stay at home and turn on your television and flip through the wide assortment of religious selections and pick someone? Yet you cannot take the time to have a decent conversation with your own spouse?
I am sure that I left out some scenarios. My point is to get you thinking? You do not have to confirm any of the above to anyone else. I just want you to consider making some changes. If you don’t your relationship will just get worst. The number of marriages ending in divorce is constantly rising. Did you know that 55-60% of marriages end in divorce? Each time you remarry the percentage of it working out rises as well. It almost sounds like a disease now, when you say you are a monogamous “ heterosexual couple.” We are becoming a rare breed. This should not be!
Take some time and think about where you are. Call a truce momentarily and say “time out.” Don’t wait until someone gets sick, dies, or has an affair. Remember those vows you made to one another! At what point did they just become words? If you look around you will see that the overall quality factor in relationships is constantly dwindling. Don’t let your relationship just be one big roller coaster ride. This does not have to be. Nor is it healthy. Keeping the lines of communication open is very important in relationships Couples are changing partners as if they were a new pair of shoes. They try on this one and that one and…. It does not matter if you are rich or poor, what color you are, where you live or if you are a star or unknown….
This is ironically interesting because there are so many gadgets to communicate and stay in touch now than ever before . You can call or text anyone just about anywhere in the world 24/7. But still many live right under the same roof and cannot even talk to one another. Don’t let pride continue to widen the gap in your relationship. Don’t keep living in an unhealthy environment. Things won’t just get better. You must make your relationship a priority. Take some time when you are not angry and set aside a block of time to spend some quality time with your spouse and get your relationship off the rocks and move it to “The ROCK”.
What has happened ? When did things begin to shift? Where is all the love that brought you together? True Love lasts forever. People use the word love so loosely. Since the world offers so many alternatives and loop holes it is easy to just say. “I’m done.” Next person please. If that is the case perhaps it was just what I call “intoxicating affections!” A good marriage takes work. At the heart of a good marriage is compassion, care and communication! A good marriage in time continues to improve and becomes refined. You work at everything else so why not start with your marriage?
Start by asking your spouse to write down 5-7 things that they would like to see different in your relationship. You do the same. Set a time frame maybe 30 minutes or so, for a little discussion. Then exchange your list with one another. See if you can immediately cross off any of those things listed immediately. For the next 5-7 days see if you can implement one of those changes each day? Just think you can rise to the occasion at work and do whatever is necessary? Yet your marriage has become an option? After a week see if your communication is beginning to improve?
Do you want your home to be a boxing ring and each spouse just stays in the corner? Or do you want it to be a place of gratification and contentment? It is possible. But is won’t just happen. Life is too short to live the majority of it unhappy. This may seem like a simple exercise; but it really is the little things that go unattended that begins to build the walls that eventually come between you. My point is to become conscious of your spouse’s feelings. Becoming more sensitive and thoughtful will help to shift some of the tension and break down the walls that have begun to come between you. Think about it? Can you think of a simple way to show them you love them “just because?” You don’t have to wait until a birthday or a holiday or … Do something totally unexpected, today!
Pray for your spouse and also ask the Lord to show you where you need to change. When you got married you made a vow to the Lord as well. But all too often God is left out of the equation. This really is what gets your marriage on the rocks. You slowly begin to set aside His principles. The proper way to point the finger is when more fingers are pointing back at you… In order to move your relationship from on the rocks to The ROCK you must begin to embrace God’s principles. He is a solid foundation. There is a wonderful illustration that teaches us that when you build your house on The ROCK it can withstand the pressures of life. Mathew 7 tells us “There fore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built His house on The ROCK. The rain came down , the streams arose, and the winds blew and beat against that house , but it did not fall, because it has its foundation on The ROCK.”
Marriage was meant to bring one man and one woman together who are committed to one another. Begin now, to allow the Lord and His principles back in your relationship. This will also help restore or build trust and intimacy. Don’t continue to allow conflict, pride, guilt, unhappiness and shame to be the bridge between you and your spouse. Remember, at the heart of any good relationship is compassion, care and communication! To move towards building a lasting relationship it is important to connect emotionally, intimately and physically with one another. In a marriage that is built upon The ROCK you can become stronger, loving, responsible, mutually satisfied, secure individuals that encourage one another to be the best they can be!
Is it still possible?
Divorce is raging a serious battle within our homes and congregations. When a couple has been called to ministry I believe we have an obligation to uphold the marriage vows we speak, teach or preach about. I am thankful that we have been able to uphold our commitment to one another all these years. But I realize it is not because of us it is because of the Lord! Marriage God’s way does work. I give Him full credit for keeping it uppermost in our minds the necessity of living out those vows we made. A great marriage helps you to strengthen your love, trust, intimacy, transparency and so much more. The path you walk is only as strong to the degree, you live out the very principles you talk about .
We after thirty eight years continue to refine our relationship. We have five (5) grown children four (4) who are married. I say this because this is not just words for kudos. I realize that there is very serious spiritual warfare that continuously attempts to come against marriages. Therefore I want to encourage others to uphold God’s Design for marriage.
I am “Pro Marriage!”
This 21st century has ushered in some strange and disturbing things in regards to marriage. Marriage is the first institution that was designed by God. His way was designed to last a lifetime. A great Christian marriage consists of one man and one woman united in Holy Matrimony. There is a special, unique, unexplainable bond that takes place during this committed union. It is spiritual as well as an emotional bond and yes physical as well! It grows and flourishes as you continue to keep your commitment to one another and the Lord as well! According to the Word of God “The two become one flesh”.
A great marriage consists of a relationship where mutual respect and love coexist. Intimacy is a crucial part of this relationship as well. Here is where you learn to become transparent. It is also quite important that together you must build TRUST in your relationship. You must ask and allow Him within the center of your circle. The ring is symbolic of that circle.
When difficult or painful situations arise, and they will, together you must sincerely attempt to come to a resolution employing His principles. Don’t go into denial! Get creative! You must make a sincere attempt to take time to build a mutually, enjoyable, satisfying , environment together that will help you weather the storms of life. You must continually learn to nurture your relationship. This will also enhance your intimacy, spiritually, mentally and yes physically. If you have not begun to do so it is never too late to start.
You must learn to submit to one another. Submission is an act of love. Read I Peter. It is during submission you learn to take into consideration the needs of one another as a priority. You must learn to walk this path in a concerted cadence. Great marriages don’t just happen. It takes a willing, committed, man and woman to make a great marriage work. Today many change partners like trying on a new pair of shoes. They keep trying until …
Today it is somewhere between 55% – 60% of marriages that fail. This was not meant to be. The Word says “What God has joined together let not man put asunder.” I think there is just cause in saying that God’s principles have been left out of the equation. Somewhere along the line you have gotten off track. Many really do not honor their marriage vows. Were those vows just words? Or is now that the world has presented you with so many alternatives, you? This has a lot to do with why so many marriages are going awry. We who say we are believers must look to God not to the world. Each partner in the marriage has a moral responsibility to make the marriage flourish. What happened to all that commitment? A great marriage was not made to seem as though it was a sentence. It was designed to be a healthy, growing, mutually satisfying , rewarding partnership!
When building a great marriage it is very important to keep the fires of desire burning. Do not allow the passion to fizzle out. Continue to stir up the excitement you had spending time together. If it has fizzled rekindle the flame. Allow one another some space as well. It is natural to do things apart that you enjoy too. That just makes you value the time when you come together that much more! A great marriage should be tended like a precious antique. It gets better with age … Each marriage is uniquely different. Together discover what is enjoyable and continue to add flavor to your relationship no matter what age you are. And yes, a great marriage is still possible! But always keep the flames of love, trust, intimacy, transparency going and burning within… Continue to find ways to build a loving, healthy, relaxing home environment. This is what creates an endless circle of LOVE as well as A GREAT MARRIAGE!
God gave us healthy Christian marriage boundaries in which one man and one woman should live together. Marriage is still ordained by God. As the Originator and Creator of life God designed marriage to be a monogamous relationship between a man and a woman. For the last couple of years I have been journaling about the significance of a committed CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE!
Many Christian leaders and congregants have fallen prey to infidelity and adultery. Sex practiced outside the confines of marriage is rampart in the Churches as well as in the world. LORD Help us! I have observed how this has resulted in a real breakdown in the overall quality of relational dynamics in many marriages. Over the last couple of decades the significance of marriage has been slowly watered down. This has allowed strange and disturbing beliefs about marriage to come to the forefront. There has been a steady but sure deliberate attempt to redefine marriage. There has been a successful evolutionary transition to blur the once clearly defined lines of marriage and minimalize the need to reinforce its healthy boundaries. Allowing its boundaries to become grayed and frayed by encouraging open marriages, unisex dress, the acceptance of male to male and female to female relationships and gender choice lifestyles.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life committed to the ways of our Father, was crucified, died and was buried. But that was not the end. He arose with all power! When He ascended to heaven He left us His Holy Spirit, His Comforter to come and reside within us. To help us live victoriously over sin. Sin is what separates us from God. God knows us inside and out. He knew us before we were even formed in our Mother’s wound. He knows what is best for us. He could have made us robots and forced us to be a certain way. But because of His graciousness and His mercy He allowed us free choice. He gave us healthy boundaries because HE knew not everyone at all times would adhere to His will and His way. His Holy Spirit is readily available to help us make proper life choices that please Him. For a man and woman desiring to live together marriage is His way. Galatians 1 tells us that Jesus Christ gave Himself; “for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever…”
It is becoming increasingly clear that the world in which we live wants to ensnare and entrap the children of God. To offer any and every smorgasbord or appetizer that the flesh desires and present it as an alternative way to live. I encourage you to really take some time to “Be still and know” to take a personal self evaluation. To deeply gaze internally where no one but GOD sees and examine where you are spiritually. Not in respect to someone else but to see if you really are growing spiritually. Is the Fruit of His Spirit apparent in your life? Not just on a surface level for others to see. I mean are you really walking closely with the Lord? Be honest with yourself because God already knows! If you truly are you can expect some type of persecution. This is why it is so very important that you know the WORD of God for yourself. So you can distinguish, recognize and discern when something is not of God.
Many have abandoned the Faith and now embrace a liberality that is not God sanctioned. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been evaded by encouraging the acceptance of perverted lifestyles that are sanctioned and practiced by many Christians. Perverted meaning to change what was once considered unnatural or abnormal to normal. PLEASE slowly but surely read and ponder on this passage of GOD’S WORD expressed in Romans 1 “Therefore GOD gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the TRUTH OF God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised, Amen. Because of this GOD gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged NATURAL RELATIONS for unnatural ones. In the same way the men abandoned NATURAL RELATIONS with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion…” What or who do you believe?
Marriage how God designed it is becoming increasingly unpopular! This is why it is so important to STAND UP for Christian Marriage! Paul vehemently expounds on the necessity to not “trying to win the approval of men.” Paul constantly throughout the Scriptures rebukes the Church to stand on God’s principles.Paul knew that by taking this very unpopular stance some would attempt to negate his credibility. He knew that they lay in wait to discredit him. But he also knew that God knew the TRUTH!
There is no spiritual value whatsoever in using the Scriptures to justify something that God has not ordained nor sanctioned. Slowly but surely many continue to allow the healthy boundaries that God designed for marriage to be treaded upon by the unacceptable desires of the flesh. This does not have to be! Allowing the sanctity of MARRIAGE to be reduced to a relationship between same sexual partners who want to justify a relationship contingent on their personal sexual preferences. LORD HELP US! Why not simply call it something else? Why redefine the definition of marriage. Why take something that was meant to be HOLY MATRIMONY and make it totally UNHOLY.
Many marriages have gone shipwrecked. The fulfillment of the flesh has taken the forefront and many will do whatever is necessary to fulfill the desires of the flesh. Many Christians are evasive and negligent at discussing sex openly in a healthy manner, although we know that sex outside of marriage is widely practiced within the Church. Many relational issues are skirted and the financial concerns have in many cases become the dominant priority. Divorce, adultery, infidelity, promiscuity, pornography, living together, same sex relationships are on the rise. Pandora’s Box has lost its lid and just about every and anything goes. Family values for Christians are continually laid aside. Relinquishing and abandoning the principles that God originally intended. In many instances many of us who have been charged to proclaim and live out the Word of God have sat on the fence and allowed any and everything as acceptable and hidden it under the trendy term “unconditional love”. “GOD is LOVE”. Study I Corinthians 13 here you will find a description of what HIS LOVE really entails. Self Control is a part of His Fruit!
God’s Holy Spirit was intended to give us the ability to overcome sin in the flesh and live out our lives to please Him. Today you can find a support group for just about anything you want to help you find some comfort to indulging the weaknesses of the flesh. It’s sad to say but true; it’s as though for many going to worship has merely become a social club. Just join, pay your 10%, do as told and you can do as you please, acceptance, no problem. Many just go to Church then go right back home to live very worldly lifestyles. LORD HELP US! Jesus dying on the Cross paved us a WAY TO THE FATHER! Grace and peace is acquired through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We the Church, His Church is supposed to be His Bride.
We are also called as Believers! Do you believe the Word of God? Do you believe in Marriage? What do you really believe in, or do you even know? God wants us to surrender every aspect of our lives over to Him. When you do, just know that there is a vehement attack lodged to discredit the testimony of faithful believers who have sincerely committed to the “Narrow Road” lifestyle. HALLELUJAH anyhow! It goes much farther than singing, shouting, talking and preaching about it. We must make a sincere effort to live out our lives pleasing God daily. The CHURCH IS THE BODY OF CHRIST! Think about this for a moment or should I say for a while. This is really deep stuff!
The enemy has really pulled out all stops to deceive, distract, camouflage and get a stronghold on the people of God. God’s standards have been compromised and the ways of the world have been embraced. This is what I mean when I say that the “world is now within God’s CHURCH.” In man’s unquenchable thirst for power, bigger sanctuaries, larger congregations and wanting to control others, there has been a huge shift in spiritual priorities!
Many have subscribed to undercover manipulation, worldly ways means and methods and allowed them inside of God’s House of Worship. All too often just to gain a position. The most important position spiritually is your position in Christ! God knows the posture of our hearts. God has given us guidelines to live by as Christians. Marriage is one of those guidelines.
There is but one CHURCH and that is the one that Jesus is coming back for! Did not God say “BUT Seek ye first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well…” What does this mean that we are to seek HIM first for EVERYTHING? What is anything anyway without Him? According to His Word when we “seek Him first” something will happen. This means that we should seek to do things His way. Marriage is His way for the believer to live together as man and wife. We cannot change what has been done. But stop right where you are and see where you are? What and who do you support? Who do you really live for? God’s way or man’s way? Be honest with yourself because God already knows!
We must pray for our young people. The world has any and everything to offer them except Jesus! “Jesus is the WAY the TRUTH and the life!” Think about it; They are now encouraged to “dress down” for Jesus and “dress up” for prom? God has given us His Holy Spirit to lead guide and protect us. Have you really thought about what eternal life means? It all does not happen on this side of heaven. But while we are “still here” we need to get busy living to please Our Heavenly Father. Proverbs 22 tells us to “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” He did not say may? He said won’t depart!If you do not stand for something you will fall for anything. ALL God’s Word is true! He does know what is best. His inheritance according to I Peter 1 “can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in HEAVEN for you, who through FAITH are shielded by God’s power…”
Where is your FAITH? WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM! For Christ sake we will suffer in this world. Trials are a part of His refining process. They yield and teach us patience. There is no greater gift that you can give your children as a model of a committed monogamous Christian marriage! God wants us to follow His moral standards. “As obedient children, do not conform to evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. BUT just as HE who has called you HOLY, so be HOLY in all you do; for it is written; “BE YE HOLY BECAUSE I AM HOLY.” Being HOLY means to be set aside for His purpose. Not to blend in for the sake of acceptance. Hallelujah! His unspeakable joy is available! God’s plan for mankind was set in motion way back in the beginning. We who claim to be Christians need to really begin to live as though we really believe that Jesus is coming back! We really do need to consult embrace and support His view for marriage. Don’t give way to anyone’s false teaching. It is never too late to start. Please begin to spend some quality time getting to know the Lord through His WORD. “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the GOSPEL OF GOD!”
MARRIAGE = ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN = GOD’S WAY = HOLY MATRIMONY!