Messed-Up Marriages

Published on April 5, 2010

By Lunminthang Haokip

Introduction: Marriages are made in heaven, it is 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. Self-will brazenly snubs God’s will. And we see mad-rages everywhere.       
Mismatch-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 is unfortunate that many marriages are no more made in heaven but in bushy parks, wild parties, dingy cabins of shady hotels 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.
Honourable Marriage: The scripture says, “Marriage is honourable among all” (Hebrew 13:4). 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.
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.
Clandestine  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 soulish spirit that motivate the wrong-trend-setting fulfilment-of-fleshly 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 intrinsic image in man and woman.
Folly Marriage: God says He will judge fornicators (Hebrew 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 elopement by staging ministration of hypocritical make-belief unceremonious ceremony called “second marriage.”
Shaky Second-Marriage: I know of the second Adam; second stage and second place in exam. But what is second marriage? The first had not even taken place unless you equate mere amorous embrace with marriage. God never wanted wedlock to be messed-up in this manner. In the shade of moments in the meadows of Eden, Jehovah said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him (Genesis 2:18).
Obviously, the first man could not 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 would not have made a perfect setting. In His gracious intuition, He had chosen to increase family by family through marriages, not elopements, in successive generations that the earth dominated by the devil may be regained (Genesis.1:26).
“And the rib, which the Lord had taken from man, made the woman and brought her unto the man” (Genesis 2:22).
Rib-Shift:  Here is a guideline for the ideal relationship of sexes. Woman was made out of man and for the man (1Corinthians 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 or men. And that the woman was made out of man favours her to be his honour, glory and crown. Shunning divine will results in messy togetherness that exhibit more frowns than crowns. Reliance on human hunches had made many a wannabe ‘prince of Wales’ a mere ‘prince of wails’.
When his rib was taken, “God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adams” (Genesis 2:21). He just lay supine and did not 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 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 are not valued for long. After their bitter split, an ex-hubby demanded back in hatred, 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 is the world’s take on breakable man-made alliances.
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 chinch deals of life-time togetherness 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” (Proverb 3:5).
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
Future Tense: Here lies the high-water mark of the bond of matrimony. The groom shall no more bank emotionally on his parents now that his better-half had arrived. The bride, on her part, is to notionally leave for ever the endearing people her heart-strings are attached to. A fountain of tear-drops gushes forth when she tries to reconcile to the distressing truth that henceforth, she will no more have fun-filled meals in the cosy company of the erstwhile family members, play around the familiar spots in her house of many sweet silly memories with cheerful brothers and sisters she is so endearingly fond of or gossip away in gay abandon with the witty chatty friend next-door. To sadden her still, in being wedded to a new way of life, she does not even know how her future will shape up with the guy she is to cling on to for keeps.

Right Choice:  It is, therefore, absolutely necessary that children fear God and cast all the youthful burdens upon Him. If they do not sort out problems and issues in time with doting daddy and mindful mummy, they are missing out on something they will regret afterwards. They stand to gain much if they seek divine and parental consent before taking the risky plunge. No material comfort in the bride’s coming day can compensate for an affectionate adieu-bidding future-blessing send-off by her home-folks before the D-day.
Honour God: A rib was removed from Adam to bring to life the “bone of his bones.” But did her become weaker? No. Did he lose anything? No. Instead, he got back a “help meet” in flesh and blood. In order to be in the perfect will of God you have got to take a firm stance for the Lord against the heathen norms people follow-to-sorrow in the name of tradition. If revealed, you may have to severe links with the soul-mates you’d been going rock-steady with. Kindred who are averse to the truth may even plot to deny you the social privileges due to you. But no one sees better than the God who sees us (Genesis 16:13). For “them that honour God, God will honour” (1 Samuel 2:30). More so in the case of choosing life-partner.
No Rewind-Button Here: Cheerful endurance with eyes set on Jesus in the face of human persecution is the stuff our Lord rewards. If you hearken to the word of God and shirk the voice of the world, you will be marked, isolated and brushed aside as an upstart and proselyte. But Jehovah rules here. If you humble yourself and get your sins covered, as implied in Psalm 32:1, He will help you recover lost ground. If you seek your partner through His guidance, you will ultimately make up for the loss, like Adam’s rib, with a bonus in the form of a superb soul-mate. Let’s make ‘marry in haste and repent at leisure’ a notional caution. Because life does not have a rewind-button.
There is Hope Till You Give Up: It does not mean, however, that it is the end of the road for the ones who had opted for the easy way-out of running away on the sly. The over-indulgence of the church and the irrational social sanction play major roles in the gullible lot’s preference for the blundering path to partnership.
The forbidden fruit looked like any other fruits but appeared irresistible to Eve and Adam because it was prohibited. So is elopement to the un-chastened adolescent. The first act of disobedience opened the eyes of the conscience of the fallen couple of Eden to their shame and grief, not to their honour and advantage as the devil foretold. So will willful breaking of God’s wish in matters of matrimony. Elopement will open to one’s regret the eyes blinded by emotional love.
Remedy for Malady:  “Has thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou should not eat?” (Genesis 3:11), God asked. He knows all our hidden sins but He will know them from us. Adam and Eve never repented. They just passed the buck on to others and to each other. So, cursed suffering came heavily upon their kind. The pronouncement in Genesis 3:16 multiplied suffering. The declaration in John 3:16 promises the remedial way out. And the assurance in 2 Timothy 3:16 gives the clue to do away with the fallen nature of Eden. But alas! men had opted for other lethal 16s instead.
Securing Marriage: We grieve a gracious God when we slip unto the abominable direction of elopement. The galloping act of perversity is an utter flop in God’s sight. Let us not add sin to sin by hoping to white-wash our bad deeds in a peculiarly secular “second marriage.” The harm has been done. Once bloomed, the rose cannot shut and become a bud again. When a product goes wrong, we take it back to the maker. Our maker can surely repair a life gone haywire. A second-repentance, not second-marriage, will secure shaky-marriages.
But if you make an honest confession, deeply repent and make suitable amends, the ever merciful God will certainly give you a “second lease of life of grace.” “He that covers his sins shall not prosper, but who so confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy” (Proverb 28:13).
Best Ring: Yes, if marriages are made in heaven, we are expected to follow heavenly rules and adopt heavenly means that we may receive heavenly blessings. But there is no blessing without suffering. Engagement ring and wedding ring are good to heart-connect couples. But the best ring to keep the call for life-long commitment to each other ringing, in joy or sorrow, health or sickness and in plenty or poverty, till last breath do the two apart, is taking part in the “fellowship of His suffe-ring ( Philippians 3:10).
Hereunder is a poem penned by this obscure author to succinctly put down his views on marriage in verses. The song was included as an audio and video item in a new album titled ‘Gospel Goes Global’ which was produced by GGM (Go Gospel Ministry), International. It will, God willing, be released in Aizawl (Mizoram) on 8 June, 2010
1. Are marriages made in high heaven?
Why are they at sixes and seven?
      Coz we drop heaven and prop the heart,
We crib and teardrops are shed on the earth;
   Prayer-fed shires build up truth society;
   Spirit-led pairs spill good family;
   If new home’s to be filled with goodwill
   It’s due that couples first seek God’s will.
We seek self-will and manage to shock,
Soon in sad grill, marriage’s on the rock;
We choose, fetch and clinch solely in haste,
Such a match will be folly-marriage,
    That the strain of past-age be shut off,
    And sin-chain of lineage be cut off;
   It’s God’s bidding that you don’t elope
   But with godly- wedding you take off.

2. Mod guys are pros to make flings an art,
Hep girls are prone to think with their heart;
If they sin and marry sans Maker,
They’ll not be happy ever after;
  Lovers think they best know their future,
 But sink down as they in tests venture;
 That you mayn’t fail in life’s foxy lanes
  Woo Him who will foretell what’s in hand.

3. Bone was not taken from Adam’s head,
       So, Madam her Adam shouldn’t look down;
  Neither was it cut from the foot-edge,
A wife’s not to be    trampled upon;
 The rib-bone was removed from his side,
   Eve and her man were same in His sight;
   Ripped ‘part was flesh closer to male’s heart,
  Partners must love much and never part.

The writer is additional deputy commissioner under Manipur government.

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