MARRIAGE AND BUILDING A GODLY HOME ........It's Uniqueness and Joy

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Every lady who desires to marry would expect to have a godly man as her husband. The same goes for the guys.  They would pray for a God-fearing lady that would respect them and be faithful all their days together.  

Many brothers would ask God for a woman that would not cheat on them, as so many of them cannot handle unfaithfulness.  So, I plead with our sisters not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, who cheat on their spouses but to love their husband and remain faithful.

The dream marriage of a believer is a 'Godly marriage'. One that is established on biblical principles, where Christ is the head and the fear of the Lord guides the couple. If you are looking to have such a marriage, then you are reading the right message.  Can I add that your desire is possible, but requires a lot of hard work and prayers?

Applying biblical principles in our home and living by the Word of God is what will make the difference, it gives us a stronger foundation than those of unbelievers.  It will keep the couple united under Christ and happier. Marriages that operate under the Lordship of Christ experience the love of God, unity and strong bonding among the couples, which removes a lot of selfish behaviours that unbelieving couples experience.  

The moment the couple see themselves as under Christ, their attitude towards one another changes for better, their relationship changes as well.  They will not compare their spouse with anyone else, and they also, not compare their marriage to any other marriage.  Every marriage is unique and different

What is godly marriage?

A godly marriage is one where the husband and wife are born again Christians that have made Jesus their Lord and Saviour.  They understand the plan and purpose of God for marriage and desire to cooperate with God to fulfil that purpose.  They love the Lord above their spouses, fears and honours the Lord with everything they do and have and their marriage is unto the Lord. The Lord is head over them and love for their spouse, submission in humility to each other is a lifestyle.

It is important to know what a godly marriage looks like, so that young men and women can prepare for it.  So they can acquaint themselves with scriptures on marriage, acquire beneficial skills and knowledge before seeking marriage.  Many people have grown up with bad models of marriage. Some have experienced disintegration of their otherwise wonderful families all-of-a-sudden, with all its pains.  Others have seen and heard their friends talk about it, they have seen it promoted on television, in the media, and sometimes within their neighbourhood. 

Many Christians do not know what a proper marriage should look like, so when they eventually get married they live out the models they have seen or experienced in the home they grew up in.  Christians should understand the importance of the family in society and why God is interested in the family.  The family is the foundation of society, so when the home falls, the church falls, and when the church falls, the society and the nation falls. As we look at what makes a godly and happy home, it is hoped that this message will benefit, not only for married couples but also for the singles who will one day be married. 

What are the characteristics of a godly marriage? 

What should we be aiming for when we are looking for a wife or a husband for those who are single?  What should the sister prepare her mind for in such a marriage?  What kind of helpmate will she be? does she have the training and attitude to love, help, and serve her husband sacrificially?  What other virtues should she and he acquire that will help them live in love and harmony? Remember that when God created man, He yoked the husband and wife together as one flesh (Gen 2:24). 

What are those basics a sister needs to know about a godly marriage to enable her to prepare physically and spiritually for it? What qualities are expected from her.  Some of the qualities and attitude are mentioned here.

Wives submit to Their Husbands

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.

When the world looks at Christian marriage, they should see Christ in the midst. The wife submits to the husband as the church submits to Christ. The husband actively caters for the spiritual needs of his wife and the family. When the Christian home operates like this, people see the beauty of the gospel and desire to be in marriage. But, when the opposite is the case, it draws people away from God. It draws children away from God because they cannot see Christ in their homes and certainly no genuine love existing among their parents.  

Inward beauty
In a godly marriage, the wife looks inwards to develop Christian virtues instead of being focused on the outside, to look like other women, dress like them and talk like them. She is not encumbered by her outward appearance, but rather her inner beauties and strengths.  The beauty of a woman of God, daughter of Zion should not come from outward adornments, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewellery and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of her inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful - 1 Peter 3:3-5

This is Apostle Peter as he continues to teach women that beauty is not the primary way to honour your husband.  He was not saying that women should not wear jewellery or fine clothes.  He was dealing with the attitude of idolizing such things.  Do you know some women would hardly go to any serious occasion without wearing fine jewelry? Peter was practically saying "Do not be controlled by clothes and jewelry, he was talking about an obsession with adornments in a world where the woman are tempted to be concerned with outward looks and physical beauty. 

Deception and Fake lifestyle
The Christian home is not superficial and overly concerned with being like other couples around, an outward appearance of clothes, makeup and so on. Godly homes are not carried away with what is trending and showing-off family wealth through cars or houses. This is not to say those good things of life, pleasure is not good, unbelieving homes may be happy and excited about that, but not the godly home.  

Copying people and other fake lifestyles has become a major struggle for families around the world, including Christian ones. They are concerned with “keeping up with the Joneses” in having the latest fashions, nice home and accessories. But, in a godly family, the man looks inwards also, he is meek, in control of his emotions and his anger, and practices restraint with his words.  

The woman too is amiable and quiet, Christ-like and gentle.  She restrains her words as a wise woman for the bible say "When words are many, sin is not absent, but when a woman holds her tongue, she is able to cultivate her inner man.  Such a woman is not only beautiful to her husband but to be beautiful to God. She is in firm control of her emotions and especially her anger. She is reserved in the use of her words and her inner beauty radiates to the surface.

The Husband Knows His Wife
Husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life so that nothing will hinder your prayers - 1 Peter 3:7

The husband has a duty to study and understand the wife's personality, her likes and dislikes.  Her strengths and weaknesses.  This is the only way to know where and when to help your wife in the home and outside the home.   What is one of the things a husband must do to develop a godly marriage? He must know the wife's personality.

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Couples Respect their Differences
Husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner. 1 Peter 3:7.  Paul referred to women as weaker vessels because generally, men are stronger physically than women and also sometimes emotionally. Women are different from men in many aspects and the husband should recognize and honour these differences.

When there is love, honouring one another becomes easy.  The husband should among other things:
1. Listen to their wives.
2. Take time to enjoy the activities they enjoy. 
3. Praise them when they do well. Thank them for what they do. We need to show appreciation daily to our spouses for supporting us.

Couples pray together
This is another hard thing for many couples to do these days due to differences and mistrust.  When there is disagreement, some couples think their spouses pray against them. But Peter says to Husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers - 1 Peter 3:7

This means that spiritually, disagreements and quarrels hinder prayer at home. But, the truth is that during such times, many couples do not even pray together. When couples walk in unity and pray together concerning anything, they will always have whatever they ask.  This is why the devil uses every trick to cause disunity at home, so the husband and his wife would hardly hold hands together and make a decree that will change their lives and family for better.   

The godly couple’s life of unity makes their prayers powerful. The Lord emphasized on unity and peaceful existence when He advised the person coming to church with a gift, to go back home and make peace with his neighbour, and thereafter come and offer his gifts to God. Again, we see Peter warning that strife in a relationship actually hinders the prayers of a couple; it makes their prayers ineffective. We see this principle generally taught throughout Scripture. Consider what King David said in Psalms 66:18: “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.”

We also see specifically that living in anger with someone actually opens the door for the evil one in our lives. Many couples, by their disputing, not only close the door to their prayer life and make it unprofitable, but they give the devil a foothold, in their lives and home.  Many couples live in anger and strife and God doesn’t hear their prayers because they refuse to forgive one another. Godly couples live in prayer, and God answers their prayers.

The requirement for a godly marriage
There is no doubt that God designed marriage to be a happy union of holy men and women.  In such marriages, troubles and challenges between the couples are meant to teach them some vital lessons, so they understand themselves deeper and know how to respect and honour each other.  Their troubles will not only draw them closer to God but make them depend more on Him than their self-will and wisdom.

1. Be born again
The first requirement for a godly marriage is that the two people involved are born again Christian. They must have received our Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of their lives and be ready to obey His word and His voice.  They have an understanding of the plan and purpose of God for marriage and what the covenant of marriage is all about. Both should love the Lord, fear and reverence Him and continue to grow in the things of God.

2. Faithfulness

When we say our vows at the altar, we promise to be faithful to one another for as long as we live. Loyalty to our spouse is the foundation of trust in our marriage; when loyalty and faithfulness disappear, so does that trust. And once broken, trust is difficult to re-establish. “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” – Mark 10:9 

3. Honour
Honour is to hold someone in “high esteem.” It’s next-level respect, and as married couples, we’re meant to give the highest regard to one another. We show honour in the way we speak to each other, the way we behave, and the way we conduct ourselves both in and out of the home. “Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:10 

4. Humility
Pride and arrogance have no place in a harmonious marriage; instead, we’re meant to be humble and unassuming; we shouldn’t jump to worst-case conclusions about one another, and we must always be ready to step up and admit when we’re wrong. Humility means not pushing our opinions on one another (even when we’re right) and giving our spouse the floor when we might really want it ourselves.

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:2-3

5. Patience
It can be a challenge to be patient with one another, especially when it comes to the inevitable personality clashes we have with our spouses from time to time. But the scriptures urge us to exercise patience and to show kindness when we’re feeling irritated with one another. It’s one of the many attributes that help us keep the peace in our marriages.  “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” – Ephesians 4:2 

6. Understanding
Because a marriage consists of two very different people merging their lives and creating a home together, it’s important for us to try to understand each other–especially when our spouse is hardest to understand. Practising empathy–the art of stepping into your spouse’s shoes and seeing situations from his or her angle–will help you as you work daily to understand one another. “In the same way, you husbands must give honour to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together.” – 1 Peter 3:7

7. Unity
In a marriage, husbands and wives are on the same team–two people who have chosen to be joined together as one. Unity doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything or have all the same preferences, likes, and dislikes; instead, it means sticking together in spite of your differences. It’s a conscious decision to work together to reach consensus, compromising when necessary as you make decisions together, both big and small.

The Beauty of a godly family
One of the good things about a godly home is the way and manner the husband and his wife handle issues.  We all know that disagreements will surely come, but how it is resolved matters.  Children of God handle issue in love, with understanding and a willing heart to forgive.  You will also observe the offender remorseful and willing to amend ways, why?  They are both before the Lord and they want to see heaven.

They will rather investigate to know the causes of any such unfortunate issue with the hope of preventing re-occurrence in the future. They don't hide anything from each other. 

Love in practice - Godly couple handle disagreements with care, and in love with an understanding heart. It is also an occasion for self-examination as to what could have caused the breakdown in communication?  You will see them asking themselves questions to know, whether it is worldliness, lust, anger, bitterness or unforgiveness that crept into their heart, and they knew it not.  You will notice them pray Inquiry prayers to God, asking Him to reveal where they went wrong and what caused it.  

Their first step is not to blame the other person, but to look inwards in your own direction.  If you are a born again husband and suddenly your wife begins to speak in harsh tones about your mother, definitely there is a problem.  What to do is inquire why she is feeling so bad about her. Is it because of something she did or say? or are you the husband giving your mother more attention than her? or does she feel her own mother is being neglected by you etc? You have to find out!

These are some of the foundational truth that makes Christian marriage happy and well deserving.  This is a union, in which the man and his wife are one and they will defend their oneness, but not allowing any person, friend or relations, children and issues to come in-between them.  

Marriage under Christ
As Christians, applying biblical principles in our home and living by the Word of God is what will make the difference, it will give us a stronger foundation than those of unbelievers.  It will keep the couple united under Christ and happier. Marriage under Christ removes a lot of selfish behaviours that couples experience.  The moment the couple see themselves as under Christ, their attitude towards one another changes for better, their relationship changes as well.  They will stop comparing their marriage to any other marriage of either friends or relatives.

All the funny things we are experiencing in today's marriage between the husband and wife is happening because both of them do not see themselves as under Christ in marriage.  They may be born again Christians, but they are not sheep, they are 'goats'.  Christ is not reigning in their hearts and there is no fear of God in their conducts. They are following worldly trends and characters in a godly home, it does not work that way.  I don't know about women, but most men and children of God make personal vows before the Lord before marriage.  At my level in the faith when I got married, I made a vow of chastity, to be faithful,  and to love and cherish my wife and God has helped me to keep this vow ever since. 

Financial Planning
While it's easy to see the will of God for marriage, living that way is a challenge. This is especially so when the couple forget who they are in Christ, or when they are not born again or when they are not matured in the word of God. So when bills pile up, communication breaks down and you're just plainly irritated with your husband or wife, and everyone around you.  But one of the secrets of happy Christian marriage is financial planning and accountability

A happy Christian family does not just drift from surplus today to debt tomorrow...NO!  The couple plans their finances and projects, applying themselves to godly wisdom and prudence. The cards are laid on the table and decisions are made based on priority.  You don't see them sending their children to the most expensive schools when their income cannot afford it.  You don't see them driving a N30million car when they are living in a rented apartment.

This is what financial planning does to the home, it helps the couple define their priorities and walk debt-free.  This explains where between the husband and wife, there may be little surprises the man can splash on the wife because she knows everything about his finances.  Instead of the man hiding his finances and splashing the wife with surprise gifts once in a while, both of them plan their vacation, date-outs together.

Serving Our Spouse - Marriage and building a happy home is not for babes and the reason is this.  You should have the mindset to serve your spouse in love, forebear him/her and generally protect his interest at all time.  You must think loyalty when you are thinking of marriage.  Both of you are in marriage to fulfil destiny and the plans of God, so your goal is not happiness, it includes eternity in heaven and as Jesus came to serve humanity and later died for her, so we should be ready to sacrifice for our home.

You can serve your spouse in love by focusing on your spouse's strengths rather than their weaknesses. Encourage rather than criticize, pray and intercede instead of complaining.  


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