God Designed Marriage

For this cause a man shall leave mother and father and cleave to his wife. This means he breaks away from all parental ties and loyalty for the sake of a more profound loyalty and holds fast to his wife. In marrying he enfolds his wife into his heart. He rejoices to identify with her and becomes wholeheartedly devoted to her and no other. | Ray Ortlund

“Marriage exemplifies one mortal life fully shared. Two selfish “me’s” start learning to think like one unified us, sharing one everything: one life, one bed, one suffering, one budget, one family, one mission and so forth. No barriers, no hiding, no aloofness. Now total openness, with total sharing and total solidarity.”

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My Dearest friend if you are reading this then I’m assuming you love reading or maybe you've had your bachelorette party with your girls and you finally have some time to yourself to settle down as you put away the gifts you've received. I know you've received lot’s of beautiful items, sexy lingerie, perfumes, books on marriage, games etc. I’m so excited for you and your marriage journey. Being Married for 4 years and seeing my Grandparents married for over 60 years I can tell you that who you decide to marry is one of the most important decisions you will make in your entire life. This statement will make more sense and be more meaningful to you in a few years when you look back at your life and your choice of a life partner.

Woman to woman, you will have some of the best days in your marriage, some of the best memories, but there will also be days that are not so great, don’t wait for those days to start praying over your marriage and your spouse. Remember Marriage came down from God and therefore he has the perfect blueprint for your marriage. Talk to him about it! Let him show you how to be a Wife. Not just a wife but a wife to your husband.

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The God Designed Marriage candle was created as a compliment to a prayer group I recently started called “God designed marriage.” After hearing of so many divorces among not only friends, but Uber drivers and numerous people I came into contact with as well as having stubborn issues and wrinkles I needed to iron out in my own marriage, it became clear to me that marriages were under attack by the enemy of our souls. I believe it was God who placed the thought of starting a small group of this nature on my heart months ago but it was difficult for me to do the dang thing. Partly because I wanted everything to be perfect and partly because I didn’t feel like I was an expert and certainly I wasn’t a outgoing extroverted person. Thankfully finally I started with two other ladies, my sister in law and her sister in law. We are learning so much about Gods intention for marriage and watching earnestly with expectancy as God continues to work in us and in our marriages. I feel it’s imperative that as women we have an intimate group of people that we can share with, pray about our marriages together, pray for our husbands and intercede for other marriages and not just our own.

With so many influences including the media, social media, cultures, friends and family living in dysfunction and filters through which we see and compare our marriages, I wondered what a marriage that was designed by God should look like? My desire is to learn what God sees as a marriage designed by him and not be influenced by the selfishness and shallowness around me. Hence the name “God designed Marriage” was selected as the name of the small group.

So Friend pause for a minute and think about this “What does a God designed Marriage look like to you” NO judges here…This is between you and God!

We naturally think of a God designed marriage as a marriage that has all the pieces together. A marriage with no disagreements nor sad days but simply marital bliss. We see the happily ever after right? Mind you I’m not saying a God designed marriage cannot showcase all these things and should not possess the glimmer of a happy and thrilling relationship but what if it doesn’t come as naturally as you had hoped, what if its work to keep it together. Does that mean it’s not a God designed marriage? Absolutely not! Let’s take a quick look at some the matches God put together:

Isaac and Rebecka

In Genesis 24 we see where Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for his son Isaac. If you are familiar with the story, then you know that Abraham did not want Isaac to marry a Canaanite woman because of their heathen practices and preferred that Isaac marry someone from his homeland from among his relatives.

What amazes me about this story is that Abraham isn’t simply sending his servant on a woman hunt, he tells him specifically that he would not be making this trip alone as the Lord would be sending an angel ahead of him, that would see to it that he identified the right woman for Isaac. If, you're not familiar with this story I've added some bible verses below:

Genesis 24

12 “O Lord, God of my master, Abraham,” he prayed. “Please give me success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham. 13 See, I am standing here beside this spring, and the young women of the town are coming out to draw water. 14 This is my request. I will ask one of them, ‘Please give me a drink from your jug.’ If she says, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’—let her be the one you have selected as Isaac’s wife. This is how I will know that you have shown unfailing love to my master.”

15 Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder.She was the daughter of Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor and his wife, Milcah. 16 Rebekah was very beautiful and old enough to be married, but she was still a virgin. She went down to the

spring, filled her jug, and came up again. 17 Running over to her, the servant said, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.”

18 “Yes, my lord,” she answered, “have a drink.” And she quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and gave him a drink. 19 When she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels, too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw water for all his camels.

One would think with such a divine directed match that everything was easy sailing right? But we all know the story, they tried about 20 years to have children and year after year I can only imagine the disappointment. Finally after conceiving she then has a violent pregnancy. As they raise their children favoritism begins to rear its ugly head in their home. Isaac loves his son Esau and Rebecca favors Jacob. She felt Jacob was more befitting of the first born birthright because the Lord told her the older would serve the younger. Instead of communicating that to Isaac she took matters into her own hands and used trickery. After taking his brothers birth right Jacob has to then flee to another location and comes back after his mother has passed away.

Adam and Eve

Adam and eve are the perfect pair. They are truly a Match made in heaven because God himself did the matchmaking. He created the perfect woman Eve for Adam, however their marriage was still not a cake walk. Please note that God being the the match maker didn't prevent the enemy from approaching them with temptation and trials. We see what seems like a whirl wind of events causing Adam to point fingers “God it’s the woman you gave me,” Yes God walking outside of your will and eating from the tree you told us not to eat from “yup it’s all her fault and you gave her to me.” Kind of sounds a lot like us right.? They then had to leave the only place they knew as home. In modern day we would say Adam and Eve got evicted and it doesn't end there. They have children and guess what, sibling rivalry and jealousy attaches itself to their blood line and before we have time to take in the narrative, murder is involved, and shockingly it’s not by outside invaders but their own son cane kills his brother Abel.

Hosea and Gomer

This one had me totally floored! God commands Hosea to marry Gomer, a woman characterized by sexual infidelity. Hosea marries her and she then bears him a son. Seems like the prefect love story as the family grows right? Hosea hasn't chosen a wife from his own desires, but God himself has told him to marry Gomer. Their perfect love story is then torn as Gomer doesn't turn from her adulterous lifestyle, maybe for a few years she did, but somehow she got caught up in that lifestyle again.

Hosea 3:1-5 paints the sketch of Gomer as an adulterer loved by another man. In the society we live in one would think that’s it “kick her to the curb” but instead Hosea was told by God to pursue her, do what is needed to redeem her from her lover and bring her back to his house at great cost to himself. This is an extraordinary expression of love.

I share all this to say a “God designed marriage may not be the fairy tale you pictured as seen on Disney with Aladdin and princess jasmine, Tiana and the frog etc. It may look more like beauty and the beast or Shrek and princess Fiona or it may look nothing like the above. Your marriage will have great days of affection but their may also be days of doubt, tears, disagreements. In those moments remember God is not any less on your Side. He is still cheering you on in your marriage.

I wish your marriage will be full of romance , your husband will buy you flowers, rub your feet when they hurt, kiss you often and shower you with surprises but if ever he doesn't do any of those things remember marriage is more than romance as wonderful and euphoric as that is. I pray you and your hubby will be best of friends and that he will share all his secrets, but if ever he doesn’t remember marriage is more than close friendship as beautiful as that is.

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Marriage is the display of Christ and his bride thats why God commands husbands love your wives as christ loved the church and gave himself for her. “A beautiful, tender, thriving marriage makes the gospel visible on earth, bringing hope to people who have given up believing there could be any love anywhere for them”

My dear, love your husband the way God loves you. Love covers a multitude of sins.! Be patient, be kind even when he may not be. Surrender your love to God and let him work his glory in and through you as well as in your spouse and your marriage. Remember if ever there be a disagreement in your marriage allow the holy spirit to guide you and to work his perfection in you. Again congratulations on finding the one whom your soul loves! Your boo has found a wife and he has indeed found a good thing!