The marriage institution is one that has been plagued by myths, therefore many people, who do not have the right understanding of what it is supposed to be, end up with a lot of misconceptions about it. Amongst the many definitions of myth is the word ‘tradition’, which in turn is defined as the convention, habit, ritual or belief (whether right or wrong).
The fact that something is generally practiced, or accepted as norm, does not necessarily make it right. Apart from common marriage myths, the world over has in one form or the other mixed the marriage institution with their local traditions and culture in such a way that the original design and plan of God got lost somewhere in the middle. What we have is an unwholesome hybrid of cultural tradition and the philosophies of man that vary from coast to coast and which many find so difficult to separate.
In some cultures, as it happens in most African settings, polygamy is an accepted norm. The effect of this tradition is poverty and prevalent broken homes, where the woman is forced to cater to the needs of her children which, in most cases, she is incapable of doing. The result of this is homelessness, hunger, prostitution, child labour, child abuse and all kinds of exploitation. In some others, the husband-wife relationship is akin to a man-servant relationship where the woman is considered inferior to the man and actually forms part of his cartel. This is prevalent in the Arab world.
In places where this culture exists, the woman has little or no rights. She is deprived, for instance, of education, adequate healthcare, personal and/or political expression, etc. Yet in some traditions, as in Western cultures, the woman is considered as same with her husband, with no distinct differences and responsibilities from him. What you find prevalent in this continent is single parenting (of which women form the greater victims) and a general apathy towards marriage. But if we must make meaning and a success of this divine institution, we must get back to the original intentions of God when He spoke marriage into being.
Anytime man walks contrary to the provision and purpose of God, the result is a chaotic mess he is often unable to handle. This is the challenge before the world today. The family structure has been so disrupted that the entire world is on the brink of collapse.
There are many myths that are surrounding marriage and a belief in them can give you unrealistic expectations from the relationship. When this happens, disappointments are bound to set in. The truth is, there are no fairy tale marriages where you have the happily-ever-after endings. Successful marriages are always a product of hard work.
Let us examine some common myths on marriage and the realities of the situation.
Myth: Marriage will end my loneliness.
Reality: Many married people are still lonely. God did not design man to be complete in himself or in another man, but it is only in Christ Jesus that we (man and woman) are complete! Paul testifies to this fact in Colossians 2:9-10, where he says, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, (the King James Version says, ‘and are complete in him’) who is the head over every power and authority.” In other words, your spouse does not have the ability to take away loneliness from you.
When God decided to make a companion for Adam, it was not because Adam was lonely; rather, it was because Adam was alone. And there is a difference between being lonely and being alone. When Adam was alone in the Garden of Eden, he was not lonely; because the Bible records that God would often come to fellowship with him in the cool of the day. In other words, Adam had God for company. That is why Adam was not aware that there was something missing until God pointed his attention to it by making Eve and bringing her to his side.
However, being the only creature without a partner (every other creature was created in pairs) Adam was alone. When you start to look to other people for completeness to drive away loneliness from you, you would be setting out on the wrong footing. No man can take the place of God in your life. Many women have fallen into the pit of this myth and have ended up making the mistake of their lives by getting married to the wrong person and for the wrong reason. Some have even committed suicide for this reason!
If you have not met the Lord Jesus, then permit me to introduce you to Him for He is the only one who can fill the void of loneliness in your life. He said, “I will never leave you or forsake you…” All you need to do is to accept Him as your Lord and Saviour and He will abide with you forever.
WOMAN FIGHT FOR YOUR MARRIAGE
By Pastor Bimbo Odukoya