Timeline of a Marriage:
Year 1: She sneezes; He says, “Oh oh! My dear unchains has a sneezy-weenzy? Please get off your feet and lie down here. Don’t do a thing – let me look after you”
Year 2: She sneezes; He says, “Dear, you must be working too hard. Why don’t you relax and let me finish the laundry?” “I will also help you finish the dishes”.
Year 3: She sneezes; He says, “You are working too hard at that job. I think you need to slow down”
Year 4: She sneezes; He says, “You don’t listen. I already told you to visit the Doctor”
Year 5: She sneezes; He Grunts “Bless you.” Next, he asks, “Is my food ready?”
Year 6: She sneezes; He says, “Michael, don’t go near Mummy o! Don’t catch what she has!”
Year 7: She sneezes; He yells, “Please, Please – leave the room before you make all of us sick”
In the prevalent world view, the “Seven year itch” is an unshakable, unavoidable fact that everyone has to deal with. The seven year itch theorem states that every marriage is basically spent by year 7 and then the partners invariably look outside and have extra-marital affairs or end up in divorce! Just looking at the fallout of marriages around, it is very easy to see why the one who lacks spiritual grounding buys into this falsehood. Statistics show us that at least 50% of marriages end up in divorce. The more shocking statistic is that for marriages celebrated in Church, the statistic is about the same! This figure does not even take into cognisance the fact that there are many more marriages that don’t end up in the divorce court but that are marriages in name only.
Clearly there is a problem. What we are witnessing today could never be the institution God had in mind when he created marriage in the Garden of Eden. The challenge with marriage is that it is a heavenly creation, imported to the earth, operated in the earth by human beings! Marriage is precision machinery imported to earth. Like any expensive and complicated machine, you must study the operations manual and operate it EXACTLY as the manufacturer designed it or else, the results will be catastrophic.
As Isaiah 55:8 says, God’s thoughts concerning marriage are very different from our thoughts and his view is far loftier than our limited, Earth-bound selfish view. No wonder then, that we take God’s delicate machinery of Godly marriage and knock the engine.
In the world, even the songs are designed to take our eyes and minds off the lofty goals for which marriage was created. Listening to love songs, one wonders how precious this “love” is when we keep “Falling in love” and “falling out of love”.
To take a guess, one would not be wrong to conclude that one of the most over-used words in the world today is the word, “love”. It has so entered our lexicon that we exclaim, “I just love ice cream”, “Or I love you new hair style” etc. No wonder then, that we extend it to our relationships and give it a meaning that is totally different from what the maker designed the word for.
In God’s economy, the word, “love” is not to be taken lightly. In the right context, the word carries with it the full weight of God’s personhood, because the Bible tells us not just that God loves, or that God is a loving God, but that God IS love – 1 John 4:8. But can we really understand this Love of God if we are to go by the standards of the World? Does God fall in love with us and then fall out of love with us? Clearly not, Jeremiah 31:3 says that he has loved us with an everlasting love.
We must go back to the beginning. Even Jesus in explaining the foundations of marriage in Matt. 19:8 said, “From the beginning it was not so”! So what was the original plan of God for marriage? In part 2 we will take a look and see how we can be guided by the scriptures.
For now, talking about the mysteries of marriage, a few questions come to mind:
- How come, people who claim to be so much in love that they can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t breathe without the other party are in divorce court 2 years later with a hatred so deep they can’t bear to be under the same roof?
- How can a man who genuinely loves his wife and children and is a committed family man, “fall in love” with his secretary and be ready to walk away from his career, marriage and family?
- What is it that makes some marriages so sweet and some marriage experiences so bitter?
- If 2 people are so in love as they claim, how come they allow in-laws, family and friends to come between them so that the love dies and their hearts grow cold?
- What is it about old flames that make them so dangerous to the present situation a spouse finds himself in?
Tune in next week for the next edition.