There are several ways couples and homes are torn apart these days. Many partners are married to other things that do not augur well for the growth and well being of the home. In as much as these things are not bad in themselves, the undue time, attention and priority accorded them have affected the home very adversely. For example, unnecessary love for profession, undue attachment to the social media, negative family ties, pursuit of business at the expense of the home, misplaced priorities, etc have destabilized many homes. Today we have a service specially devoted to honour legally married couples. This is an opportunity to remind the married the vows they took when they were marrying their partners.
VOWS BEFORE FAMILY MEMBERS:
Read Genesis 31:49-50 carefully. It says; “The Lord watch between you and me, when we are out of one another's sight. If you oppress my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us, see, God is witness between you and me.” This was the statement of Laban (Jacob's father-in-law) to Jacob when they entered into a marriage covenant. Laban laid emphasis on two areas -oppression and taking of other wives. What were you told by your families when you got married? Are you still keeping to these pieces of advice from your in-laws? Also read Gen 31:53b-54 "So Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac, and Jacob offered a sacrifice in the hill country and called his kinsmen to eat bread. They ate bread and spent the night in the hill country." As part of the covenant, they ate together. That was the height of their fellowship.
To oppress is to misuse your authority. I want to admonish husbands not to oppress their wives with money, position, wealth, status, time, etc. Some women oppress their husbands with food, attention, sex, etc. Use your God-given-authority to build your marriage. The second point here is taking others’ wives. If you are a husband, do not take others’ wives or have concubines outside or satisfy yourself sexually outside your marriage. This is against the marriage covenant. Some wives are into sexual relationships outside their marriage. This is a sin. It will destroy you and your marriage.
There are things your in-laws told you before they released their daughter to you. This is the time to bring these to your memory. Be faithful in observing them provided they are not contrary to the Word of God in the Bible.
VOWS IN THE CHURCH
Many people marry in the church. The marriage vows need to be kept. Part of it says that marriage is for better and for worse. Some quit the relationship when they are no longer getting what they want. Whatever you are going through now, is not the end of life. This hard times is not forever. It will end one day, by the grace of God. Be faithful to your partner.
Jesus' teaching on marriage in Matthew 19:4-6 says, '...“Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”' Beloved, marriage is for life. You can't change your mind mid-way. The home you are admiring and wishing yours is like that; was built by the couple. You build your own home. Nobody will build your home for you. Invest in your home, using Bible principles. There is no perfect home. Beloved, build your home. Pay the price, it's worth it.
In conclusion, I want to remind you that God hates divorce. Why should you do what God hates. Again I want to appeal to you to pay the price for a good marriage and you will enjoy it.
I wish you a blessed and joyous Couples' Service in Jesus name.
Ven. Solomon O. Makun