In the first part of this article, I taught on, watch out for unforgiveness and not taking forgiveness too far, thereby endangering your life. In this concluding segment this month, we will be looking at Formalizing Your Relationship.
Another crack that could affect the success of your family is that of an illegal union. Some couples have been living together for years and even had children together without proper wedding: no dowry has been paid and no formal engagement.
The account of the first marriage recorded in Genesis 2 clearly shows us that a form of formal wedding was conducted in the Garden of Eden. Adam did not just rise up to find Eve wandering about in another part of the garden, take her home, and they two started living together. The Bible records in verse 22 that God …brought her unto the man. God had to physically deliver her to Adam.
Marriage is the basis for the family. If you must enjoy a successful family, then you must first be married. Pay the dowry, if it has not been paid. The payment of some form of dowry is scriptural. That you are a Christian does not override the payment of that which is due to the parents. The Bible records in Mark 12:17: And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. Dowry payment is the right of the bride’s family, so ensure you give it to them.
The Book of Genesis records a very graphic picture of a typical wedding, and all that is required to be done. Abraham sent his servant to get a wife for his son, Isaac, from among his brethren. God prospered the servant’s journey and he found Rebekah. The Bible has this recorded in Genesis 24:51-53: Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the LORD hath spoken.
And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth. And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.
Notice that precious things were given to Laban, who was at this point acting as the head of the family, and to Rebekah’s mother also. However, I must mention that in the payment of dowry, you should watch the kind of things you present. Anything you know will affect your Christian testimony should never be given.
I remember what happened when my husband and I were to get married. My parents gave my husband a list of items to bring as dowry, and the list contained some items that would affect our Christian testimony. My husband simply discussed with them how such an act could affect us in future, in the light of the Word of God. Consequently, those items were taken off the list. No parent wants to jeopardize the future of their daughter. All it takes is a right word spoken in season. The Bible says: How forcible are right words! (Job 6:25).
Having performed all that is required, you must also ensure you obtain parental blessings. There is something about the blessings your parents pronounce on you; it sticks to you, until all their good wishes are established in your life. Abraham’s servant did not just grab Rebekah and disappeared with her. The Bible records in Genesis 24:58-60:
And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go. And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men.And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them. These blessings became a practical reality in her life, and indeed we are all part of the thousands of millions prophesied upon Rebekah (Galatians 4:28). You shall also experience this dimension of blessings, in Jesus’ name.
Another very important aspect of formalizing your marriage is to acknowledge the place of a holy Christian wedding. In Genesis 2:22 we see God’s practical involvement in the institution of marriage. He was the One that gave Eve out to Adam. The Bible says: And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
It will, therefore, be unsafe to imagine you can survive the wickedness and attacks of the devil on the marriage institution, without God. The Bible says that in the last days, the devil will do more wickedly (Revelation 12:12; 2 Timothy 3:1), and since he recognizes that the peace of the earth is dependent on the family, he is attacking the family institution with all vehemence. This accounts for the alarming rate of family breakdowns today.
It is also important to have a proper legal documentation of your union. In God’s dealing with man, He always ensures there is a token, which acts as a constant reminder of the terms of the covenant. With Noah, in Genesis 8:20-22 and 9:14-17, it is the rainbow. Abraham had to undergo circumcision in Genesis 17:9-11. Even Jesus had the seal of His blood as proof of the covenant of our salvation (Hebrews 8:6).
A legal backup for your marriage is not a safety device, as the world would consider it. It is simply a point of contact to remind God that you have fulfilled all righteousness concerning your marriage and, therefore, the enemy must have no access into your family.
Formalizing your union with your spouse can help eliminate several in-roads, through which the devil would have penetrated your family. So many work very hard and yet, have very little or nothing to show for it, because there is a leakage in their home. Some even suffer great health challenges, because the devil has found a point of justification against them. The Bible says: He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him (Ecclesiastes 10:8).
You need a relationship with God, to be able to do that which is right. To have a relationship with God begins with you confessing your sins to God and repenting over them to surrender your life to Christ, so that situations and circumstances will fear you. Do you want to do that? Why not say this prayer: “Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me with Your Blood. Deliver me from sin and satan to serve the living God. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Make me a child of God today. Thank You for accepting me into Your Kingdom.”
Congratulations! You are now born again! All-round rest and peace are guaranteed you, in Jesus’ Name. Call or write, and share your testimonies with me through email@example.com; OR 07026385437 and 08141320204.
For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Marriage Covenant, Making Marriage Work, Building A Successful Home and Success in Marriage (Co-Authored).