“RELIGIOUS MARRIAGE” Vs A RELATIONAL MARRIAGE
I have constantly dug into the word of the Lord and am always amazed how am continuously discovering new ways how my relationship with Christ, informs my understanding of marriage.
My marriage too, models how my relationship should be with Christ.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Jesus! We love Yeshua! My whole being is immersed in Him and certainly is my husband.
Let me begin by referring from my manual, the word of the Lord.
Two groups of people Jesus rebuked over religious hypocrisy were the scribes and the Pharisees.
The Pharisees were considered the “most accurate interpreters of the law.” By law I mean the Torah, or the five books of Moses from the Old Testament.
The reason why Jesus was always at loggerheads with them was this, aside from the word of the LORD, which should be our guiding light, and a light unto our path, they added their own laws too!
They were not inspired of the Holy-Spirit, just some random laws to assert their power or have the “superior feel” on everyone else.
The worst, is that they made these laws look as if they were as binding and true as the Word of God.
Instead of giving freedom, they lay a heavy burden on people, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom!
2nd Corinthians 3:17 the Bible says,
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
So why would would the Word of God do contrary to what HE IS?
He says He has exalted His word above His name, so His own words bind Him.
There cannot be oppression where the Lord is.
Religious hypocrites tend to lean towards personal preferences and try to impose those personal preferences on others as proof of their spirituality.
Funny enough, most religious hypocrites cannot follow everything they have laid out to the latter.
But what righteousness does, the righteousness we acquire through Jesus Christ, pulls people towards the Word of God.
By being renewed daily, others are drawn towards that lifestyle of integrity. Not by threats!
Just as there was a growing antagonism between Jesus and the Scribes and Pharisees, there is always a push and pull between the religious hypocrite, and man/woman of integrity.
The scribes and the Pharisees totally ignored the RELATIONSHIP ONE HAS WITH JESUS, and focused so much on the outward look of “looking holy!”
Don’t get me wrong, I know there are things consecrated to the work of the enemy and are not of the Lord but, are you a person who emphasizes on the relationship or are you into religion?
Am not a Pastor, nor a preacher, am not sure the Lord can bestow that on me either, but our mandate is to spread the gospel of Christ, the Holy Spirit does the convicting and convincing.
I know I have been mandated by Christ to preach the gospel.
Spiritual maturity is never about the rules (as much as they are good for instilling discipline) , it’s about intimacy, the relationship.
You see, when you are in a place where you can say like Moses, “Lord we cannot move unless your presence goes with us”, that is intimacy.
Honestly, if you spend time to get to know God intimately, you will not need to be spelt out the rules every day, because you will have known what makes the Lord happy…His will…His ways.
Everything else takes care of itself.
Rules or religion should never substitute your relationship with the Lord.
The vows were said, both read and from the heart.
“…To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, or richer or for poorer. Till death do we part…
The “Rules” were set then. All I remember was that by around 1, we were done with the wedding ceremony and I couldn’t wait to dance my heart out during the reception.
Prior to that, we had had a lot of per-marital counseling of which the emphasis was on “Johnny, love Mary,” “and Mary, submit to Johnny.”
The how part you are not told!
You only discover later that submission is easier said than done.
That love is a decision, not some weird feeling from your spine down to your legs.
After the honeymoon, comes the true test of marriage and working to make it last forever.
As I said, your happily ever after depends on just the two of you…THE RELATIONSHIP YOU DECIDE TO HAVE.
My question, is your marriage “Religious” or is based on a Relationship with your spouse?
1. Imposed or free will?
As mentioned earlier, the true test of marriage comes after the curtains are closed and it’s just the two of you.
When you have no mama around to sooth you because “Ohhhh my hubby has made me cry!”
Religion imposes, and marriage should never be a union where we impose our idiosyncrasies on our spouses.
Expectations need to be adjusted.
I don’t advocate on lowering ones expectations, but adjusting them to fit into each other.
As a matter of fact, it’s having realistic expectations towards each other.
Relationship nurtures and soon you will find yourself willingly submitting without being pushed.
I love Johnny’s lead. He never imposes on me, but leads in love.
We could be having differing opinions on a certain issue, but he doesn’t be-little me either.
His love towards me is enough to willingly submit to him and I love it.
Nurture your relationship with your husband or wife.
Love unreservedly, you will not need to impose or assert your authority as a man of the house!
A religious marriage imposes rules, a marriage based on a relationship has a willingness to submit to each other.
2. Conditional or Unconditional?
Religion mostly leans on conditional love.
When you are doing something good, that pleases that person, then you are in their good books.
Relationships lean on unconditional love.
True love is not contingent upon reciprocity.
It gives and gives and finds utmost pleasure in giving. That is why God is love.
He gives everything to you despite what you did yesterday. He is Love.
Am imagining if my husband was to love me based on his standards, or vice versa. I don’t think we would have a marriage.
We are so imperfect but we choose to see and love each other despite our human flaws.
Sometimes I don’t iron his clothes right, sometimes he forgets to buy what I had sent him.
If I piled up all those little disappointments, would he be worthy of my love?
Would I be worthy of his love?
The answer is no. We cannot all measure up to our spouses standards, and that is why apart from the sexual love-Eros, the Friendship love- Philia, there should be the UNCONDITIONAL LOVE- AGAPE.
That no matter what, I will love and cherish my husband and the relationship we have.
That I will fight for our marriage to keep it alive and kicking.
That I won’t let mistakes of yesterday hinder me from lavishing love on my hubby unreservedly.
A “religious” marriage has conditional giving, a marriage based on a relationship has AGAPE LOVE.
3.Expose or Tolerate/cover?
Religion knows no grace or tolerance. The worst, are the people in it!
Nowadays churches have the biggest gossips!
The biggest people who can expose and wound their fellow soldier in Christ are the Christians.
Am not saying that you shouldn’t be told when you are going wrong! No!
You should be rebuked in love, otherwise you will never grow.
Your mistakes should be pointed out and still be given someone whom you will be accountable to.
But does that happen in churches nowadays?
The accused totally flips at the slightest inclination of being told he/she is wrong.
The one who saw the mistakes decides to screen capture it and share it with the world.
What happened to tolerance, forgiveness, and covering each other?
The church is so, and marriages are so too!
Your husband wrongs you and you rush to THE NATIONAL RADIO as if they will fix your marital issues.
You expose him on Facebook and your friends and rant out on Twitter!
Let’s not forget how other wives post on Facebook, posts that clearly spell how disappointed they are.
Your wife wrongs you and start ogling at the skirt next door!
A Relationship knows the value of tolerance and forgiveness.
Love is patient. It puts up with a lot in other words.
A “religious” marriage knows no forgiveness, a marriage based on a relationship has tolerance, patience and forgiveness beyond retribution.
4. Suppressive or there is freedom?
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom!
Am imagining if my hubby wrote me list of Dos’ and Don’ts’ that if i broke either of them, the consequences would be dire.
How would my life be?
Would I have freedom really?
Freedom to be me?
Freedom to move around the house, sleep, cook, eat, would I really be happy?
Sometimes I cook some recipes and Johnny goes like:
Johnny: ” OOOoooookkkkeyyyy”. “Hunnie what is this today?” (with a surprised face.)
Then am like,
Me: “It’s Spaghetti something something ” (-smiling and sometimes not sure of the recipe name!)
Johnny: “OOOOkey.!” (he sits and tastes, and smiles)
Am thinking…”mhhhh” I love the smile!
Imagine if he told me never to try a new menu in the house.
I would feel totally muzzled!
I wouldn’t be happy because I would feel as if I have a Big brother watching.
I would recite the rules over and over again.
Religion robs you the freedom to express your love to the Lord, and by extension a religious marriage does that.
A marriage should be based on a deep relationship.
Yes the boundaries are there, but they shouldn’t overshadow the love you both have for each other.
We got boundaries, he knows what I don’t like and I know what pisses him off, but I love him so much not to want to hurt him intentionally, and he does too.
He doesn’t have to keep reciting to me in our morning cuddling sessions like, ” Hunnie, remember I don’t like this, that, that, and that”.
He knows what makes me happy and I know too!
A “religious” marriage is suppressive, a marriage based on a relationship has the freedom of growth and expression.
Do not make your marriage Religious.
Let it be based on a true RELATIONSHIP. Agape love is the foundation of such a relationship.
A relationship of sacrificially giving, and loving.
A relationship of togetherness and oneness.
A relationship that exhibits the true picture of the Church and Jesus Christ.