Alternative or Open-end Lease Relationships
MAN’S OR GOD’S DESIGN
How is your marriage? Is it really a priority? Or is it just drifting along with the current trends? Or, are you just “hanging in there” as they say? If you think about “hanging” it’s really not a good position to be in. Is there room for improvement? Of course there is! Do you know who the original designer of marriage is? Did you know that your marriage is important to God? Knowing what God has to say about marriage will give you some keen insight. To help you better understand it from a deeper perspective. When you visit the corridors of scriptures you will find in fact that marriage existed from the very beginning. In the Book of Genesis it has been recorded that God had a design and plan for marriage from the inaugurational inception of time. “Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman for she was taken out of man…” Just take a few moments to ponder and think about this passage of scripture.
Just like then, there continues to be a boisterous attempt to set aside and overthrow what God originally intended. Marriage is not some idealistic unattainable concept that has been created by mankind. Marriage is not some happy ever after fantasy. It is a Covenant commitment relationship that is made together between two imperfect people before the presence of the only Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient Perfect God. Whose divinely inspired basic concepts and origins lay in the foundational footsteps of Scripture. God is here to help us and abet in the creating of an environment in which this type of relationship can take place. God always leaves a remnant of his people who desire to live their lives to please Him. God really does want you to enjoy life on this side of heaven.
In the New Testament you will find an interesting example about a faithful couple named Aquila and Priscilla. They used there time, efforts, as well as resources to build the kingdom of God by bringing others to Christ. Aquila and Priscilla were united in both marriage and ministry. There is much power when two come together in agreement in the work of the Lord. It is most important to not just talk it but walk it as well. For them it was not just an outside show. It was a way of life. Aquila and Priscilla were devoted to the Lord and realized the significance of having a Christ-centered home. In the Bible you will find that they are never even mentioned separately. They met Paul on his second missionary journey and worked faithfully together along with him. When a couple is sincerely united in Christ they can accomplish much for the Lord. During their stay in Ephesus they encountered a young man named Apollos. The Bible records in Acts 18 that he was an eloquently learned man with the knowledge of scriptures. “He had been instructed in the way of the Lord and spoke with great fervor and taught of Jesus accurately though he knew only the baptism of John.” It was Aquila and Priscilla who took him aside and further fully explained more adequately the way of the Lord. After this Apollos was greatly helped and went on to further proclaim the Truth, “he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.” This is a great illustration of the powerful, significant effect they had by their working together. Their faithfulness resulted in them having a God centered home as well as marriage. With God “All things
As a believer you should be concerned with this God ordained ultimate relationship
between a man and a woman. It is becoming increasingly clear that there is a growing increase within the world as well as the Christian population of those who do not respect appreciate, honor nor embrace God’s design principles of marriage. Throughout theworld there are various and alternative ways in which one can enter into a marriage. I ask, “But should it still be called marriage?” Marriage in many instances is no longerconsidered to be a lasting “Covenant Agreement.” Man has really put a lot of relationships asunder. In the majority of cases marriage has defaulted to until we can nolonger agree? Or until I get tired of you or you get tired of me? So you go your way and Iwill go mine…. This is not what God intended. Here is a thought; why not in this case just simply call them what they are; alternative or open-end lease relationships?
It is by no way a coincidence that the Bible poetically uses an illustration of marriage as the reflection of Christ’s eternal relationship with His Church. In fact His Church is His Bride! He intended that marriage was to be an institution of “Holy Matrimony”, that is inclusive of His presence and guidelines. It is very important to consult the Lord when you are in or contemplating entering into marriage. Quite impulsively, and a lot of times on the rebound, many hastily jump heart first into marriage. Not really knowing the person who they have married. All too often they are “unequally yoked.” There is certainly much preparation that is needed before, after and during in order to embark in His relational committed concept of “Two becoming one flesh.” But much too often they are simply laid aside. It’s important that your marriage be a priority. It effects not only you, but your children, relatives, friends……… Most people think carnally rather than spiritually when it comes to marriage. In marriage God wants us to minister to one another as well. This will nurture and develop a healthy mutual symbiotic relationship.
One must learn and subscribe to becoming transparent within this type of committed relationship. Marriage is a continuous growth process for both partners involved. There is much spiritual warfare waged against, as well as to divide God’s design for marriage. Love, respect, trust, intimacy and praying for one another consistently are crucial. In order to know and experience this, one must eagerly, openly and honestly seek the scriptures to assure oneself that this is a doable concept. Intimacy in marriage is crucial! God has an endless reservoir of ways to keep your relationship interesting and satisfying. God did not leave us here on earth to flutter and flounder and allow whatever the current “Now” generational concepts to become popular for our directional path for marriage. For many “anything goes.” Although not at all an easy joint venture, I must warn you that it even becomes much more difficult without incorporating His Biblical principles. “I feel, I need, I want,” takes the helm. Instead, immediate self gratification becomes a chosen path for many. God has designated a route and navigational passageway for marriage that has now all too often been aborted. But with Him it really is possible! The intimacy, strength, acquired spiritual growth and character building benefits outweigh any seasonal difficulties that one may ever incur. It can also yield a pleasant, peaceful abode.
The scriptures tell us “God is Love.” Just notice how loosely the word “love” is used by so many. Since the cohesive component of marriage should be love, how can one truly love without God? Who in fact is Love! Love does not delight in evil. It rejoices in Truth! Above all “Love never fails” (Really read slowly and digest I Corinthians 13) For example; It is like making something sweet without using sugar. Instead just any preferred artificial sweetener can suffice. My point is that no matter how closely it mimics sugar an artificial sweetener is not sugar! So without God, I choose to employ the syntax that without God who is love, one simply has “intoxicating affections”. It is not the same! Instead they won’t last; your emotional roller coaster will take the helm. Disagreements you will have. A good strong marriage is made up of two independent individuals. Yet they earnestly strive to live and to do what is best for the marriage. There commitment to each other and God becomes a top priority. Herein humility, selflessness and patience are acquired as well. The marriage bed is honorable. This in turn gives glory to God’s design for marriage.
God created us to love, learn, live and glorify Him as extensions of His creation. Marriage provides a God sanctioned partner relationship that helps you weather the tempestuous storms that come along in life. One should be able to express their hopes, fears, disappointments and desires. One should be able to discover love, truth, peace, commitment, transparency, comfort and experience relief and joy within marriage as well. Sacrifice is also a part of marriage. But all too often the reasons for coming together are buried and tucked away under the torrents of life. There is much spiritual growth experienced in love. Again the Bible says “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment, because in this world we are like Him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love………….” (Read I John 4) I truly believe God wants marriage to last until………
About the Author:
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a licensed Pastoral Counselor and ordained minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. DeBorrah is a Co-Founder along with her husband Randall of "Alpha 7 Ministries". She is the author of a pre-marital guide “How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do”, and just released her second book "Holy Matrimony: Now That You're Married".