A Comment on the post – “Characteristics of a Good Marriage Worth Copying”

A4P Guest: “- – – It’s a beautiful list of things we all should practice in our marriage and some in any relationship. I agree that we should work – hard for – good things to come to us, marriage is not an exception. We all know as well that “Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.” Proverbs 19:14. The point I am trying to make is this: a marriage that is not from the Lord will never work despite the practice of the things you listed. A marriage “that fell on us from Heaven” also won’t work if we don’t practice the list; and a marriage that is not approved by heaven won’t work no matter what we exercise the list. My view, correct me if I am wrong.”

A4P: I love Proverbs 19:14 very much! I mean who from all men doesn’t want to have a prudent wife! No one!

But I hope you are not taking this verse to mean “a prudent woman.” It says “a prudent wife.” Big different between a woman a wife! A wife means a woman who is a wife of a man.

And the Bible shows us one of the possible ways a “woman” turns into a “prudent wife”:

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” (Ephesians 5:25-27)

God never gives a man a woman who has already been “made, shaped and molded” so that she becomes a “prudent wife” on the first day of her marriage. If that was the case, the Gospel message which is portrayed in the marriage of one man and one woman would have been nullified! Pay attention!

God gives a man a woman who has stains, wrinkles and blemishes in her character and personality. But as her husband gives himself up for her and washes her with his sweet, loving, romantic, edifying and constructive words, all her “rough edges” come off. She slowly but surely begins to radiate, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish and becomes a “prudent wife.” That is Gospel!

And another thing: You said, “A marriage that is not from the Lord will never work despite the practice of the things you listed.” – and you also said, “a marriage that is not approved by heaven won’t work no matter how much we exercise the list.”

I’m not sure what these statements imply. Are you saying there are marriages which are coming from God; and marriages from someone else than God? What is the sign of a marriage that is from God? Happiness, joy, fiesta, or what? How do we tell one marriage is approved by heaven? What does that even mean? I’m not sure.

We don’t find anywhere in the Bible where God categories a marriage into “from God” and “not from God”. For example, if one steals a wife from another man and marries her, the Bible says about that union, “anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Matthew 5:32b) The Bible doesn’t call that union a marriage because it is not a marriage but an adultery union.

Unless there is such a sin associated with the union of one man and one woman, once marriage vows are exchanged and the two become one, their marriage is from God (Malachi 2:14).

That means it is up to the couple to make or break the marriage.

Every marriage is a broken one since it is a union of two broken people! And there is no marriage that is considered hopeless and helpless unless the couple calls it quit. If they call it quit, sure, no one can stop the couple from ending their marriage; and no amount of counseling and praying can save that marriage. But that doesn’t mean that their marriage is from hell.

When the Pharisees asked Jesus about divorce, He didn’t say, “A Marriage which is not from my Father has to end in divorce.”

Listen how the Pharisees asked Jesus and how He replied: “They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”  “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied.  “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Mark 10:4-9)

Once they become one, they are one before God and that means their union is recognized by God as a marriage.

Let me say this at the end: Again, good marriages never fall on us from heaven; we make them! Once a man and a woman exchange their vows before witnesses (church, their friends and families and God) and become one in sexual intimacy, their union is approved and recognized by God as a marriage (read the whole Bible to find this truth). God stands with them as their ally as long as they both strive to make it to the end. There is no incident where God says, “This marriage is not from me; it should end in divorce” because there is no such kind of thing. Every marriage has hope from God! There is no marriage that is “not from God” unless it is a union that can’t even be called a marriage as it is described on Matthew 5:32b. ///