Marriage is a Calling : Chapter 1-Wisdom of the Assignment
I begin the marriage wisdom series today. Most of my posts will be directed towards women simply because in Shona they say “musha mukadzi” basically meaning the woman makes the home. Without the woman, there is no home! Brothers and sisters believe it or not, a woman has the power to build or break the marriage. I can smell trouble from all the feminists but you know if wisdom says, “The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands,” (proverbs 14:1) we cannot contend with her. By the way wisdom is also feminine.
Let me start by saying that I am no expert in marriage and I am certainly taking the liberty to learn as I go. I can promise you however, that the following wisdom nuggets are tried and tested. After failing once in my own marriage, leading to a 5-year separation, I must say I have paid my own price to learn this and feel pressed to share with you. I would like to exhort the men to tag along as the heads of their marriages certainly also as they will discover that it takes two to tango and can definitely make this special commission and assignment of a woman easier and bearable.
Wisdom of the Assignment
First and for most it is important for every woman seeking marriage or already given to marriage to know that marriage is an assignment. As a woman you are called to be the ‘help mete’ for the man. It is no easy task to be a helper because sometimes the one you are helping is not interested and when they feel undermined it is even worse. The ‘help mete’ assignment was commissioned in Genesis when God had finished creating the man Adam, looked at him and said, “it is not good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2.18). The following 4 points are critical in fulfilling this mission. I consider them the ‘Wisdom of Assignment Garments’:
- Know your Assignment: Stick to your domain and knowing your part well. This will enable you to run your course efficiently without stepping on each others toes. Being the help mete as much as it may entail leadership does not equate to assuming the throne. As Christ is the head of the church said Paul, so is the man the head of the woman (Ephesian 5:23). Every woman should therefore consider how they ‘adorn’ their head (husband) and what sort of worship they are raising forth in the church called their marriage. Is it going to be a sweet smelling savor causing the husband/God to release blessings and fruitfulness or is it tainted worship that will cause curses to rain from the marital throne? Moreover keep idolatry far from your doors. Idolatry is when either the husband/wife takes the place of God in a marriage. The husband represents God but is not God. Anytime that the wife gets obsessed with her husband, to the point where God is not in the equation there’s trouble there. It is God first and when all honour goes up, God himself knows how to condition the man towards his woman leading to a happy marriage. As praises go up, glory comes down and fills everything concerning you as a woman starting with your head (husband) to everything that concerns you. Another area of idolatry is when the qualities God has endowed you with as a helper begin to stir you to undermine your husband. You begin to exalt yourself as a woman, sometimes even seizing the throne and refusing to submit to your husband. Need I remind you of what happened to lucifer when he wanted to ascend the throne. You are just the helper so stick to helping and do it with lots of love and care and let God be God (to whom power belongs) over the marriage. Interestingly and rightly so, the same is true for men. A man can idolise himself or his wife to the damnation of their marriage. Either he will be too full of himself that he makes it impossible for the wife to perform her functions as a helper or he will be obsessed with his wife to the point of being a hopeless freak, abuser, stalker etc all of which are marriage killers!
- Team Spirit: Know that you are a team and make sure you both understand this fact. The Wisdom of Assignment speaks of oneness and togetherness. This means that in conversations and actions with your husband or with others…that oneness must standout. This is how you begin to build your home. Good teams are characterized by openness, communication, trust, togetherness, support and teamwork in pursuit of a common goal pressing forward relentlessly and openly together. This team is not automatic neither can it be microwaved. This means you cannot put your marriage in a microwave and get the results you want instantly. You cannot wish it, dream it and have it although that is a good starting point. You have to work at it together and continuously strive to improve it. A good conflict resolution plan should always be on standby. You have to sit and discuss your marriage pact and draw the rules of the game. Take the time to know your ‘person’. With biblical teaching, this is always easier because then God is the authority for what goes and what doesn’t. Submitting to the authority of God is imperative. Watch what you say about your husband and help him to realise the importance of reciprocating this love. Make it known, don’t assume that he knows and patience and tolerance will cultivate the positives you seek in your man. Anger, impatience, temper tantrums and undermining your husband will only come back to bite you. Remember you did not grow up together and you certainly are not the one that trained him till now. You will need a lot of patience to undo certain traits and undesirable habits. It takes love to expect better and wait for it. It also takes love to speak well about your partner even if things are not quite perfect. As a wife, make your husband knows it and comprehends it fully well that you are his best cheerleader no matter what! Agree from the onset that falling is going to be inevitable at some point but failing to riseUP is unacceptable.
- The power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21): Always make positive confessions about your marriage and especially your husband. There is power in the tongue to give that marriage a life or to render it useless and kill it. You cannot agree with a negative situation or other people’s negative words. Yours is to guard your special union in words and corresponding actions. Stay on the positive lane and refuse to be derailed! As a woman it is your responsibilty to help the priest of the house by keeping and maintaining the alter, making sure the family meets at that alter and prays in agreement over all else. Declaring the man you want to see in your home is imperative and in time it will cause him to align. No matter how bad your man is, your continous efforts in declaring good and pushing for it will soon win him over. There are women who know how to strip their man and talk them down in public. This is failing the marriage fraternity and dragging the name of God in the mud. God comes into the picture here because he is the author of marriage. He could have left Adam alone but he didn’t. Moreover God loved this union so much that he exemplified his own relationship with the church as marriage! Honoring and upholding your marriage also reveals the extent to which you value God as marriage is the picture of God’s union with the church. That faith alone should keep things in their perfect place for who can contend with God?
- Spiritual Discernment: Know when you are moving in blessing and guard the blessings jealously. Know also when curses are hovering over your marriage and deal with them accordingly. Blessings from the marriage throne include provision, protection, love, peace, unity amongst other positive things a marriage can offer. However the curses may present themselves in domestic violence, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, adultery or fornication, sickness and poverty amongst other evils. Of all these, poverty seems to be the one that tips the scale in favour of divorce, the worst case scenario for an ailing marriage. Please do not get me wrong, all of these may very well lead to divorce but I have personally observed overtime that women stick around as long as the luxuries and securities afforded by money are still present. Poverty is normally the last stroke after which they may be nothing else to hang around for. Nonetheless, some blessings and curses may have a generational origin so as a woman always seek the wisdom to discern any negative open doors and their root cause and close them.
Special dimension of the assignment:
Now, there are times in a marriage when a woman has to help their man out of the mud where they are failing in their role as God ordained providers for the home. In some marriages, the woman acts like the father because the man is literally useless and will not take up his position. Sometimes the man knows his position but is clueless and stuck in terms of headship. This is when you have to put on your ‘Assignment Wisdom’ robes and help that man out of the gutters of poverty or irresponsibility. Although this is no easy task, it is possible and certainly doable. Trying times they are when or if this is your situation. I believe this is the worst kind of challenge a marriage can go through because it questions the authenticity of the assignment. A woman becomes confused, frustrated, irritated and dejected. Rejection may set in where a woman questions why God had to let her be in that kind of a marriage. God does not make mistakes. If you are in it and have made a vow, you might want to consider paying your vows all the days of your life. I learnt that the hard way.
I left my customary marriage 3 years after tying that note in front of family members, with no ring. That became my excuse throughout the 5-year separation. I was running from that marriage and not looking back but somewhere along that journey the day of reckoning caught up with me. After going round in painful circles for so long, I came to a point where I was just an anger tank, wanting nothing to do with men. My new husband was business and finance but that relationship was not working out either. So much prayer and fasting went into it but nothing gave until one day God spoke to me about it. First he he hit me with the pay your vows teaching. I had vowed to stay with my husband for better or worse but jumped ship just as I got in and finally quit about 3 years later. Then God said whatever I was crying for, he would bless me through ‘my husband.’ Ofcourse I said I had no husband but both God and myself knew who he was referring to. I was only about 6/7 months into my special born- again life and long story short, I yielded to God months later- in obedience. Oh but the journey wasn’t easy at all and that’s a story for another day. It was rough, back to the same old problems, issues and extended family troubles. The difference- God had given me a tip me to wear my ‘Wisdom of Assignment’ robes and never to take them off. I admit, some days where harder than others and at times I questioned whether I had really heard from God or from the enemy himself. However at the clock of 3 long and hard years the umbilical code tying us to poverty was broken.
Women, yours may not be poverty! It may be sickness, extended family pressures or adultery. It may even be verbal or emotional abuse, even physical. Maybe it’s barrenness, lovelessness or disharmony. Never undermine the problem nextdoor or exalt your own. The fact is all of these are marital evils and classifying or listing them will not help. We can spend the whole day debating them and the enemy will just have a field day because evil is one and the enemy is one. Fortunately also God is one and the solution is one…seek wisdom and pursue it then you will have sweet success (Joshua 1:8). Wisdom is the principal thing so go for it (proverbs 4:7). I commend you for being married in the first place or wishing to get married one day. I exhort you to put on your ‘Wisdom of Assignment’ garments and watch your marriage take a different turn. Carry the cross, marriage is work, it is hard labour, it is war and you have to fight for what you believe in. It is not a one day thing but VICTORY is certain if you soldier on. Fight the good fight of something that exemplifies God’s own love for us. He loved us when we were yet sinners. Don’t just hold on, do what you gotta do. Surely we can learn to exercise that God-kind of longsuffering in our own homes until harmony and prosperity show up by his Grace. Women, marriage is an assignment, get to work and do the commissioner of this assignment proud.
Let us pray
Father thank you for what you have taught us today. Lord as we ponder on these words, give us the true heart of a helper, a coach and a lover in our marriages. Help us to do this selflessly. May we hold on tight to the garments of our Wisdom of the Assignment , knowing our rightful place and sticking to it. May we seek more knowledge and understanding that you are well able to give us. May your will be done in our marriages, in Jesus Name, It is so!
Coming up next…Wisdom of the Vows
To every woman that is married, I salute you.
You are a Soldier,
You are a Fighter,
You are a Warrior,
You are a General,
You are a Conqueror
Thank you for reading this post, don’t forget to like the page and share. Till then,
Falling is not the problem, Failing to rise up is…RiseUP Conqueror!!!