FORCED MARRIAGE | What about it?

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In Africa and some part of Asia, there is a high rate of forced marriages or even forced relationships. Some parents assert their authority as parents to impose on their children especially the daughters who to marry. One of the reason girls are pushed this way is because they are not believed to have their own rights and their own say! They are seen as partial slaves to a man who they will call “husband”. The woman is believed to be designed to serve the man but truth is that both man and woman are designed to serve one another not as in slavery but love!
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The Bible clearly says that except two agree, they cannot walk together. Any forced marriage is not a union because unity is lacking and in truth, it is not marriage. Although in the past, tradition have always tampered with the choice of one’s spouse, that should never be the case today and God never designed it to be so. Concerning marriage, God said “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24. Even God never forced Eve on Adam, He brought Eve to Adam but allowed Adam to make a choice! Adam recognised Eve as the bone of his bone and the flesh of his flesh, he accepted Eve not based on God’s forcing! God created us with the ability to make choices and at no capacity does anyone have divine rights to force someone marry who isn’t there choice!
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The parents have the duty to ensure their children doesn’t make mistakes! They are in the better positions to advise us on our choice of life partners and their role is more advisory role than authoritative role! But then, the big truth remains that parents don’t impose life partners, you find it yourself unless you never had any defined relationship and needed help in finding. There are cases of parent’s denying their children marriage not because of any moral issue but because the one they have chosen to marry isn’t wealthy, from their village or stuffs like that! When people are eventually pressured into the marriage they never ever wanted, there is always a tendency that things doesn’t go well because there is no connection.
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It is better to make your own mistakes and live with it rather than living out the errors another person imposed on you! Many married people today keep living in regrets because they are in imposed relationship and not something they desired. Some enter marriage just to maintain parental business ties, some do that because they are from high class family and are not permitted to marry outside their class! These things may have worked for some but it isn’t how God designed it to be! You are the one getting married, people can advise you thoroughly concerning your choice of marriage but you shouldn’t be forced into marriage. Your future lies in your hands and not in the hands of your parents. What worked for them then may never work for you now! There used to be a time people get betrothed to each other without their consent and they still live with it but check back then, many people never viewed marriage in its proper place, marriage was considered as a way to help the women, a way to get the women live under a man who is believed to be the only one that can make them! Without a man, women were considered useless and therefore many married more than one wife! Marriage is a platform where two persons become one in purpose, not a platform where a woman serves a man domestically and sexually. Paul said concerning sex in marriage in 1 Corinthians 7:4 “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” Unlike what was obtainable in many tradition, both men and women belongs to each other in marriage, both serves one another.
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While it is important not to be a loner in making marriage decisions, you must understand you have to be in control of the decisions you make about marriage! You must put your future in consideration, put your partner’s ability to walk into the future with you into consideration too! So, people can suggest things to you and tell you why it is important but you must be the one to accept it and make their suggestions yours. We saw earlier that God didn’t impose Eve on Adam! It was under the law that certain impositions were made but people still had certain rights, at least they could chose a life partner from the regions they were permitted to marry from! In Christ, those boundaries has been broken and permanently pulled down. You must not give in to certain parental sentiments in marriage concerning status and ethnicity! You are the one to willingly make their suggestions your choice or make your own choice from scratch by yourself. Nobody has the right to interfere on your choice of marriage. This includes you as a man or woman!
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The Bible makes it clear in Ephesians 6:2 that we should honour our parents which means having a sense of reverence and respect for their positions in our lives, their experiences and wisdom! As part of this honour, you must always reason with them, you must always put what they say into consideration even if you don’t like it at first! You don’t have to be defiant towards them. That is to say, if they even try imposing their choice on you, you don’t have to put up a revolt! You need to patiently make them understand why you want to go with your own choice. Some parents are having insecurity issues and these things must play out in their reactions. You must understand it and refuse their imposition with wisdom because you need to leave them in peace and their blessings are important.
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Having said that, obedience to parents is not absolute! Anything that questions your loyalty to Jesus cannot have your absolute obedience. Jesus made it clear that whoever loves his or her parent’s more than they do to Him isn’t worthy of Him (Matthew 5:35-37). Absolute obedience is to Jesus and anything that doesn’t glorify God isn’t worth it. Obedience to Jesus is obedience to purpose, this is much greater than obedience to parents. So, when you are sure following their own choice will mean betraying your future and what God wants for you, you must draw back from them. You can stand your ground and say “I am not going that path! I am not marrying wrong! This is not God’s purpose for me.” Sometimes parents may want the best for you, yet for their own selfish reasons.
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Let me summarize now.
Parents may want the best and even know some best stuffs for you since they raised you up themselves but being a parent does not mean being a seer! They can be wrong with their assumptions too. As much as some people who got their marriages arranged for them had sweet marital life, it has never been a majority in the cases. Sometimes, people just decide to manage their mistake all their lives. It is great to manage mistakes, it is best never to make mistake! Marriage is not an end in itself, it is another channel through which purpose is fulfilled. If you are afraid to confront your parents when they have burdened you with so much pressure, you may have to find an elder, Pastor or anyone they respect so well who also respect your stand and make your case known to them and they can help make your parents see reasons with you. However, no matter where it is coming from, never enter a marriage you never ever wanted.
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I am George O.N
The Man In God.
#GracefulGeorge

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