In Proverbs 3:5-6, the spirit of wisdom admonishes to trust in the LORD with all of your heart and then cautions against leaning on your own understanding but to rather acknowledge him and he will direct all your ways or paths.
Marriage is a big deal if you ask me. It is not to be compared to a career choice or any other things that are deemed important. I say this because, it is the first institution; Jehovah God, the creator of the world put in place. (Genesis 2:8). Hitherto, God looked at every thing he had created and said it was good but said it was not good (right) for man to be alone, so he created for him; a suitable helper. Hold on to the idea of a suitable helper and let it marinate, I’ll get right back to it. Let’s now take a look at God’s layout and blueprint for marriage.
The first commandment, the LORD gave to man was to multiply and be fruitful.(Genesis 1 :28). God’s purpose for the creation of man was to create one in his image and likeness with whom he would commune and fellowship. Hence, he created them, blessed them and then commanded them to be fruitful and multiply. He thus instituted marriage with its utmost and foremost duty to multiply (reproduce). God is a wise God (ironic right?) But, it is important I state this, because of the current state of the world we live in. I say this because, God in his wisdom saw the need for the institution of marriage as the right foundation and place for multiplication and reproduction and evidently sex.
The word marriage and it’s institution has been abused and disregarded by humans with the progression of time. Statistics show that in recent times, many people choose not to commit to marriage citing (numerous excuses) termed reasons. Rather, they prefer to “shack up”. Merriam Webster dictionary defines shacking up as; “to sleep or live together as unmarried sexual partners”. Some argue that living together doesn’t necessary mean sleeping together. Urban dictionary thus addresses this clause of reasoning and defines shacking up as ; “Couples who live together (often while having sex) and are not married.”. It is interesting to find that many, who refer to themselves as Christians, “shack up” as much their counterparts who do not claim to be Christians.
Let’s now reference to the idea of ha helper in marriage, that you’ve been holding on to. In basic terms, a helper is someone who aids or helps. Hence for you to call someone as your helper, the person needs to be committed to the notion/idea of being a source or channel of help.When you are in a “shacked up” relationship, the person, you are involved with refuses to commit but demands the benefits of commitment. They virtually say; ” I don’t think, I can commit or want to be your helper but I want you to help me satisfy my sexual needs”. This, I consider to be thievery at its pinnacle wrapped with brightly colored ornaments. It is mirage, an illusion of the sacred union of marriage but without a foundation to it.
” I don’t think, I can commit or want to be your helper but I want you to help me satisfy my sexual needs”.
There’s a common saying that goes like; ” Why buy the cow if you can get its milk for free”? Sad but true! If the sacred benefits of a committed marriage relationship can be derived from a “shacked up” union, why will a person want to get married? Many argue and say, marriage is just a piece of paper and in the words of Kris Vallotton of Bethel Church, Redding; “why don’t you just sign it if it’s just a piece of paper?”.
If marriage is a just piece of paper, just sign it.
Our world has increasingly become a place where people fear to commit to anything worthwhile; whether it be to a marriage, a career path, a dream or even life itself. They say it is hard, it needs a lot of work. So, we devise quick and “seemingly easy” ways of getting things done but in the end, we realize substitution and imitation is limitation. God created us to be courageous and bold in his image and likeness, to take dominion yet due to the effects of sin, we cringe back in fear.
Substitution and Imitation is Limitation
There’s also the issue of settling which is closely related to shacking up. I may be wrong but often than not, the victims of these varied imitation of marriage (settling and shacking up) seems to be mostly women. It’s still hard for me to understand why this is so since in the beginning, Adam was the one who was super excited and overjoyed at the prospects of marriage and rolled out an eloquent speech when he saw his helper.(Genesis 2:23). Now to the issue of settling.
Settling (verb); means to settle. To allow/agree/accept or establish/remain in a place. As women, we tend to settle because we are told our biological clock is ticking and so we need to be up for grabs no matter the kind of hand that is grabbing us. It is not always explicitly stated as such but with comments such as ; “don’t be too picky” etc. The sad part of this is that, this is uttered by family and close friends; people who supposedly have your best interest at heart. Sometimes, the decision not to settle is seen as being proud or arrogant. However, as God’s dearly beloved daughter as in (Zephaniah 3:17), you don’t have to settle for anything less than what you know and believe God has promised for you. Not every man is your helper and you cannot be every man’s helper.
Not every man is your helper and you cannot be every man’s helper.
I was surprised when the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart that settling and shacking up are pretty much the same. Reason being, they both refuse to acknowledge God in the quest for a suitable helper. Both situations lean upon human understanding and perception which says; you are late, get hitched with anyone who comes your way or “shack up”; diminish and relegate God’s institution of marriage and “play marriage” in fornication. Yes, shacking up is evident and obvious for all to see and settling is only known to the conscience of the person settling, yet they are both an issue of the heart which stems out of distrust in God and his plans for you.
Our God is a good God and loving a father. He knows his plans and thoughts for us and they are for our own good and not to harm us.(Jeremiah 29:11). If he did not withhold Jesus in his majesty from us, why will he withhold a good marriage from us? (Romans 8:32). You deserve the very best that he had planned and thought for you. Do not settle or shack up. You are worth the best!
Our God is a good God and a loving father