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God, passionate about the sanctity of marriage, stability of the home - Pastor Faith Oyedepo

 

The Vice President, Education of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, Pastor (Mrs.) Faith Oyedepo, has stated that God is passionate about the sanctity of marriage and the stability of the home. Hence, while the thought of walking down the aisle can be quite fascinating, staying blissfully married should be the focus.

She made this statement at the recent "Towards a Total Graduate" (TTG) programme for the final year students of Covenant University, 2021/2022 Session, organised by the institution’s African Leadership Development Centre (ALDC), where she took classes on "Preparing for Marriage," which is meant to enlighten the outgoing students on the covenant of marriage and how to adequately prepare for a blissful marital experience.

While speaking to the students, she stated that at a certain time in life, most singles, both male and female, get eager to be married, but marriage is a lifelong relationship that requires consciousness and adequate preparation because adequate preparation births great manifestation. She added that preparation for marriage affects the spirit, soul, and body.

Taking a cue from an anchor scripture, Hebrews 13:4, which states, "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge," and a backup scripture from Luke 14:28, which states, "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?" she stated that many people, including Christians, today, view marriage as a social relationship that can be entered into and severed at will.

On the contrary, she said, God is no respecter of persons, rather, a respecter of covenants; He did not create marriage as a mere romantic relationship, but a way of modelling His covenant-keeping nature, as such, many marriages will be better, if the husband and wife understand that it is a covenant and that Marriage is a very sacred institution. In John 2:1-11, she said, Jesus attended a wedding ceremony and the first miracle He performed was at a wedding; that shows how important marriage is to God and His plan on earth.

She defined a Covenant as a formal agreement that is legal or a contractual agreement with witnesses, which is usually written and has conditions attached to it; it is an oath-bound relationship between two parties; and the word ‘covenant’, she said, is of Latin origin (con venire), meaning a coming together.

Quoting Jack Hayford, "the covenant of marriage is the single most important human bond that holds all of God’s work on the planet together." It brings two lives together to form one, she stated, just as accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Saviour of your life brings you into a covenant relationship and union with God.

The Vice President, Education also explained that the husband and wife is joined and seen as one before God, when you get married and then, the covenant of marriage is cut when it is documented and sealed by an oath, whether by an authorized church license, or a local government declaration of marriage.

She asserted that in Exodus 34:27, when God made a covenant with the Israelites, He commanded Moses to write it down; similarly, the marriage certificate serves as the formal document that binds marriage, and there are witnesses to it. She stated that because God created marriage, He is the primary witness to the marriage, even though there are usually other witnesses, such as parents, family, and friends, who stand as a cloud of witnesses. She compared the marriage covenant to a triangle (three-fold cord) formed by the man, woman, and God, which cannot be easily broken.

"When God entered into a covenant with Noah, He gave him a token, the Rainbow. There is always a token for every covenant. Jesus was given as the token of God’s love covenant with man (John 3:16; Hebrews 8:6). The circumcision of every male child was the token of God’s covenant with Abraham (Genesis 17:11). When David and Jonathan made a covenant, there was an exchange of garments, sword, and girdle (1 Samuel 18:4). In marriage, the exchange of rings between the husband and wife is a token of this covenant," she affirmed.

The Covenant of Marriage, she stated, also involves the change of name. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel after the covenant in Genesis 32:28, so the wife takes up the name of her husband as a validity to the marriage covenant. She also added that when a covenant is cut, a meal is usually shared, like in Genesis 31:51–54, after the covenant between Leban and Jacob, a meal was shared; this validates why the communion is taken at weddings and there is an exchange of meals between the bride and groom, often known as their first meal together.

She further elucidated that a covenant is often sealed with blood, like circumcision, as seen in Genesis 17:11, which is the circumcision of the foreskin of every male in Abraham’s household, being a seal of God’s covenant with him. She said, in marriage, the first sexual contact between the husband and wife, which, when consummated as designed by God, involves bloodshed no matter how little, seals the marriage.

In conclusion, she emphasised that the marriage covenant is a lifetime commitment and only death should bring a couple apart (1 Corinthians 7:39). The vows made during weddings validate this. Divorce, separation, etc., were not meant to be part of the covenant of marriage.

She pointed out, however, that the Covenant of Marriage has terms and conditions with which it works, and that includes love and submission, requiring that the husband should love the wife as Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25), and submission, which requires the wife (Ephesians 5:22) to submit to her husband in everything (all-round), which means to willingly put yourself under someone else’s authority without reservation, unconditionally and continuously. Others include Mutual Responsibility and the recognition of God as the ultimate builder.

 

 

   

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