11. A GOD-APPROVED MARRIAGE UNION – A WORK OF GRACE
(The Single Woman Series)
When God brings two of his children together and approves of their marriage union, it is a work of grace.
Think about it: Despite all of your imperfections, quirks, shortcomings, flaws, weaknesses, poor attitudes and mistakes, God still provides someone that is divinely compatible with you, that is still fascinated by you, that HE has equipped and will continue to equip with a special, customized kind of patience to put up with you and a heart that HE has specially prepared to love you and only you.
If we were required to be perfect before we entered into marriage, then there wouldn’t be any marriages because we all come with flaws. Yet, God allows the person he has chosen for you to see you at your best and give God the glory humbly for it and to see you at your worst and still love, pray for and encourage you through it.
If that is not a work of grace, I don’t know what is.
That person knows the good, the bad and the ugly about you, that sometimes you mess up and say and do things you ought not to and that sometimes, (many times) you are less than perfect. Yet, that person still chooses to stand resolutely by your side, to become your spouse and to make you his own. There is nowhere else that he would rather be, than in your life and you in his heart and him building a future with you right in the middle of it. That person chooses to invest in your development, both as a person and from a spiritual perspective and chooses to embrace, cherish, appreciate and cover you, despite you.
If that is not a work of grace, then I don’t know what is. That person sees you in your entirety and instead of being deterred by all that you are not, sees only all that you are and can be. He is excited at the prospect of you spending your life with him and of you two raising a family together and serving God together and loving and supporting and building each other.
The marriage union reminds me of Jesus and the grace God extended to all those who believe on his Son as Lord. No way did we deserve to call God Father. No way did we deserve to be brought into relationship with him and to partake of an eternal inheritance but yet in grace, God welcomed us with open and loving arms and has been pouring unmerited blessings, kindness and favour upon us ever since.
The marriage union is beautiful but it is so much more significant than many realize. When it is done within the will and approval of God, it involves a man and a woman graced by God, walking voluntarily to the altar and saying to the other, “I know that you are not perfect but I choose you anyway. I know that you are flawed but I still love you and want you and nobody else.”
The two exchange vows with humility and gratitude because they know, that as two undeserving individuals, it was grace alone that brought them together and got them that far. For, God graced them to love each other and to be loved by each other.
(Written on 15th May, 2016)
Today is the 3rd May, 2021. I wrote the Article above close to five (5) years ago and at this point, I am still single.
When I think of the amount and extent of GRACE that would be required to take me from the point where I am now as a single woman and to put me into a quality marriage with a man that God has sent and equipped to love and provide for and cherish me, it makes me weep with gratitude in advance and humility. For it would take a lot.
In fact, in reading this Article over afresh this morning because I uploaded it again to this new Website and needed to check the grammar, the thought of what me walking down the aisle one day and within the perfect will of God would mean and how it would testify of how WONDERFUL, how GREAT and how DEEP is his GRACE towards me, brought me to tears. I wept. For, it would take a great amount of GRACE to get me to that place. Yet, God has shown even greater GRACE in sending his Son to die for my sins and that of the world, so I know that it is still possible.
Last night, I was thinking: Many people who have professed to be Christians (although not all), take relationships and family life for granted, so much so that they regard it as an entitlement, something God was supposed to give them or perhaps, what they gave themselves. Instead of being humbled daily by the fact that God allowed them to be in relationships therefore, when he did not have to, they ridicule those who are single, jump to conclusions that God must be displeased with them, cast their noses down at them self-righteously, as if to say, I have been blessed with this because I am more spiritual and you are not and they even ostracize them, dismissing them as colossal failures in life.
Such people don’t take the time to contemplate and consider and be humbled by the fact that, if they are in a God-honouring relationship, that it was God that took time out of his busy schedule, to look down at them, to have them on his radar, to have mercy on them, to choose to be GRACIOUS to them and make plans (when he didn’t have to and when he could have spent his time organizing something else or focusing on some other one of his children’s love story), to orchestrate a love story for them and put them with someone, another one of his children.
This is not a reason to be puffed up with pride. It is a reason to take to the knees in gratitude and humility.
For, God could have been busy organizing something else and ignore them or place them at the bottom of his long list of priorities but yet he took the time to provide for them and to do what they could not do in their own strength (although many times they think proudly that they were the ones that did it), by divinely arranging and organizing things and circumstances, so that two of his children could meet and then influencing their hearts, so that they would be interested in each other and court and be married.
He did all of that, yet people like to take the credit for it or to act indifferently to such GRACE.
Those that have gone past that stage and are in God-approved marriages and have gotten pregnant, many of them rarely ever take the time to fall to their knees weeping in humility, for the fact that despite all of their efforts which would have availed to nothing if God did not help and if he did not purpose for it to happen, God in his mercy, GRACED them, by giving conception.
To those that have been through the pregnancy and have a healthy child or children to show, it was God that GRACED them to carry that baby for nine months without a miscarriage or any other life endangering situation and then GRACED them with strength to deliver and to do so safely, mother and child both being safe.
Yet, some people have all this: The loving husband, the children, the home – all of which God GRACED them with and they take it for granted, only seeing all that is wrong with life and spending their days mostly in complaint, ingratitude (because they want something more) or indifference.
This is sad. For, what so many take for granted, some people go through all of their lives and never see such GRACES. They merely long for it and think about it and wish that there would come a day, when they too would experience the hand of God in such ways, which they know comes solely by his GRACE.
They pray for years and years, pouring out their hearts to God and even fasting, yet they sit outside the door of such blessed GRACES but God knows best and he remains God and is deserving of worship, so come what may, they still serve him.
To this point, I have not yet experienced any one of these GRACES. I am single, I have never experienced what it is like to be pregnant and I have no children. Yet, even as I rejoice with others who have seen such GRACES, I am grateful for other ways in which God has GRACED me. The mere fact that I am alive when so many others are dead is due to his GRACE.
My heart often overwhelms with gratitude though, at the mere thought of: What if God were to one day have mercy on me when it comes to an earthly love story and single me out and decide to take the time to organize and arrange a love story for me, who but for his GRACE, am a mere wretch and a nobody? What if he were to go further and give me conception in a marriage that he GRACED me to be in and give me a child or even children?
The thought of the extent of such GRACES is at times too much for me. It makes me weep. For, I stand ready to thank him, to pour out praise to heaven because I know where I am now and how much GRACE it would take to get me to that point.
(Written on 3rd May, 2021)
Click on the video below to listen to ‘GRACE ALONE’ by Maranatha Singers.