God willing, over the next few weeks, we desire to delve more into the issues of marriages, relationships, and singlehood. What I find interesting about this marriage institution is that those in it are dying to get out, while those on the outside cannot wait to get in. I realized that there are a lot of misconceptions and myths about marriage, but very few truths about this wonderful institution. The reason is that we have let culture and the world scholars define and package for us our notion of marriage, while they themselves are trying to find the truth. No human can claim to be an ‘expert’ in marriage and relationships unless they base their ‘facts’ on an unchangeable truth. The only reference of unchangeable truth is the word of God, let me explain this.
When I bought my 1st camera, a Nikon, it was delivered in a fancy box. When I opened the box, I discovered a little book at the top of the box. This little book, I soon discovered, is known as the Owner’s/Users manual, written by Nikon on how to use their camera. Their intention was that before I operated the camera, I first read and understood the manual. Inside the manual, I found detailed instructions on how to operate the camera, what to do when it malfunctioned and at the end of it was a warranty & guarantee. Since I did not know how to use the camera, the manual helped me learn the camera and I was able to maximize the full potential of the camera because I 1st read and understood the owner’s guidelines. The name warranty has origins in the old Franconian language and it stems from the word warjan, meaning to guarantee as TRUE.
Likewise, when it comes to marriage, the manufacturer (God) gave us his own ‘Owner’s/User’s’ manual. In it, He described in fine detail how this marriage ‘thing’ works. Inside you will also find detailed information on what to do when this gadget starts having problems, (troubleshooting, I call it). Finally, you will find his warjan or warranty that this gadget actually works as He intended it to. Our only issue is that, once we acquire this new gadget, we disregard the owner’s instructions. So, we try different methods on how to make this ‘thing’ work out by ourselves and then start crying wolf when it doesn’t work as we imagined it to.
The bible tells informs us that…
God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”
So, Why Do Marriages Fail?
Marriage is the only institution where you are given the marriage certificate before you actually qualify for it. Crazy right? Think about it this way. Before you got your driver’s licence, you went through a rigorous training course, doing a theoretical course and then a practical one. And before you were given your licence, you went through an exam, which you had to pass to qualify. In the same way, before you got employed at work, you went through at least 20 years in school, learning and taking exams. You were only given a licence/certificate once you were found worthy by the examiners. This is done simply to ensure success in your new area of deployment.
Marriage, on the other hand, has no qualifications to join, no initial training & no exams. The only qualification is to be above 18 years of age and of sound mind!!!!! So, two people are thrown into an institution for life and they have no idea what it is they are there to do there. You are just told to go figure it out, the two of you. So, definitely, both of you will come with your own expectations and misconceptions about marriage. A few weeks into it and you feel like you have been duped. Why didn’t anyone warn you about it? Why is there so little information about marriage and why are we supposed to just figure it out? Was this really God’s intention?
In the Gikuyu culture where Gathoni & I come from, marriage was a very important rite of passage. Before a young man & woman were culturally married, they had to undergo rigorous training on their various roles & responsibilities. When two people got married, they were prepared to handle the strain of the marital relationship and also bringing up the family. This training was mandatory & very strict and the only qualification to get married was to successfully go through this rite of passage. One of the positive aspects of this education was to ensure that the two getting married had reasonable & true expectations about marriage. They knew what they had to do to make it work and the way of conflict resolution. The Gikuyu, like most African tribes at that time, valued marriage and ensured that those who entered into it were well prepared to handle the challenges.
So, Why Do Marriages Fail
The reason why marriages fail is hidden in a little verse in proverbs
By WISDOM a house is built,
and through UNDERSTANDING it is established;
through KNOWLEDGE its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.Proverbs 24:3-4
This my friends is the secret that we discovered. This is the well-kept secret of a successful and happy marriage. Forget everything anyone has ever told you. This is the holy grail, the secret to winning in this game called marriage. There are 3 KEY words that I want us to focus on today
KNOWLEDGE- Facts, information, education
UNDERSTANDING- Ability to draw conclusion from facts, data & information
WISDOM- Application of what you have learned.
The bible says that only these 3 will guarantee a successful marriage. You have to gain knowledge, understand it, and then APPLY it to be successful. And the interesting thing is that this does not apply only to marriage alone, but to business and life in general. Applied knowledge is the number one secret to become successful in anything.
Simply put the number 1 reasons that marriages fail is ignorance. Lack of information. People just do not know how to have a successful marriage. We are all thrown into the deep end and told to figure out how to swim and stay afloat. Unfortunately, ignorance is no defense. That is the reason why it is so important to give yourself to studying and acquiring this wisdom that is needed to help your marriage become successful
Wisdom is the Principal Thing
The key my friends to winning in life & relationships is wisdom. That is why when King Solomon acquired wisdom, everything else came with it. Fame & wealth. He was the wealthiest man who ever lived simply because he was the smartest man who ever lived. Wisdom is everything my friends…the bible tells us this about wisdom
“Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.”
“Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you.” –
“If you prize wisdom, she will make you great. Embrace her, and she will honor you.”
Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit.
“Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.”
The bible has so much to say about the benefits of wisdom. That is why Gathoni & I went crazy about wanting to acquire wisdom. We realized that the reason why we were really struggling in our marriage and in our business was because of our own ignorance. And God has been so incredible…that He has begun to show us principles and laws in His word on how to gain success and to win favor before God & men. James says this
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”James 1:5
Oh, how incredible this little verse is. If only people knew what power was in these words. If you need Wisdom, all you need is to ask God and he will grant it to you freely. Just like that! It even says he will not get angry at you for asking. That means that this wisdom is not just for the Myles Munroes or Martin Luther Kings of this world. It is also available for you & me. All we need is to ask, and as the Bible assures us, He will give it to you.
Over the coming weeks, we will share some of the wisdom that God has revealed to us from His word. Both in business and in marriage. It is God’s desire and also our desire that we should all win in marriage and in life in general. God did not call us to mediocrity, he called us to excellence and his purpose for us is to dominate and subdue. So that the world may see the light in us and give glory to our father in heaven.
Our lives, businesses, and marriages are the light that the world desperately needs to see. No longer will we be ashamed to be associated with the name of Christ. Go out friends, let your light shine & let us influence for good, this generation of ours. That is what the great commission is all about.
To God be All Glory,
I am a disciple of Christ, passionate about serving God’s purpose to my generation. I am a husband to Gathoni Kiruthi and together God has blessed us with 3 amazing children