26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
From the passage above that gives the Biblical account of the creation of man, we know that God’s original intention for our universe include billions of humans probably more. In God’s original plan, it was not just one man but lots of billions of people He would need to fulfil His plan on this planet or probably even some more. And Man’s original purpose was to manage this universe on God’s behalf. We know today that we have universes but only one planet was created to be comfortable for man, Planet Earth. But God’s plan included millions of people. So God created one man and one woman for the propagation of the human race.
We quote Gen 2:18 at our wedding ceremonies as was recorded by Moses by revelation. But going by everything that has happened through the ages, I believe that the intention was not just to create one woman. If it was that Adam was alone and a companion was created to keep him company and cheer him up, then the creation of the woman would have been enough. There would have been no need for them to have sex, pregnancies or give birth to anybody and the two of them would just have been fine with themselves and would both have died. I believe that the composite idea in the creation of the man and the woman was simply the fact that God created man to have dominion on this planet. God gave man the capacity to dominate this planet including the reproduction of other human beings like himself. God knew that He needed billions or probably even more on this planet. In creating the man and the woman and giving them the power to bring into existence little humans, God created the family unit as the first basic institution of the society. I believe that the family unit was created to provide a structure for the cultivation of humans not just that will give birth to them and walk away and leave them to fend for themselves but that they will be cultivated into sound human beings functioning in God’s image.
Our world has evolved. Things have changed a lot. We should admit that there are some thing that have not changed with all of our technological advancement. For instance, gravity is still gravity. If you jump, you will come down. That has not changed. We’ve found ways to manage it when we want to but it is still the same. The marriage institutions have evolved. The changes that have happened in our environment have influenced the marriage institution and the rate of change is different from culture to culture. Here are some ways in which the marriage institution has changed.
1. With women education and empowerment, marriage is no longer a major means for the survival of many women. Centuries ago, the means of survival for the woman was getting married. The man’s primary role was to earn a living, the woman’s primary role was to stay at home as the keeper. As things have advanced and the causes for women empowerment have advanced, they’ve been educated and they can function just as the men can function, they can fill some roles, practice practically every profession, they can fly aircraft, they can drive cars, solve problems, invent, innovate and so have become more skilled. The more they have become more skilled, we see the more their roles have changed. These changes differ from culture to culture. The implication is that whereas she might have been married off as a teenager, she may get married at a later age.
2. The rules in marriage are changing. Some of these changes have caused us to react because we want to do marriage the way our grandparents and parents did it and something is not working.
3. People would leverage marriage before to build wealth but now they want to be economically empowered before marriage.
4. How people met and date is changing. It’s no longer a business only of the village square. Relationships have been redefined. How people meet and date is changing and the statistics from UK says that 1 out of 5 people in relationships met online. People meet on social media networks and on dating sites.
5. The rate at which people are getting married is slowed down. A statistics from the United States showed that the rate at which young men had sex before the age of 20 is crashing. People are finding other ways to relieve sexual pressure because of technology. Pornographic sites are some of the most visited sites in the world. There are also sex toys to relieve sexual pressures with.
6. It is easier to commit adultery now because of technology and it is breaking homes. This has increased the divorce rate. It is easier to start a relationship online now leading to adultery. The marriage institution as we have known it is under attack.
The devil attacks the society through the marriage institution. When Christ was here on earth, a lot had changed about marriage. He made reference to it in Matt 19: 7-8. This tells us that there were some practices in terms of marriage in the time of Jesus Christ and the people needed to hear His opinion about it. Then He made this profound statement, “but from the beginning, it was not so”.
In other words, marriage have moved out of its original intention. Things have evolved a little bit but one thing has not changed which is the need to populate the human race. This means that the original unit, the family structure that God created, is very much needed in the family unit.
The big issue is how we treat each other, our capacity for love. That capacity is decreasing and we need to address that. The one thing that is still certain is that God has not changed his mind about His intention to populate the earth and Malachi 2:15 tells us not just anyhow humans but He wants godly offspring. He wants us to raise godly people and to raise godly people, we have to be godly.
We have to stay grounded in God’s original intention while being adaptable to the changes that are going on. Can we leverage the technology, the changes that are going on to enhance the marriage institution rather than decimate it? I believe that we can.
As a 21st century person that wants to fulfil God’s plan for his or her life, you need to settle in your heart and determine whether God wants you to marry or not. One of the things we need to stop is making people feel that their lives are not complete until they get married. God has a design for each person’s lives. This is not a day to label anybody but to cultivate a relationship with God for Him to reveal God’s plan and purposes for your life and a day to learn as much as possible about the marriage institution. Finally, this is the day to develop capacity to love. Selfishness and self-centeredness are destroying marriages.
Pastor Samuel Adeyemi is the Senior Pastor of Daystar Christian Centre, a fast growing, life changing church committed to “raising role models” based in Lagos. He is also the President of Success Power International