When bringing up a topic on relationships, what comes into the minds of most people are firstly, husband and wife, in marital union. It is true that in marriage, God declares that oneness should prevail, in such commitments. Such relationships ought to identify with Godliness.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:24-25) (ESV).
The oneness in this scripture, implies that one cannot suppose that there would be two people in that couple. The reality in this kind of a relationship is similar to the description of the nature of God—simply revealed as being one (Deuteronomy 6:4). Forget about the concept of Trinity.
In marital relationship the term can be misunderstood, due to sexual intimacy, associated with marriage. A true relationship cannot be confused with sexual intimacy. However, this statement should not be construed as denouncing sexual intimacy, though satisfying only the sensual cravings.
Nevertheless, sexual intimacy is essentially part of a marital relationship—but not descriptive of the actual significance of what the term ‘relationship’ entails. The point being stressed, here, emphasises the fact that a relationship should not be confused with sexual intimacy.
Sex and relationship, appear as being one and the same thing, but they carry divergent compulsions. Most marital discords are a result of confusion between the two—viewed as meaning the same thing. The divergence is supported by what Jesus also said, when answering the sceptical Sadducees:
“…..You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:29-30) (ESV).
Sexual intimacy is of this world, and cannot go beyond physical death—unlike a relationship that projects the unity enshrined in Godliness. It is good for couples to enjoy sexual intimacies. But without losing focus in relationships that translate into oneness—as projecting Godliness.
Out of ignorance, most marriages fall apart, due to a husband being impotent, or that the wife would be unable to bear children. Such challenges cannot be viewed as producing good reasons for terminating marriages. If anything, such deformities should actually comprise what cements the relationships of those—having become one in marriage.
Oneness, simply means that when my wife cannot conceive a baby, I would therefore be also unable to become a father. This is because my wife’s problem is my problem. Conversely, if the husband is sexually impotent, the wife suffers the same misfortune. She cannot expect to bear children.
Most of our young people—engaging in pre-marital sex—desire to discover whether their sexual intimacies would be compatible. Obviously, this is what promotes the prevalent sexual immorality. No wonder why marriage appears as on the verge of obsolescence.
As long as marriages focus on sexual intimacy, it is not possible to guarantee their sustenance. Infidelity is prevalent, because sex is given higher regard, in a marital environment. It may be true that, even as I write, there cannot be any way of stopping the fast deterioration of marital break-ups, due to infidelity.
Sexual immorality is one of the sins that the apostle Paul contended with, among the Corinthians. The problem remains—even more worrisome in our generations. This stems from the assumption that sexual intimacy equals marital relationship.
Marriage counsellors ought to be commended for hard-working—trying to reconcile broken marriages—because of infidelity. But it seems as if they are fighting a losing battle—due to inability to separate between sexual intimacies and marital relationships.
The starting point ought to be with Christians. I stress this point—assuming that those ascribing to Christianity fully understand the price of Christianity. A Christian should be regarded as a new creation—no longer controlled by the passions of sinful nature (Galatians 5:16-21).
Marriage is good, as long as the participants understand that it carries the connotations that go beyond sexual union. Can a man be able to empathise with his wife, when unable to bear children? Can a woman be able to empathise with her husband, when unable to sexually function in bed?
These are vital questions, testing the character of those involved. It is interesting to listen to those giving marital vows—recited in front of marriage officers. But nothing describes the disappointment—when such marriages fall apart. What makes matters worse is that the reason for marital break-ups is not always what is projected in divorce courts.
It seems justification is an inborn instinct of humanity. But this has got nothing to do with the one who created humanity in His own image. I shudder to imagine what God thinks of the professional liars, in this world?
There is truth in that we live in a sinful world. But why would a potentially good person find comfort in telling lies? Most Christians forget that we are in this world, temporarily, as the focus ought to be Heaven. The Christian destiny has got nothing to do with what happens in our few years of physical existence. See [Christianity is transliterated in resurrection part 2].
One way or the other, the passions of sinful nature need to be overcome. The only opportunity exists when still blessed with the ability to breathe. Sex can be good, in a marital environment. But it carries a minute significance, in the overall purpose of human existence—whether choosing to obey God or not.
Marriage is the only symbol, designed to portray the bonding relationship with Christ. When thinking about relationships, it is necessary to remove what is portrayed in sexual intimacies. As human beings—privileged to exist in this world—though we can be trillions in numbers—we are one in God’s eyes.
In God’s viewpoint, the word “relationship” is different from how people casually assume its implication. We have just shown how marital relationships flounder, due to the misunderstanding of what ‘relationship’ entails. Relationship carries the principle of harmony and understanding.
Through the skewed interpretation of the word ‘relationship’ we then produce children, led to believe that their parents are their only closest relatives. Those children become related to parents, only as far as the first generation of their own children. Such relationships continue to dissipate until forgotten about.
We all know of the terms like ‘distant cousins’—implying that there must have been some close relationship with those ‘distant cousins’. Such distant cousins would be on their way out—being completely forgotten about. This explains the flagrant reality of a fallen society—and it seems no-one cares.
A Jewish lawyer is recorded as having tried to trap Jesus on the significance of the Mosaic Law (Luke 10:25-37). Jesus had to use the parable of a Good Samaritan, to illustrate what is required of humanity—created in God’s image. Through this parable, Jesus revealed the concept of brotherhood of humanity.
A careful analysis of the parable of the Good Samaritan, shows that this idea of ‘distant cousins’ does not exist in God’s vocabulary. There is no need of wasting time to study theology—except understanding the reality that God does not discriminate against anyone. As human beings, we are one, just as God is one. All manner of confusion against this reality ought to be addressed.
It is a question of whether one feels intent to argue with God, who created us in His own image. As in any relationship, we are one, as humanity—regardless of how different we are in structure, class and race. The idea of separation came, only as a result of Adam’s sin.
Christians cannot dispute that what is written in the Bible is inspired and therefore needs no alteration. But those Christians misunderstand, or deliberately choose to go against what is written in the Bible.
They leave what is written in the Bible—going after what is taught by theologians. For instance, the following Scripture appears as the most important, but seemingly, the most misunderstood, in the entire Bible:
“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 birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27) (ESV).
The regular visitors to this website, must have become aware that this scripture does not refer to Adam and Eve, but to the entire humanity? What was later formed—being of the dust of the earth in Genesis 2:7—is different from what was created in God’s image.
The description of the man created in God’s image is not necessarily singular, but descriptive of the entire humanity. Clearly, the birds of the heavens, show plurality—therefore the Man, similarly created could not be the only creature created in singular form.
The most accurate rendering ought to have been “God created humanity,” rather than “God created man”—in accordance with the common language usage. All humans were created on the same day, as shown in Genesis 1:27.
Those created in God’s image, are spiritual, just as God is spiritual. As God is one, humanity—created in God’s image—is also one. This idea of separation has got nothing to do with God. It portrays the opposite of who God is. See [The significance of oneness, as opposed to Trinity].
When carefully following the teachings of Jesus, one would realize that He sought to bring this viewpoint into reality. Everything He taught could be reduced to one word; “Relationships”. As a matter of emphasis—before His departure—Jesus impressed on this reality to His disciples:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this shall all people know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35) (ESV).
When applying this scripture fully, Christians could not then be identified denominationally. The kind of love that Jesus is referring to, is not ascribing to the denominational phenomenon, as known today. Scriptures show that the love of Jesus was not limited to His disciples.
All men did not love Him, but He loved all men. He paid attention to every human being who sought His attention. Imagine, Nicodemus—visiting Him by night—yet being of the Pharisaic sceptics? Jesus could have been justified to remind Nicodemus about good manners—considering the discourteousness of disturbing someone asleep at night.
Jesus’ purposeful existence on earth meant that He could not ignore any visitor—regardless of time factor. I find it embarrassing to call myself a Christian, when unable to do likewise. In Jesus we have the true meaning of what the term ‘relationship’ entails. The rest is fake.
The idea of relational separation came from Satan—as the chief architect of pride. But even if a brother commits the most embarrassing sin, unimaginable, it is one’s responsibility to cover his nakedness. We are our brother’s keepers, rather than their enemies. This is why Jesus unmistakably crafted the following commandment:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48) (ESV).
This sums up the reality of being a Christian, for those sincere in being the followers of Christ. All this is not coming from theology. It comes from Jesus Christ, the only author of Christianity. For the wise, this can no longer be the time to continue fumbling in theological deception. Jesus is Lord.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
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