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Leave, cleave and bond

Pastor Mario Moxey: God says married couples have to prioritize bonding as it’s the spirit of marriage

Married couples must resist the temptation to be drawn away from each other, and be intentional and do whatever it takes in order to become one flesh, according to Bahamas Harvest Church senior pastor Mario Moxey.

“We have to do whatever it takes to become one flesh, because the natural tendency is to drift, the natural tendency is to be drawn away from each other — to be pulled apart,” he said at the church’s After the Vows Marriage Conference which took a look at marriages from the perspective of what happens after the “I do’s” have been said, rings exchanged, the band stops playing and all the wedding festivities are done.

He said married couples are to leave and cleave, and bond.

“1 Corinthians 7 says an unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please the Lord. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please the wife. His interests are divided in the same way a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband,” said Moxey.

“We are to be bonded to our spouse — become one flesh. This whole idea of becoming one flesh is important. God says we have to prioritize this bonding thing — it’s the spirit of marriage. But bonding does not happen automatically,” said the pastor who spoke on living single in the marriage.

Moxey told the married couples that the mindset of married people should be devotion to their spouse, and that they should be the highest priority. He said a married person desires to please their spouse — meaning they serve self to benefit their spouse, and the married person manages their marriage responsibility.

“When it comes to the unmarried person, the single mindset is devoted to God or self. But when it comes to the married person they have to be devoted to the spouse. There are no options. But when it comes to the single people there are options. A married person has no other options whether they’re going to take care of their family or spouse; they just have to.”

He said what causes a married person to act like they’re single, or what would cause someone to be intent on acting that way would be a feeling of vulnerability, so they continue to do what’s familiar.

“A lot of people get married, but marriage is an unknown to them. They’ve never seen a marriage model before. They don’t know what it means to be married, they’ve never had any marriage training, so when they get married, it’s unfamiliar to them so they would rather go and do by default what’s familiar to them. They know how to be single because they’ve been single practically all of their lives up to that point. Because they know how to be single, they default to being single.”

He noted to them that most people don’t own up to not knowing something, and don’t want people to know they don’t know. He said they fake it.

“We want to make it seem like we know what we’re doing, and this is what gets a lot of people into problems especially in the area of their sexuality — and sex within marriage, because everyone makes assumptions. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you know what’s supposed to happen. Sex is something you have to learn. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you know how to have sex. You have to learn that, because every individual is different. You have to learn,” he stressed to the couples. “And so when it comes to marriage, we have to learn what it means to be married.”

Moxey said he also believes people end up living like they’re single, because they perceive marriage as a platform for self as opposed to an altar of sacrifice. He said they look at marriage as an extension of who they are and they’re only right to a certain degree.

“Marriage is not only an extension of who you are, but an extension of who your spouse is also, and an extension of who God is. So you have to take all three of those extensions and combine them if you’re going to get a true picture of marriage. Unfortunately sometimes people only see it as an extension of themselves and the only thing they’re interested in is their agenda. It’s all about how they’re going to be able to leverage something for them, so they don’t consider anyone else, and they ignore how the other person is feeling, what’s going on in their life, what’s going on in their world. The only thing important is their world. The marriage is all about them.”

Moxey said everyone at sometime in their marriage becomes self-centered and selfish. He said the reason for that is because everything conspires to pull people apart.

“We rush to the altar, and when we get there, after a while it kind of just pulls and pulls and we end up doing our own things. What happened? Life happened.”

He said marriage is like learning how to sing in a group and harmonizing.

“It just starts out with three people — you, your spouse, and God. And then when children come in, they have to start harmonizing, so you have to learn how to harmonize. You have to know your part. And it ain’t just knowing the part, you have to blend properly.”

He said the move should be to oneness.

“The first thing is prioritize bonding with each other. It’s not going to happen automatically. Nothing in marriage happens automatically. When it comes to one flesh, it does not happen automatically. Take time to connect with your spouse.”

He told them of he and his wife Erika’s bonding experience, which he said they hadn’t realized it was until years later, but for which they were grateful.

“When I went to Bible School, she chased me to Columbus, Ohio. She came and pursued me, and we got married as soon as she came. I knew I couldn’t contain myself — the woman is hot. But something happened while we were there that we did not even recognize. It was years later, we had already moved back home and she recognized it and told me about it. Us being in Columbus, Ohio, for the years we were there was the best thing that ever happened to our marriage. We were away from everybody else — no family — my parents weren’t there, her parents weren’t there, my siblings weren’t there, her siblings weren’t there. We’re close with our families, but they weren’t there. It’s not that they didn’t love us, but they physically weren’t in Columbus, Ohio, so we didn’t have access to them like that. So when we were hungry we had to cook, we couldn’t go by no one to eat. When we were upset, we couldn’t call nobody or go by nobody to let off some steam. We had to deal with that. When an argument ensued you could not storm out of the house and go someplace because it was snowing outside, so we had to deal with that. It forced us to connect with each other and to bond. We didn’t recognize that at the time, but afterwards it was like wow, that created a foundation for the extreme rigid life that we have now where it seems like we’re always moving.”

Moxey encouraged the couples to find the time to have that bonding. He told them to always remember that while it seems that everything wants to pull them apart, that there isn’t a great conspiracy to do that.

“There isn’t anyone in the backroom somewhere planning to plot the demise of your marriage, it doesn’t work that way. But what it is there are so many things in our lives vying for attention — our work schedule for example is one of those things that begin to draw us away. Work interferes and it may kind of pull us away. It may be a volunteer service, extracurricular activity — something that you’re doing that’s taking time from your marriage and as a result of that, it pulls you away. Other interests … all these things act as distractions, and they begin to pull on your marriage, and pull you away from each other.”

He encouraged couples to avoid those distractions. And that marriage means they are no longer two individuals, or two entities, but one — emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, financially.

“Wherever you are, your spouse is right there with you — that is what it means. When you’re having your private conversations, your spouse is right there with you, because you’re one entity. Your spouse is like the Holy Spirit — always with you; so if you understand this whole idea of being one flesh and your spouse is always with you, then it surely governs what you say and what you do, and it should,” he said.

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