Let me finish up the last post. I discovered that it was lengthy. Most people find it hard to read lengthy posts. But if one will patient enough to go through such will get one or two things.
POSSIBLE FAILURES IN MARRIAGE:
The society records so many divorces as a result of marriage failures:
(a) Lack of love;
(b) Lack of cordial relationship
(c) Lack of mutual financial management.
One thing or the other may lead to marriage failures. But the question comes, “will you withdraw your child from school because there are failures in the academic world?” Your observances of marriage failures might depend on your own eye-glass. Another person may be seeing success depending on his own eye-glass too. Perhaps, if you will over-look these failures, you will still see the success. There are many who are enjoying their marriages.
STERILITY IN MARRIAGE
Some of the unmarried youths are scared from this responsibility when they see some families where sterility is their own challenge. When one sees the shame, ridicule, reproach, criticism, blame, accusation, wagging tongues, etc. which some couples undergo, one can decide to stay single.
THE INVOLVE RESPONSIBILITIES IN MARRIAGE:
If careful note is not taken, this one alone is enough to scare someone from this honorable responsibility. Time involvement; the in-laws you respond to; the children you will train; the wife you must care for; etc. Brother, you have a good reason of being scared. Even the Bible confirms that you must suffer these unavoidable responsibilities, If you eventually join this institution, “…and your desire shall be to your husband” (Gen. 3:16c).
This portion of the Bible is even enough to scare away the unwilling and unmarried youth. Brother, be a man. Quitters never win, and winners never quit. The fear of death should not scare you from the war front. (All these are wise sayings to spur you). Take up the challenge. Those that are making it are not better than you. You can make it.
BRIDE PRICE IN MARRIAGE:
Actually, some communities have culturally increased rapidly their bride price out of the reach of many youths. Therefore, when one considers the cultural demands attached to marriage, one can be tempted to drop desire. The point is that no good thing is cheap. Endure the demands and go for it. You too will make it as others have succeeded. Really, the people will only take money. They cannot take your life. After all, when they take money, you will have their daughter “until death do you path”.
EXCESSIVE WEDDING CEREMONY:
Every youth wants his wedding to be societal. This leads to unnecessary borrowing. When the unmarried youth attends such a societal wedding, calculating on the cost, he is scared. But brother, that should not constitute fear in you. You need to cut your coat according to the cloth you have.
LEAVING AND CLEAN IN MARRIAGE:
Really this is the total commitment of one wife to one husband. The irresponsible youth will always complain, “If I marry now, my husband or wife will monitor me”. God’s order of marriage is “one man to one woman”. If you understand the Bible, you cannot see this as a problem.
When we consider these things sometimes; it threatened the unmarried youth and such will be tempted to decide to stay unmarried like Paul in IC or. 7:7, 32.
Those who have such view about marriage forget the biblical injunction: “But it is usually best to be married, each man having his own wife, and each woman having her own husband, because, otherwise you might fall back into sin” (I Cor. 7:2 LB). The biblical injunction is mainly addressing the young singles who intend to stay unmarried as Paul.
Even those who practice celibacy find it hard to stay unmarried. You see most of them messing up in illicit sexual acts in the sanctuaries and seminaries.
This book will not go into the argument whether Paul married or not. All it is establishing is that some soured marriages scare the unmarried youths from this honorable responsibility. That is exactly what prompted this great question, “Must everybody marry?”
There is no need covering the facts with mask. If the facts are fully unveiled, you must believe with me that marriage has its unique challenges.
Because of these unbecoming, seeming challenges in marriage, the unmarried men and ladies continue to ask, “Must everybody marry?”
“Count your teeth with your tongue”. “It is foolishness to be affected by the foam of your soap while you are still bathing”. “Never allow goats to eat up the palm frond on your head”. A quitter never wins”, “Don’t run away for the fear death- Be a hero.”
The Bible says, “Count the cost” (Luke 14:28-30). The question continues, how do I count the cost? Can I bear the cost? How do I get prepared for this unavoidable necessity? These and other questions are sympathetic and perplexing. But come forward, let us continue to read. We will discover the answers to all these questions.
1. Mental preparation for Marriage
Your concept about marriage will always control your attitude. Therefore, you should be properly oriented. Read again the section which talks about concepts. Compare and make up your mind. For one to understand the concepts about marriage sufficient time should be given to study of marriage.
(A) Try To Develop Your Brain. Sharpen your understanding.
Always read the life-changing book, the only best recommended textbook on marriage (i.e. the BIBLE). Your knowledge will increase: Your brain will develop. The brain computerizes all that the eyes see, read and study. Many books have been written on marriage, yet the best is still the Bible, which speaks the mind of God. The Bible changes the life and families of those who apply it The Bible and other books marriage are good for mental preparation of marriage.
(B) Attend Workshops And Seminars.
Always look for opportunities in which you can avail yourself to study from experienced teachers and counselors who can expertly handle the subject on focus. Do not be “Mr. It Does Not Matter”, or “Mr. I Know It All”
(C) Ask Questions:
He, who does not ask question, does not receive answer. Advice is very much needed before one goes into marriage. But there is danger in advice, which is “lf you receive bad advice, you will behave badly”. “Therefore, when you are seeking for an adviser, make proper choice. Pick from the people of God who know their onions in marriage and family. Of course, marriage is not something to go into without proper advice and orientation.
It is not such “a snake one can kill, with an unsharpened knife”. Anyone who goes into marriage without proper orientation is bound to make some costly, expensive mistakes. Please my unmarried youth, run to your pastor, marriage consultant, good elderly man or woman who have lived good exemplary family lives for years. They are all good hands in marriage counseling. Do not buy wholesale the advice of the ungodly (Psalms 1:1).
(D) Give Yourself To Prayer
As you listen to good counselors, read your Bible, please back it up with prayer. Divine direction benefits much. Prayer is the answer to every challenge.
Prayer brings success to every endeavor. The Bible says we should ask anything in the name of Jesus Christ (John 14:16, 17). “God is still answering prayer, mostly when it has to do with a sincere seeker. If you despise prayer, you will make mistakes,
(E) Give Attention To Reason:
You are a human being, a free moral agent whose will and choice are respected by God. Your thought is very much needed in this life decision.
While reading and studying the Bible and other books written on marriage do it as if everything depends on that alone. When you seek advice from good counselors, do it as if it is the only help. In prayer, pray to touch God as if everything depends on that. After all these, come back to your senses. Consider certain things about your intended partner. See the advantages and disadvantage weigh the balances before taking your decision.
2. PHYSICAL PREPARATION:
There are many areas to discuss on this kind of preparation. Let us take them one by one.
(A) Maintain Your Chastity or Virginity.
God’s intention is that men maintain their chastity while women maintain their own virginity before marriage. Therefore; any sexual act outside marital boundaries is a serious sin. Whether it is done during engagement or after the dowry is paid, it remains sin and attracts God’s anger.
It is unbelievable to report that many girls in the Christian faith have lost their virginity through boy friendship or the so-called intended spouse. That is why we have many HIV cases.
Some think that girls in the town are morally bad, as if virgins are seen in the rural areas. To their shame, they discover that rural areas do not harbor virgins.
Some girls in the rural areas are morally worse than those in the urban areas. Many of the girls in the urban area are educated, informed, cultured and mannered. They can easily avoid sexual desires, youthful lust and such that arouse sexual interest. It is somehow hard to deceive them. If a girl is unbroken, intact to her virginity, she is like a tin of milk, which has not been opened. It is hard for that milk to sour.
A girl who has lost her virginity is like an opened tin of milk (i.e. it was opened but only a little quantity is used).You see, the milk is exposed to virus which contaminates it to severe acidity and sourness at any time. Though such tins of milk can be preserved in a refrigerator with some pieces of paper to cover up the created opening: Sister, there is nothing you can use to cover up your virginity is lost forever.
To worsen it, some ladies are lured into abortion while others are humiliated into a shut-gun marriage. Many girls and boys have contacted some dangerous diseases. Of course, HIV is very common now among young singles. Please my dear reader; avoid any type of premarital sexual act.
(B) Maintain Good Food:
You are not only to avoid sexual abuse. Avoid also certain food item. Why do you destroy yourself in glutton? Do not eat to exist rather eat to live. Always eat for your nourishment.
1) Alcoholic Drinks Are Dangerous
Such drinks are not made for you. They are made for the wicked whose determination is to make it in hellfire with Satan (Prov. 23:31.32; 20:1}. Drunkenness destroys one’s reputation. A drunkard can never make a good husband or wife. This thing called drunkenness is not done intentionally rather a cup of wine attracts another. Stop it.
2) Tobacco Products Are Not For You:
Smoking of cigarettes and other tobacco products are not to your advantage. “The Federal Government of Nigeria warns that tobacco products are dangerous to health”. “Those who smoke cigarettes are liable to die young”. These are the advertisement tag to tobacco products in so countries. Yet some people still indulge in cigarettes smoking despite the warning. That habit is demonic.
3) Avoid Drug Addiction;
Drug addiction has done more harm than good in the youth world. I don’t need to say much of this after all a Christian youth has no part in this type of irresponsibility.
4) Maintain Modesty In Your Fashion:
There are some illicit fashions going on. currently, it is difficult to distinguish between mechanics and mad people fashion wise. Fashion counts in physical preparation for marriage. Please let prostitutes remain harlots, while the Christian youths are fashioned according to their confession. We should not emulate the world or the things therein. The Christian’s body is sacred, holy and the temple of the LIVING GOD.
Let the Christian’s body be properly clothed. My beloved reader, nakedness does not attract marriage rather seduction. This seduction will result to illicit sexual acts. The illicit sexual intercourse will result to one of the followings:
(1) Unwanted pregnancy;
(2) Loss of virginity; or
(3) To sudden death, (mostly on the attempt to commit abortion).
Your beauty charms, why not maintain such a beautiful outfit? “Nakedness as fashion belongs to the prostitutes, sex-workers. They wear such to attract customers. Do not expose your nakedness, else you will be seen as a harlot, or an unbeliever in the church.
When such becomes your identity, you will find it hard to marry. If you marry you will not get a good husband rather your type of person. Responsible men are always in search for responsible women or ladies (not the reckless ones).
Be neat always. Your neatness will attract someone to you. Let your innerwear be neat to avoid unwanted ordure. Sister, no matter the quality and fancy of your innerwear allow them be only innerwear, not outerwear. Dear lady please always hid your pants, braziers (breast wear), etc, out of the public eyes. It is an eye sour to expose them mostly when they are on you.
(C) Work With Less Energy:
Your body really needs rest. Do not over work. Over work will always result in sickness and sudden death.
The success of your marriage largely depends on your physical fitness. When those things mentioned are put in practice. You will surely succeed in marriage.
3. SOCIAL PREPARATION:
Human beings are not isolated. They love associations. That calls for the organization of union, clubs, societies, etc. Man is a social animal. The Bible says that God made man initially without a woman, (i.e. Adam was without Eve). When Adam discovered that he cannot live in isolation, he was uncomfortable (Gen. 2:18 – 22), until God created the woman.
Each person has one fault or the other. This fault might be transmitted through the genes of our parents. The Bible says, ”and Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and beget a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth,” (Gen. 5:3). Man was created in the image and likeness of God. He was perfect in that condition until he disobeyed God. Sin entered into man. At this time he begets a man in his own likeness and in his own image. That image and likeness is what is known as “bent” or “natural trait”. Every natural trait has its own unique treatment. John should be treated as John not as James. Personal mannerism is exhibited according to individual’s habits. The public assess you according to the character you exhibit. The popular saying is “show me your album, I will tell you the type of person you are”.
1. The Public Image of the unmarried Youth:
The importance of your public image cannot be overemphasized. Christ in His days asked His disciples “Who do men say I am? (Matt. 16:13-16). He was trying to sample the opinion of the public about Himself. The public has its own opinion built about you. You are already nicknamed by the public due to the way you behave. The public in this context is the “People living in the same building with you”, the “passers-by which you see in the street”. “The market square”, and “Church”. These people are all informants about you.
a) Behave Weil In The Home:
“I will try to walk a blameless path, especially in my own home, where I long to act as I should” (Psalms 101:2). Charity begins at home”; “Behavior is beauty” . “An ideal child is identified by his or her behavior”.
Paul said, “Don’t let anyone think little of you because you are young. Be their ideal; let them follow your way of life; be a pattern for them in love, faith, and in your clean thought” (I Tim. 4:12 LB).
Your parental instruction is an ideal. They love you and want to be proud of you. But if your parents are unbelievers, please compare their advice with the Bible (Psa. 1:1). The Bible explains why we should obey the instruction of our parents in the following passages: Eph. 6:2-3: Pro. 13:1. 19:26. Your younger and elderly ones should be respected, because “respect is reciprocal”. Your brother’s wife is the queen of the house, if you are still living with your brother. Pretentiously behave as a maid to your brother’s wife (if you intend to continue to live there). You have no right in that house; therefore don’t claim any.
Socially, that saying is true. The social assessment helps the unmarried youth in his or her choice of a marriage partner. You cannot totally hide your true color. Your inner self comes out consciously or unconsciously. So, it is imperative to form good habits, bents, traits, behavior and mannerism. Borrow a leave from the story of Eleazer, the servant of Abraham. He was instructed by Abraham to marry a good wife from his matrilineal home. Eleazer made a fleece aiming at finding (God’s will) the well cut manner, as if she knew what was at stake. That behavior was not formed at that moment; rather it was her natural bent (Gen. 24:15-25; Col. 3:12-14). Before I drop this social preparation for marriage, I must briefly touch two more important points: “Public image” and “Relationship”.
The eyes of the people living together with you are on you because you are single. Therefore try to be good with everyone in your residential area because all of the people there are your intended partner’s informants.
b) Behave Well in The Society:
Because you are an unmarried youth, every one targets you. You are in a beauty contest. You need to outshine others. Always be costly. Be unique in your discussions, show kindness and purity. Let the house and the street where you live confirm you as the best within that zone. Public pumps and borehole locations are “a very sensitive public square”. I visited one of the locations of public pipe borne water. There was a serious quarrel there. One of the girls who came to draw water was so furious that she forgot that she was in a public square. Furiously, she began to fly buckets, not minding who was there.
After her furious actions, I called her privately and advised her to mind her actions in the public; as any of her relations, friends, could be informants to her intended partner. She was shocked at that.
You might not know the informant sitting with you in the mutual bus or taxi. Therefore control your temper, mind yours words and conduct yourself very well.
The Market Square is a big test to your public picture. Both the seller and the buyer are all important”. Be conscious of the fact that you are in a beauty contest. Try to be kind to everyone in your office or workshop. Always be faithful and truthful. Politely shun sexual advances.
Can you ask the same question which Jesus asked, “Who do men say I am? If you try such question on yourself, what answer do you expect to have?
Therefore, every unmarried should endeavor to build a good and reputable public picture. In the rural areas, people go near where girls normally come to fetch firewood or water to recommend a girl of marriageable character. My good reader, the church is a great public square which exposes the character of everyone. Let God be glorified in your life daily.
c) Behave Well With The Opposite Sex:
As an unmarried .youth, you should curtail your close movement with the opposite sex. You may have a good motive, but the opinion of the public is different. When opposite sexes exchange visits, it destroys public image. Do not exchange visits even if you are engaged. You must be nicknamed.
Check your intention whenever you snap or exchange pictures with the opposite sex who is not your blood relations. My good reader, avoid secret engagement. Avoid every undefined gift from the opposite sex.
Closeness during engagement is very dangerous even if your dowry is paid. Avoid behind a closed curtain discussion, (How much more a closed door?). Those who saw you entered will begin to build opinions on what might be going on there. They might even start to count time on you They might not be bold to ask you what you were doing behind that closed door or curtain, yet they will draw their conclusion. Based on the conclusion drawn, they will spread unbelievable stories.
Many things can happen behind a closed-door or curtain. For instance, Amon and Tamar, his half-sister, both were children of the same father, David. Amon raped her behind a closed curtain. (II Sam. 13:4-19).
Avoid dark-corner discussion. This is as dangerous as a closed-door discussion. My good youth, the public eyes are on you. They have their opinions and conclusions.
Avoid going steady with a particular opposite sex. Avoid being cheap, even to your intended partner.
d) Behave Well In Your Speeches
Your speeches count much on your public picture. Your actions and reactions when provoked count. I Peter 2:21-23 outlined how we should react. Let us follow that good example.
Your Christian maturity is measured by your “actions and reactions,” when offended. Better listen more and talk less. “Don’t talk so much”.
You keep putting your foot in your mouth. Be sensible and turn off the flow! It is obvious that when a good man speaks, he is worth listening to, but the words of fools are a dime of dozen. A godly man gives good advice, but a rebel is destroyed by lack of common sense”. (Prov. 10: 19-21 LB).
You need to reason before you speak. If it is pleasant, speak. But if it hurts, keep it with you. “So get rid of your feelings of hatred. Don’t just pretend to be good! Be done with dishonesty and jealousy and talking about others behind their backs”. Be careful how you behave among your unsaved neighbors, even if they are suspicious of you and talk against you, they will end up praising God for your good works when Christ returns” (I Peter2: 1, 12 LB ). “My lips shall speak no evil; my tongue shall speak no lies.” (Job 27:4 LB).
The government media officers received a report about a lady who had not quarreled with anyone for twenty-five (25yrs) years of marriage. The media house sent men who approached the woman for investigation. The woman confirmed the story positively. She was asked whether nobody had ever offended her since her twenty five years in that vicinity. She responded with a smile on her face and said, “I am offended daily, even few minutes before your arrival I was provoked”. She was asked how she maintained such a good report. She replied, “I reason every answer I give when I am hurt, so that I will not injure another person”. She added, “I usually keep silence when I am offended because I have discovered that if I say anything in such a temper I may offend my offender. So I allow it to calm down before I speak” Can you imagine such a woman living here on earth? She did not come down from the moon. She was not an angel, yet she maintained her policy and that rule becomes a model and best for the maintenance of public image.
e) Behave Well In Your Fashion:
Your style designs your public image. Your dressing always addresses you. Every style of wear is not designed for Christians. There are styles for Christians and fashions for non-Christians. My Christian young single lady, let your outfit befits your confession as a Christian. Your holiness should be both inside and outside. Never wear any style because others wear it.
Always allow your conscience to work in partnership with the Holy Spirit. He will surely speak to your mode of dressing. What is your picture outside the four walls of your room?
2. Your Relationship With Others:
Another aspect of your social preparation is “Relationship” this is a sensitive subject to treat within this capacity. As a Christian young single, always weigh your relationship before offering or accepting any hand in marriage. The most guiding principles for proper relationship are imbedded in these principal words: “Patience, Love, Understanding, Humility, Consideration, Forgiveness and Tolerance”.
Two captains cannot control a boat”. The honeymoon of two individuals is maintained by one person. “Cordiality in relationship is maintained by the person whose determination is to maintain it.”Two wrongs cannot make a right” II two persons fight for a right cordiality is strained.
The following suggestions are to be followed in order to maintain a good relationship.
(a) Avoid Straining Any Existing Relationship:
Instead of straining a relationship you meet, allow it to grow more than you meet it.
(b) Always Maintain Good Friendship Not Minding The Cost:
In maintaining good relationship, one person must hold the key. And it is the person who offers the sacrifice it takes. It takes one person to move something forward.
(c) Always Maintain Positive Thoughts and Plans About Other:
This has Biblical infection. “Don’t be misled remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it: A man will always reap just the kind of crop he sows: if he sows to please his own wrong desire, he will be planting seeds of evil and he will surely reap a harvest of spiritual decay and death; but if he plants the good things of the spirit, he will reap the * everlasting life which the Holy spirit gives him.1′ “And let us not get tired of doing what is-right for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.” (Gal. 6:7-9 1.13).
Do for others what you want them to do for you. This is the teaching of the laws of Moses in a nutshell.” (Matt 7:12LB).
4. FINANCIAL PREPARATION:
Your preparation cannot be complete until you get yourself well prepared financially, Every young single must be properly prepared financially before getting into marriage. Marriage demands serious financial attention. I Timothy 6:6-11 outline how the Bible sees money.
Money in itself is very good, necessary and important in this life. Any preparation of marriage without money is a total failure. It may even end up in premarital sexual acts. It can result to unwanted pregnancy, shut gun marriage, abortion, frustration and death. The Bible warns that if one wants to enter into such a big project; he should first count the cost. Though money is highly needed, we should not engage in getting it. “at all means”. Always abstain from over-night riches.
For what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loss his soul (Mark 8:36; Mat. 16:26; Luke.9:25). Please in this life, “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might and even (with every bit of holiness and righteousness)”, because God will bring everything into judgment”. (Eccl 9:10; 12; 14).
HOW A GIRL CAN PREPARE FINANCIALLY.
A wise girl who wants to be married should put these things written in this chapter into practice:
(1) Do not depend on your parents for your daily care.
Sister, righteously look for something that will become a source of income. Start doing that without shame.
(2) That which your hands find, do it with all sincerity, holiness and faithfulness.
Read about a virtuous woman in prov.31:10-31.
The employment of your hands into any money getting-venture will grant you honor. Learn a lesson from the ants in Prov. 6:6-11. Note that ants wisely gather food and store them against rainy season.
Please my beloved single sister, gather things. You do not know when that rainy season will start.
(3) There is no need to spend your money only on dresses which will only befit young ladies.
Get such which will be fit a married lady. You do not need also to spend much money only on delicious food. Do not go in hungry and tattered. That is not your portion as long as you firmly attach to Jesus Christ. Eat fine, dress neatly and enjoy the Lord. But as you eat and dresses neatly always save some money no matter your insufficient source of income. Buy these things as you save to their worth:
(a) Some madam wears.
Do not sew them yet. You do not know the type of person who will pick you for marriage. He might be a stingy type or one who has insufficient source of income. So, since you have already prepared for the rainy season: you will not be exposed to shame. If he is a loving, caring type but has no money, you have helped to cover his shame and nakedness. That is the rainy season I am talking about.
(b) Buy also some children’s care units, buy some household properties, especially the kitchen utensils and baby dresses.
You are applying your faith on your marriage to produce children. When you have such preparation before wedding, you will surely reap the fruit and enjoy your labor. Where parental assistance fails to meet your personal -expectations, you can be sure of your emotional balance. If you have those things, you have saved your parents from such public embarrassment and shame.
In fact, the need for financial preparation cannot be over emphasized. Those who have practiced this method are all happy in their matrimonial homes.
HOW AN UNMARRIED YOUNG MAN CAN PREPARE FINANCIALLY
Any wise man who wants to take up the responsibility of marriage must sit down and count the cost. You cannot take a wife without dowry and some traditional rites: Otherwise, it will not be a legal union. You cannot also lake a girl to the altar for wedding without some financial involvements. You cannot enjoy your wife in your home without proper care of her physical needs.
Since hoping to form your own family, you cannot train children without money. You need proper and calculative financial preparation.
(1) Get involved in business or employment:
There is no need folding your hands to sleep, else you become a poor beggar or a thief. If one venture fails, try another. Always be creative and maintain your holiness at all cost in your quest for money. Remember what the Bible says in II Tim. 6:6-1 I. Do not join those whose determination is to get money at all cost. Instead join those who make it righteously. God will surely reward your faithfulness.
(2) As money begins to come, no matter your insufficient income always save money for the rainy season.
You have hope, save money towards achieving your hope.
Do not engage yourself in – buying food and dresses only. Rather on some other things which will help you to survive in marriage.
You need not to be told to eat well and dress neatly because you know that such will grant you favor, approval and attraction in your vision. Do not imitate those who have much. You are a unique person with a specific focus. Maintain your uniqueness.
(3) Buy these items as your savings reaches their worth:
(a) Get nice furniture.
(b) Start to buy those things which your fiancé will use after wedding. Such things as:
(i) A befitting madam wear for the first Sunday service after Wedding,
(ii Items which are unavoidable for traditional rites and dowry,
(c) Save money for some customary demands in connection with your proposal.
(d) Save money for the wedding demands.
No wedding is cheap and low key no matter the type. All of them are financially involvement. If this idea is practiced, you will save yourself from embarrassment. Your dream will soon be actualized. You will not be in trouble or difficulties.
4) When to start this savings:
My unmarried young brother, immediately you come up with the hope of marriage. That shows that you are mentally maturing. This is a good dream and hope. Therefore, start immediately to save for its actualization. The importance of financial preparation cannot be over-emphasized, Read Christ’s illustration about a man who started building without proper financial preparation in Luke 14:28-30. When the young single girl gets herself fully prepared financially getting those things needed before weddings and, the young single man gets himself fully prepared financially: getting those things needed before wedding they will be free from the first shameful impression in their marriage life.
5. SPIRITUAL PREPARATION:
This is the last preparation on the list. It is the most important one. Man is created in the image and likeness of God. What is that image and likeness? Neither does God have physical body, nor many colors like us? It does not also mean that God is of multiple stages: today in infancy, another day in childhood, another in youth hood or in adulthood. Read Gen. 1:26-27:2:7, please note the clause “Created in the image and likeness of God”. The Hebrew root word from which the word is derived means “to shade”. It can be used figuratively to mean “illusion”, resemblance”, “Shadow”. It does not mean” photocopy of God”. It talks about the shadow of God. The physical body of man is not referred to in that passage. It rather talks about the natural, social and moral image and likeness of God.
(1) The Natural likeness of God in Man: This has to do with God’s personality.
This controls our “self consciousness”. Plants are living things, but created without consciousness. Animals are created with consciousness, but theirs are undeveloped. It is man (i.e. human being in general) who was created in such .a large and developed “self-consciousness”.
This makes us to have right to CHOICE. When our intellect, works with our emotion, ii makes us the “free moral agents.”
This has to do with our conscience. It is the seat of our decision. The natural likeness of God in man is neither distorted nor depraved; rather it was retained after the fall of man.
(2) The Social Likeness of God in Man:
God longs for fellowship just as man do. The Bible says that God come down to Eden to fellowship with Adam at the coldness of the day (i.e. every evening). Gen. 3:8. The social likeness is still there in man as well as the natural likeness. It was only moral likeness that was depraved.
(3) The Moral likeness of God in Man:
The original nature of man was a sinless type. That is how he was created. Man was innocent and pure. God set man in the garden He planted in Eden to keep it and dress it. The man was to do the works in the garden (Gen. 2:15). God told the man to eat everything in the garden except the fruits from the trees in the middle of the garden (i.e. the trees of knowledge and that of life). Then man disobeyed God. That is how sin into the world as a common disobedience. Sufferings and death were resulted. Man was chased out from the garden and from the presence of God. The original moral nature of God was deprived, distorted even lost.
That is the condition, God was trying to restore. He sent His only Son to sacrifice His own blood as a propitiation for sin, for whosoever accepts the action, “whom God set forth (to be) a propitiation, through faith, in his blood, to show his righteousness because of the passing over of the sins done afore time, in the forbearance of God” (Rom 3:25 ASV).