TRADITIONS OF THE ELDERS
One of the challenges Jesus faced during His earthly ministry was the tradition of the elders. Most times tradition of the fathers amounted to doing what is right with the wrong motive and the fear of man. Sometimes it was to boost ego, chauvinism or suppress the freewill of the weaker sex and assert that it is a man’s world.
5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”
6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.
7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
8 “For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men–the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” (NKJV)
Through the cosmic world system under his control, Satan has used basic human needs and desires to create avenues for caging mankind. This fiendish weapon is unleashed most successfully in family life. Traditional society has evolved taboos that haunt people throughout their life-time.
You must have a spouse. It is a taboo to be single. A woman without a husband carries a social stigma.
You must have a male child to perpetuate your name. If you have only female children, you have no heir. If you have only a son, you are virtually childless.
A woman without a male issue has not established her place in her husband’s house. Hence, a barren woman can ‘marry’ another woman for her dead or living husband.
At age forty, a man without a wife is regarded as a failure regardless of his achievements and career placement. Consequently, it is not unheard of for kinsmen to force the issue by marrying a woman for a man living abroad and sending her to him in the similitude of a parcel.
A barren man has no excuse for not having children. In some places, ‘fatherhood’ is based on payment of bride price and not the presence or availability of a man. In other words, a child belongs to the man who paid the dowry even when it is clear to all that another man impregnated the woman.
The child of an unmarried daughter belongs to her father hence fathers without male children encourage their daughters to bear children outside of marriage. There is nothing like bastard in traditional society.
A man can inherit the wife of his brother for the purpose of raising children in the name of the deceased – an Old Testament concept that has since been abolished. It is still the practice in some communities.
It is possible to marry for an underage boy and hand the woman over to a ‘caretaker’ to raise children on behalf of the ‘unripe’ husband until he comes of age with the capacity of assuming the duties of a husband. It is called concubinage.
When Adam fell God did not cancel libido. People must be born before they can be saved. Hence marriage is honourable. But in this end-time it can be a distraction from destiny pursuit. Apostle Paul said: I wish all men were as I am. “I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that” (1 Cor 7:7 NKJV). Apostle Paul had no biological child but I am not aware of anyone who has more children in the Lord than he had and continues to have. It is the tradition of the elders that insists that everyone must be married.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor”(Eccl 4:9 NKJV). This is true especially for marriages that follow due process. Besides, there are ministries that cannot be fulfilled fully without marital partnership. Also, people of marriageable age should marry if they cannot contain libidinal pressure and miss out from entering heaven.
Children are a heritage from the Lord. However, having children without clear leading of the Lord can lead to marital disaster. In this end-time period bringing children into the world can be dangerous.
A Christian parent who fails through negligence or ignorance to bring up a child in the fear and nurture of the Lord can be disqualified from entering heaven if the child ends up in hellfire. The command to replenish the earth cannot be accomplished in this dispensation: it will take the physical presence of the lord on earth to do so during the millennium.
Marriage is still honourable but be sure you are a child of God and hear clearly from the Lord before jumping into it. A marriage joined by God is for companionship in destiny pursuit and fulfilment. Be sure to hear from the Lord before embarking on childbearing.
There is no prize in heaven for getting married. A marriage even when joined by God has problems associated with the fallen nature of mankind. A marriage not joined by God has in addition abnormal problems with the capacity for creating disaster in the marital union.
There is no prize in heaven for having a quiver full of children. “Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Unsaved children can attract chastisement or even outright rejection of their parents in heaven.
1 Cor 7:32 But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord–how he may please the Lord.
33 But he who is married cares about the things of the world–how he may please his wife.
34 There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world–how she may please her husband.
35 And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction. (NKJV)
It is good to serve the Lord without marital distraction and reap a huge dividend of reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is also good to marry and have children if you are walking and working with the Lord.