So he departed from there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah, and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.”
And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?”
So Elisha turned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant. 1 King 19:19-21
In the biblical account of Elijah, we see a bold, faithful and loyal prophet of God who was used mightily by God in his time. Elijah set a standard on how to follow God’s instructions and God in turn used him a great deal against the evil of false gods in his time. When it was time for Elijah to transition his office as a prophet, God told him to anoint Elisha among other people. Elisha was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen when Elijah approached him and threw his cloak on Elisha. The next action demonstrated by Elisha is a very important step when venturing on a new endeavored and I believe if more couple take this step when starting the marriage journey, more marriages will flourish.
“Eliminate all other options and murder any thought of fear or failure”.
This is exactly what Elisha did. Scriptures expresses that the first thing Elisha did was to burn any option of ever coming back. Elisha kissed his parents fair well, slaughtered his oxen and burnt his plow. I can imagine the advice people may have given Elisha. How are you sure you will succeed as a prophet, why don’t you keep these oxen to have something to fall back to. For couples, this advice sounds like this, how are you so sure your marriage will succeed? Why don’t you have a prenuptial agreement so that you can have something to fall back to? The reverse was probably what was going through Elisha’s mind, the only way I will succeed is if I eliminate every distraction, he must have thought to himself. The only way forward is to succeed as a prophet. Couples need to take this actions as well when starting the marriage journey.
“You see when it comes to marriage, you must kiss singleness good bye, burn the option of divorce and slaughter any fear of failure else the thought that you married the wrong person will creep in to create an option for your to fall back to”
Embracing this option beginnings to suffocate your marriage. We all know the effect of suffocation or lack of oxygen in the human circulatory system. The body starts to shut down. When you embrace the option the thought that you married the wrong person provides, you stop seeing the opportunities and potential in your marriage. Everything in your marriage starts to shut down. Allowing this thought to continue has the potential to lead to divorce if embraced. You should go into marriage convinced of the fact that divorce is not an option. This fact alone will force you to take necessary actions to ensure a successful marriage. Please understand that I am not merely suggesting that you have wishful thinking that divorce is not an option and expect that you are speaking the language of burning all options that may lead to divorce. It is one things to wish or want to graduate with a summa cum laude GPA and it is another thing to put in the work and effort need to ensure this is the case. If you say and believe divorce is not an option, you will take the necessary actions and steps to ensure this is the case.
With that being said, I am asking that you assess your situation differently by looking deeper. What will you do differently if divorce was not an option? I once asked a young lady who was considering divorce and she expressed, if divorce was not an option I guess I will find a way to figure things out. I am just tired of feeling miserable, the young lady expressed. Exactly my point and you can ask God to show you how I further expressed.
Another time that this language was communicated was in 1519 by Captain Hernán Cortés. He clearly spoke in Elisha’s language to his men when he expressed these words “burn the ship”. They had just landed in Veracruz to begin their great conquest when Captain Cortés gave this order. This action communicated one message to his men, we don’t have any option but to move forward with our mission. Regardless of the strength of the opposition we can’t retreat. With fear the men burnt all their ships and went on to engage in one of the greatest conquest escapades in history. This was largely possible because the men understood clearly that the only way to victory was ahead. They had to fight their way through. You have to fight your way through to the marriage you desire. Just like the men understood that retreat was not an option, understand that divorce is not an option. The men had no time to second guess themselves and rethink their action. Don’t waste time second guessing your decision to marry your spouse.
As always, marriage is a journey and not a destination. The bible is the blue print while the Holy Spirit is the GPS you need.