Significance Of Biblical Marriage
So, the right definition of marriage matters… a lot! When God, who created us and knows us, created marriage, he created it for our enjoyment and to display the gospel. It is one of the countless ways that God expresses his grace and love to us.
And because of that, a couple that is focused on God will naturally have a more blessed marriage because they are bound together by the strong three strands that Solomon talks about in Ecclesiastes 4:12: The husband, the wife, and God.
Robert Hampshire is a pastor, teacher, writer, and leader. He has been married to Rebecca since 2008 and has three children, Brooklyn, Bryson, and Abram. Robert attended North Greenville University in South Carolina for his undergraduate and Liberty University in Virginia for his Masters. He has served in a variety of roles as a worship pastor, youth pastor, family pastor, church planter, and now Pastor of Worship and Discipleship at Cheraw First Baptist Church in South Carolina. He furthers his ministry through his blog site, Faithful Thinking. His life goal is to serve God and His Church by reaching the lost with the gospel, making devoted disciples, equipping and empowering others to go further in their faith and calling, and leading a culture of multiplication for the glory of God. Find out more about him here.
What God Has Joined Together
The LORD God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. – Genesis 2:18
Marriage continues to be the most beautiful ceremony we engage in. This is because within marriage we find deep and wonderful meaning. We see the beginning of a new life and an adventure of two people joining their lives together, entwining their hearts as one in the presence of God, friends, and family. It is the highest of vows. Near the end of a traditional marriage ceremony, we often hear the phrase, Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. This phrase, drawn from the words of Jesus in Matthew 19:6, reminds us that marriage is a covenant initiated by God, which we agree to join into. When we commit to a covenant marriage, we are joining our hearts together in a supernatural way that only God can orchestrate.
Marriage Is Ordained Of God
Its clear that God not only approves of biblical marriagehe hopes all will enter into this holy and sacred institution. He promotes it as it is part of his plan for his children. In Hebrews 13:4 it says, Marriage is honourable. Its clear that God wants us to aspire to holy matrimony.
Then in Matthew 19:5-6, it says,
And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Here we see that marriage isnt just something man made up, but something God hath joined together. At the appropriate age, He wants us to leave our parents and marry, becoming one flesh which can be interpreted as one entity. In the physical sense, this means sexual intercourse, but in the spiritual sense, this means loving each other and giving to each other.
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Positions On Biblical Marriage
There are three commonly held beliefs about what constitutes a marriage in the eyes of God:
Pray To Save Marriage
Unfortunately, a lot of Christian married couples find themselves like Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane praying that God would take this cup of marriage away from them. They are asking for deliverance from their husbands or wives. God would rather we come to our Garden of Gethsemane praying the prayer for marriage restoration instead.
Paul tells us in Colossians 3:18-19,Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands love your wives and be not bitter against them.Paul also tells us in 1 Corinthians 7: 10-11: And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she departs, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
God wants us to fight for our marriages, this is His perfect will for His people. If you want to have a successful marriage you must have a successful prayer life.
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Definition Of Marriage In The Bible: Different Prayer Aspects
God has provided text in His word we can use in the prayer for marriage restoration, text such as these.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Confession and open communication are very important any relationship, coupled with prayer this is a must for any marriage. The Bible also tells us about forgiveness, which is very important for marriage restoration:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
God has ordained marriage and family from the beginning with Adam and Eve, Cain and Able. Always remember definition of marriage in the Bible. We as Christians should not be looking for ways out of our marriages, instead we need to be seeking God for the Grace and Wisdom needed to make them work, and that all starts with the prayer for marriage restoration.
Disclaimer About What Does The Bible Say About Marriage
We are going to look at seven truths about what the Bible says about marriage. But before we dive into that we need to be on the same page. In this article we will be looking at marriage through a Biblical lens. If you are not a Christian then there will obviously be disagreement. Thats okay.
If you are not following Jesus, what the Bible says about marriage shouldnt be the primary question that should concern you. Instead you should wrestle through who Jesus is, what Jesus did, and what impact that holds for you. That comes first.
I say that because many Christians try to force a Christian ethic upon non-Christians. I dont want to do this in this article. I dont think thats right or what Jesus did. Figure out who Jesus is first. The rest will follow. More about that here:Following Jesus
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New Testament Beyond The Gospels
Saint Paul Writing His Epistles
The Apostle Paul quoted passages from Genesis almost verbatim in two of his New Testament books. He used marriage not only to describe the kingdom of God, as Jesus had done, but to define also the nature of the 1st-century Christian church. His theological view was a Christian development of the Old Testament parallel between marriage and the relationship between God and Israel. He analogized the church as a bride and Christ as the bridegroomâdrawing parallels between Christian marriage and the relationship between Christ and the Church.
There is no hint in the New Testament that Jesus was ever married, and no clear evidence that Paul was ever married. However, both Jesus and Paul seem to view marriage as a legitimate calling from God for Christians. Paul elevates singleness to that of the preferable position, but does offer a caveat suggesting this is “because of the impending crisis”âwhich could itself extend to present times . Paul’s primary issue was that marriage adds concerns to one’s life that detract from their ability to serve God without distraction.
Some scholars have speculated that Paul may have been a widower since prior to his conversion to Christianity he was a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin, positions in which the social norm of the day required the men to be married. But it is just as likely that he never married at all.
A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well.
What Is Biblical Marriage Foundations Definition And Principles
What is marriage?
Its a question the Bible holds the keys to because God created marriage and revealed it in Scripture.
Given the confusion in our culture and in our churches, agreeing upon the basic meaning of marriage is no longer a given. The very definition of marriage is of utmost concern. A clear definition of terms is needed. As David J. Ayers begins in Christian Marriage: A Comprehensive Introduction, If you try to talk about something but you cannot clearly define it, you literally dont know what you are talking about!
To elaborate on a robust Christian understanding of marriage, Ayers begins with some biblical foundations from which he derives essential principles to build a definition.
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The Bible Defines Marriage As A Covenant
God sketched his original plan for marriage in Genesis 2:24 when one man and one woman united together to become one flesh:
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
In Malachi 2:14, marriage is described as is a holy covenant before God. In the Jewish custom, God’s people signed a written agreement at the time of the marriage to seal the covenant. The marriage ceremony, therefore, is meant to be a public demonstration of a couple’s commitment to a covenant relationship. It’s not the “ceremony” that’s important it’s the couple’s covenant commitment before God and men.
It’s interesting to carefully consider the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony and the “Ketubah” or marriage contract, which is read in the original Aramaic language. The husband accepts certain marital responsibilities, such as the provision of food, shelter, and clothing for his wife, and promises to care for her emotional needs as well.
This contract is so important that the marriage ceremony is not complete until the groom signs it and presents it to the bride. This demonstrates that both husband and wife see marriage as more than just a physical and emotional union, but also as a moral and legal commitment.
For Christians, marriage goes beyond the earthly covenant also, as a divine picture of the relationship between Christ and his Bride, the Church. It is a spiritual representation of our relationship with God.
What Is The Meaning Of Covenant Marriage
In non-biblical terms, a covenant is essentially a legal, binding agreement. When you get married, take out a loan, lease a house, or sign a document, you are entering into a type of covenant: an agreement in which both parties make certain promises to one another. In biblical terms, a covenant between God and people holds great significance and forms the foundation of how God interacts with people. When we approach marriage as a covenant, we are truly making a lifelong commitment, a joining and binding contract that cannot be broken, and only grows stronger and more meaningful with time.
A Covenant Marriage in Legal Terms:From a legal perspective and not to be confused with covenant marriage in the Bible, there is a type of marriage in Arizona, Arkansas, and Louisiana referred to as covenant marriage. This legal term of covenant marriage and the laws that accompany it basically give the couple an opportunity to limit the grounds for divorce at the time of their marriage or later. There are also usually requirements before marriage such as premarital counseling and signing a specific license for covenant marriage. The point of this type of marriage, legally, is to make divorce more difficult. Traditional marriages require a license and two witnesses, there are no limitations in place to make divorce more difficult. Only one to two percent of couples in these three states choose this type of marriage compared to traditional marriage.
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What Is Biblical Marriage
The topic of Biblical marriage has been on my mind for some time now. Society teaches us that marriage takes place when the Pastor says “I now pronounce you husband and wife”. Is this Biblical? The Bible tells us that God joins two people in marriage: “Mat 19:6 … What therefore God hath joined together, … .” With that in mind, one must question whether Biblical Marriage takes place at the point of ceremony or at some other point in time. Does God join two people in marriage just because a man or woman with a license declares them to be married? Does God submit to the commands of man, or does man submit to the rules of God? Does man decide what makes two people married or does God decide? It seems absurd to even ask such questions. Of course the One who created us decides what constitutes marriage.We can be sure of this fact by simply reading our Bibles. Adam and Eve were married. The Bible tells us that Eve was the wife of Adam
“Gen 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”King James Bible
At this point there were only two humans alive. Therefore, their marriage took place without the aid of another person. They were joined by God. But how? We can get the answer by reading Genesis 2:24.
“Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”King James Bible
Jesus made reference to this same verse when discussing marriage in Matthew chapter 19.
Biblical Traits Of A Good Husband Or Wife
Proverbs 31 has been called a description of The Ideal Wife. And its true that the chapter, as written, focuses on the wife. But in reality the ideal qualities given in this chapter apply equally to a husband as well as to a wife.
So how does the Bible define a good wife ? Here is a list of characteristics based on Proverbs 31. Look up the verses and see for yourself how they are described. Can you find other qualities in this chapter that are not listed here?
- A positive outlook that brings out the best in ones spouse
- Provides for the household
- Compassionate and aware of others peoples needs
- Is a credit to ones spouse in the community
- Loved and respected by the children and by ones spouse
- Has a good reputation outside the home
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Top 10 Bible Verses About Marriage
The Bible has a lot to say about marriage, so lets make a Top Ten List of the most important Bible texts about marriageand then look at each one more closely.
1) Mark 10:6-9 = God instituted marriage and gives it His blessing.
2) Genesis 2:18 = God created humans with an innate need and desire for the close bond that marriage provides.
3) Genesis 2:23, 24 = Husband and wife become one in the marriage bond.
4) Ecclesiastes 9:9 = Marriage is a lifelong commitment.
5) Ephesians 5:28, 33 = Husbands and wives are to love and respect each other.
6) II Corinthians 6:14 = Husbands and wives should be bonded together with a similarity of beliefs, goals, and objectives.
7) Exodus 20:17 = Husbands and wives are to be sexually faithful to each other in the marriage relationship.
8) Matthew 5:32 = Adultery is the only biblically acceptable reason for divorce.
9) Isaiah 62:5 = An ideal marriage relationship mirrors Gods loving relationship with His people.
10) Proverbs 31:10 = A strong marriage relationship is a precious thing.
The Blessing Of Obedience
Here are some justifications people give to say marriage should not be required:
- “If we marry, we’ll lose financial benefits.”
- “I have bad credit. Getting married will ruin my spouse’s credit.”
- “A piece of paper won’t make any difference. It’s our love and private commitment to each other that matters.”
“You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God.”
Stepping out in faith requires trust in the Master as we follow his will. Nothing we give up for the sake of obedience will compare to the blessings and joy of obeying.
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A Biblical View Of Marriage
The biblical view of marriage is of a God-given, voluntary, sexual and public social union of one man and one woman, from different families, for the purpose of serving God.
This study will comprise three main parts. First, we consider what kind of thing marriage is. This may seem a strange beginning, but it is foundational to our study. Next, we discuss the point or purpose of marriage. Finally, we ask the definitional question: what is marriage?
The Purpose Of Marriage
It is both theologically important and pastorally helpful to ask the question, For what purpose has God created marriage? We naturally begin by asking what hopes and ambitions a particular couple may have as they enter into marriage. But before we do this, it is foundational to ask why God has created the marriage institution. The Bible teaches three main answers to this question. But before we consider them, we should note one over-arching theme: the service of God in his world.
In Genesis 2:15, The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. The man is the gardener his is the guardian and the farmer in Gods garden. In this context we read in Genesis 2:18, Then the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone I will make a helper fit for him. A careful study of Scripture establishes what the context here suggests, which is that the problem with the mans aloneness is not a relational loneliness but rather that there is too great a task to be achieved the man needs, not so much a companion or a lover but a helper to work alongside him in the guarding and farming of the garden .
Under this over-arching heading of the service of God we may place the three traditional biblical goods of marriage: procreation, intimacy, and social order.