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What Does God Say About Marriage In The Bible

Other Reasons For Divorce

What Does the Bible have to Say About Marriage?

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

If an unbeliever abandons the marriage, the other partner is freed from the marriage bond ” rel=”nofollow”> 1 Corinthians 7:15).

The Bible does not have a specific teaching about other intolerable situations. But if one partner seriously violates the marriage contract, as by physical/emotional/sexual abuse, illegal activity, financial irresponsibility, etc., the marriage contract has been unilaterally broken. The other partner must take whatever actions are necessary to escape from the situation and to protect self and children. Reconciliation is preferable, but if that is not possible, different church denominations have different procedures for formally ending the marriage.

Navigating A Toxic Culture With Your Daughter

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social mediaand many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

The Meaning And Purpose Of Marriage

There is also an increasing amount of confusion in our culture on the meaning and purpose of marriage. For example, here are some lies that the culture around us says about marriage:

  • Marriage is an old social custom, created by humans.
  • If I choose the right mate, I will have fewer problems.
  • Choosing to not marry will avoid relationship problems.
  • My marriage or my spouse should make me happy.
  • Divorce is sometimes the only option.

Sadly, the confusion and misunderstandings about marriage have unraveled the beautiful fabric of what God wove together and have distorted the glad harmony and loving, submissive environment that God designed marriage to be.

But if we are honest, even those of us that have a more traditional view are also trying to wade through the messiness of relationships. Because of these things, many of us well know what marriage is not but what is it? Or more than that, what is the biblical definition of marriage?

While we could look to many passages throughout Scripture to answer this question, we will go to the Book of Genesis to see this simple understanding: God gave us marriage to enjoy and display the gospel.

In the very beginning, God formed the first man, Adam, out of the dust and set him over the Garden of Eden. But soon enough, God declared that it is not good that the man should be alone I will make him a helper fit for him . Adam needed Eve and the nature of humanity required women.

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Dating And Choosing A Spouse

The Israelites were prohibited from intermarrying with the pagan peoples who surrounded them ” rel=”nofollow”> Deuteronomy 7:1-4), and the apostle Paul advised Christians to marry only other believers ” rel=”nofollow”> 1 Corinthians 7:39, ). However, an already married Christian should not divorce a nonbelieving spouse ” rel=”nofollow”> 1 Corinthians 7:12-16).

There is no indication in the Bible that we are predestined to marry a certain person or that there is one special person or “soul mate” that we should find and marry. Except for the preference to marry another Christian, we are free to marry whomever we wish ” rel=”nofollow”> 1 Corinthians 7:39).

Does The Bible Say I Should Separate From My Non

What Does the Bible Say About Marriage and Divorce?

To the rest I say I and not the Lord that if any believer has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. And if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

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It Isnt Always Gods Will

Perhaps the most surprising thing the Bible says about marriage is that it should not and will not be experienced by everyone.

In the Old Testament there are many heroes of the faith who were unmarried. Some were unmarried because God forbade them to marry we think of Jeremiah for example. Others were unmarried because they were made eunuchs by hostile foreign powers. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego come to mind in this category.

Jesus spoke about these things in Matthew 19. In answer to the disciples response to his teaching on the permanence of marriage he said:

Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.

Here Jesus seems to be saying that God gives the grace to serve him in whatever capacity he calls people to. If a person is called to celibacy then God gives grace for that. If a person is called to marriage, God gives grace for that as well. The disciple must receive what God gives and do what God requires.

Whatever that it is.

The Apostle Paul was evidently influenced by that teaching. In his chapter long discussion of marriage in 1 Corinthians 7 he says:

I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.


It Should Be A Place Of Permission Generosity And Joy

The first marriage was a place of innocence, openness and joy:

the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

After the fall that is a very difficult state to attain.

The Bibles view on sexuality is rather straight forward. Basically the Bible says that sex is beautiful within certain boundaries and typically brutal and dehumanizing outside of those boundaries.

That is a simple view and a controversial view and it always has been. Sex has always been one of the main points of departure between the Christian community and the surrounding culture, and not just in the ways you might think. The caricature of Christian sexual ethics would suggest that we are prudes who say NO more than we say YES but that isnt actually the point of departure. In fact one of the most radical things the Bible says about anything is what Paul says about the anticipated frequency and reciprocity of sex within a marriage. In 1 Corinthians 7:3-4 the Apostle Paul says:

The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

That should be more widely known than it is.

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What Does The Bible Say About Marriage

It is good

One of the things the Bible says about marriage is that it is good. The book of ancient wisdom called Proverbs puts it this way: He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord . Presumably, she who finds a husband also finds what is good.

Again, this makes sense in light of human nature and our inclination toward being in relationship with others, including this most intimate of human relationships. The marriage relationship is a life-long commitment . All things being equal, weddings are generally a time of celebration.

In some liturgies, the wedding at Cana where Jesus turned water into wine is mentioned as another divine endorsement of marriage. If God was behind marriage when the world was perfect and the specter of arguments and divorce was absent, the wedding at Cana shows us God still endorsing marriage even in our broken world. It is good, and it is worth celebrating.

It is a mystery

Of all the things one could say about marriage, one apt description is that it is a mystery. Its a mystery in a least two ways. First, despite our cultures fractious relationship with marriage, the vast majority of people are still drawn towards making the public and lifelong commitment that is marriage.

It isnt for everyone

In other words, some people may decide to stay single to maintain an unswerving focus on the kingdom. Paul puts it this way:

Its not perfect

It should be protected

Its a partnership

Key Passages And Exceptions Where Is Divorce Is Allowed

Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage, what does the Bible say?


There are two clear biblical reasons where divorce is allowed. The first one being adultery/sexual immorality.

It has been said, Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce. But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Matthew 5:31-32

Malachi 2:16 states that the man who hates and divorces his wife, says the Lord, the God of Israel, does violence to the one he should protect, says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful. Moses teaching on divorce was this:

If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord. Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. Deuteronomy 24:1-4


The first paragraph of this passage clearly indicates that Gods desire is that married couples stay together even through disagreements and difficulties in the marriage.

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Praying Scripture Over Your Childs Life

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. Shes been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Paul On Divorce And Remarriage:

Romans 7:1-3

Or do you not know, brethren , that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.

1 Corinthians 7:10-11

Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.

It is very clear from Gods Word that He has instituted marriage to be between one man and one woman, and that the marriage contract is binding as long as both partners are alive. Even though the Bible does open for divorce in some cases, it also makes it very clear that this does not lift the commitment to faithfulness for either partner, and they may not remarry as long as the other partner is still alive.

knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20-21.

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Does God Require Married Couples Today To Have Children

No. In the past, God commanded some of his worshippers to have children. But Christians are not bound by that instruction. Jesus never commanded his followers to have children. Neither did any of his early disciples say that married couples must have children. Couples can decide for themselves whether they will raise a family.

The Forced Marriage Of Rachel To Jacob

What does the Bible say about interfaith marriage? (Part 1 ...

In Genesis chapter 29 we read of the story of how Jacob married Rachel and again we see forced marriage illustrated:

15 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?

16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah was tender eyed but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. 18 And Jacob loved Rachel and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.

19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.

In Genesis 29:15-19

Note here that Rachels consent was never asked for by her father or by Jacob. A lot of Christian books try turn the Jacob and Rachel story here into a premarital romance. But nothing in the text paints this picture. They will point to this passage below when Jacob first meets Rachel as proof of their premarital romance theory:

10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mothers brother, and the sheep of Laban his mothers brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the wells mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mothers brother. 11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.

Genesis 29:10-11

Genesis 29:12-13

Greet one another with an holy kiss.

2 Corinthians 13:12

Sorry folks but we have to poor some cold water on your premarital romance parade.

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Society The Church And Same Sex Marriages

is a fundamental social institution that does not exist just for the emotional satisfaction of two individuals but for the greater good of the community which stands under the blessing or curse of God. Societies that put emotional fulfillment before right actions and principles will soon give way to a multitude of addictions and deep corruptions and collapse. God will judge any society that institutes same sex marriages.

I also believe that God will judge a society that permits adoption of children or the use of sperm banks by same sex couples. His Word stands over society and when it is deliberately flaunted in the name of progress and enlightenment, then it is not light but deep darkness that results. We cannot bend the principles of Gods Word to suit vocal minority groups. While some nations may enact laws permitting these evils, the true church of God must stand resolutely firm and never allow the sanctioning of same sex marriages by Christian clergy. No church that takes the Bible seriously can sanction a union between homosexuals or lesbians.

Author: John Edmiston. Provided by Films for Christ. Used with permission.

Multiple Partners Or Faithfulness To One Partner

Despite todays freer sexual atmosphere, the Biblical and spiritual ideal is still a long-term, committed, monogamous relationship. Most commonly, this means committed and faithful For more on marriage and its spiritual source and foundation, see the article, How does Marriage Fit In with a Spiritual Life? Is There Marriage in Heaven?

Its just as true as it ever was that if you sleep around and engage in promiscuous sex with many partners, youre heading for trouble both spiritually and in your prospects for genuine romantic and marital relationships. Marriage is based on mutual love, commitment, and trust between two people. It cannot coexist with promiscuity and casual sex with multiple partners.

In other words, as I said earlier, if you think there is nothing wrong with promiscuous and even adulterous relationships, and just want to sleep around with no restrictions or boundaries, thats a serious issue. It will ultimately destroy your prospects for a real marriage.

However, as I also said earlier, if you value marriage and want to be in a committed, monogamous relationship, sex before marriage is not such a serious issue. Your longing for a real marriage relationship will move you in that direction if you remain committed to it.

Does this mean that theres no problem at all with premarital sex from a spiritual perspective?

No, it doesnt mean that.

Both spiritually and socially, premarital sex still carries risks.

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Biblical Vs Worldy View Of Marriage

Lie 1: If youre not compatible, you may have married the wrong person.

Gods truth says that marriage is a covenant relationship. Once you choose to marry, its no longer up for debate as to whether your spouse is the right one. Marriage makes them the right one, for its a commitment before God. Its never to be based on shifting feelings, but a choice every day to love the spouse youve chosen to marry. In a world that often prefers to trade in for an updated version, this truth doesnt make sense. But according to Gods Word its very clear.

“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Lie 2: If youre not happy, dont stay in an unhappy situation. You deserve more.

For many of us, marriage can tend to bring our selfishness out like nothing else. We want our way. We insist on our rights. We want our spouse to make us happy, and right now! In the midst of demands, well never be free to truly love and serve one another. Our focus will tend to be one-sided our side and what we want. Yet Gods goal for marriage was not just to make us happy. The truest picture of marriage is that it symbolizes the love of Christ for us. And His desire for us all is that we be made more into the image of Himself.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Lie 3: Marriage is a 50/50 relationship.


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