Biblical Foundations And History
Christians believe that marriage is considered in its ideal according to the purpose of God. At the heart of God’s design for marriage is companionship and intimacy.
The biblical picture of marriage expands into something much broader, with the husband and wife relationship illustrating the relationship between Christ and the church.
It is also considered in its actual occurrence, sometimes involving failure. Therefore, the Bible speaks on the subject of divorce. The New Testament recognizes a place for singleness. Salvation within Christianity is not dependent on the continuation of a biological lineage.
The Genesis creation account tells the story of when God instituted marriage. This took place after the creation of the first woman, Eve, from Adam, the first man.
Like the adjacent Arabic culture , the act of marriage appears mainly to have consisted of the groom fetching the bride, although among the Israelites the procession was a festive occasion, accompanied by music, dancing, and lights. To celebrate the marriage, week-long feasts were sometimes held.
Since a wife was regarded as property, her husband was originally free to divorce her with little restriction, at any time. A divorced couple could get back together unless the wife had married someone else after her divorce.
A Fantastic Antidote To A Very Real Problem
We cant really miss the point that God views marriage as a sacred and highly exalted relationship! That is what He intended it to be from the beginning. He also from the beginning gave mankind laws that would guarantee happiness as long as His laws were obeyed. Sadly, however, one act of disobedience changed everything, and sin entered Gods good creation. If we are honest, we will quickly admit that it is still sin that destroys relationships, disrupts the harmony of marriage, and causes love to grow cold.
Most people realize that we are born as egotistical, self-centered creatures, with an amazing capacity to look out for ourselves and for our own pleasure. This is a poor recipe for a happy marriage! Jesus offers us a fantastic antidote to this sickness in Luke 9:23. Then He said to them all, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Marriage Is A Covenant
A promise is one thing, but a convent is a promise that also involves God. In the Bible, we learn that marriage is a covenant.
In Malachi 2:14, it says,
Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
It clearly tells us that marriage is a covenant and that God is involved, in fact, God is even a witness of the married couple. Marriage is important to Him, especially in how the spouses treat each other. In this particular set of verses, God is disappointed in how the wife was treated.
In the Bible, we also learn that God does not look fondly on the non-marriage arrangement or living together, which further proves that marriage itself involves making actual promises. In John 4 we read of the woman at the well and her lack of a current husband, though she is living with a man.
In verses 16-18 it says,
Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
What Jesus is saying is that living together isnt the same as marriage in fact marriage must be the result of a covenant or marriage ceremony.
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Scriptural Marriage Is A Covenant
According to Malachi 2:10-15, we learn that marriage is a covenant. Particularly in vs. 14, we read, “Yet ye say, wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth … yet is she they companion, and the wife of thy covenant.” The etymology of the word “covenant,” according to Bible scholars, is somewhat unclear. However, there are very clear ideas about its meaning and this goes a long way in sharpening our understanding of what marriage is according to the Will of God. A covenant rests on a tripod. These are:
Let us briefly examine these essential components of a covenant:
Biblical Roots Of Marriage
According to Sacred Scripture, God instituted marriage as the pinnacle of creation. On the sixth day, in the first creation story, the Book of Genesis tells us: God created man in his image in the divine image he created him male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying: Be fertile and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it .
In the second creation story, God says that it is not good for man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him. . This suitable helpmate was formed from the very rib of man and thus woman was flesh of his flesh .
Woman, then, is mans equal in dignity and the one closest to his heart. Because man and woman were created for one another, a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh . Scripture teaches that marriage is not a mere human institution, but something God established from the foundation of world.
Because marriage is placed within the saving mystery of Jesus Christ, Catholics recognize it as a sacrament. It is a means through which husbands and wives grow in love for one another and for their children, become holy and obtain eternal life.
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Five Marriages To Learn From
These five marriage examples from the Bible are those that didnt begin with romantic first meetings, nor did they have days filled with endless happiness and zero hardships. Each of these marriages either came with challenges, or the couple had to overcome obstacles together that turned their marriages from ordinary to extraordinary.
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God Created Marriage In The Beginning
Its important to note that God initiated this very first marriage in Eden. Marriage comes from God. And His union of Adam and Eve illustrates Gods ideal for marriageone man and one woman joined together in a life-long commitment to each other, working together to form strong, godly families. Obviously, human beings havent always followed that ideal, but Gods way is still the best way.
Mr And Mrs Guy And Amber Lia And Mrs Jean Daly
Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,
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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.
Family Authority And Responsibilities
Much of the dispute hinges on how one interprets the New Testament household code, a term coined by , which has as its main focus hierarchical relationships between three pairs of social classes that were controlled by Roman law: husbands/wives, parents/children, and masters/slaves. The apostolic teachings, with variations, that constitute what has been termed the “household code” occurs in four epistles by the Apostle Paul and in 1 Peter.
In the early Roman Republic, long before the time of Christ, the law of manus along with the concept of patria potestas , gave the husband nearly absolute autocratic power over his wife, children, and slaves, including the power of life and death. In practice, the extreme form of this right was seldom exercised, and it was eventually limited by law.
Theologian Frank Stagg:pp.187ff finds the basic tenets of the code in Aristotle‘s discussion of the household in Book 1 of Politics and in Philo‘s Hypothetica 7.14. Serious study of the New Testament Household Code began with Martin Dilbelius in 1913, with a wide range of studies since then. In a TÃ¼bingen dissertation, by James E. Crouch concludes that the early Christians found in Hellenistic Judaism a code which they adapted and Christianized.
Two of these Christianized codes are found in Ephesians 5 and in Colossians 3, which instructs wives to subordinate themselves to their husbands.
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What Is A Marriage According To Gods Word
We canât really miss the point that God views marriage as a sacred and highly exalted relationship!
God has created all mankind with the ability to thrive and enjoy life, married or not! But for those of us who have chosen marriage, isnt the prospect of a happy life together what motivates us to enter a marriage relationship and promise to love and cherish one another, until death do us part?
As Christians we will at the same time realize that, in order for a marriage to succeed and truly be a happy union, we do well to look to the Bible for some facts and vital guidelines that will help us on our way.
Traditional Protestant Wedding Vows
____,will you have ____ to be your wife, to live together according to Gods order in the holy estate of marriage? Will you love her as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her, will you comfort her, honor and cherish her, and forsaking all others keep yourself only for her, as long as you both shall live? ____– I Will
____, will you have ____ to be your husband, to live together according to Gods order in the holy estate of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, respect and submit to him even as the church submits to Christ, and forsaking all others keep yourself only for him as long as you both shall live? ____– I Will
Exchange of Vows
I ____, take you ____, to be my wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and cherish, until death do us part. This is my solemn vow.
I ____, take you ____, to be my husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, to love and cherish, until death do us part. This is my solemn vow.
Exchange of Rings
With this ring I thee wed: with my body I thee honor: and with all my worldly goods, I thee endow. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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We Can Enrich One Anothers Lives
It is such good news that God has not changed His mind about marriage, in spite of the sin that came into the world through the first couple! His heart yearns for it to succeed for us, and His love has provided us with laws which, if we keep them, will set us free from our human nature so that we can learn to love one another as He loves us. Human nature is a contrary commodity! It takes so little for a slight misunderstanding, a habit that we dont like, a thoughtless word, or a critical look to bring a cloud over our relationships. Human nature is so easily offended!
But, thankfully, we have Gods Word and laws to help us. If we follow, for example, the words of Colossians 3:12-14, we have good hope for a happy and fulfilling relationship the way God intended it to be.
Therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering bearing with one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all things, put on love, which is the bond of perfection. This does not mean that we will always agree or hold the same viewpoint on every matter. God has created us as individuals with different personalities and ways of thinking. But we can encourage one another according to Gods laws of humility, kindness, and mercy. In this way we can enrich one anothers lives and be the true helpmeets for one another that God intended us to be.
God Instituted Marriage And Blessed It
Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled . We have already seen that God performed the very first wedding at the end of Creation week and blessed the new couple . Marriage is something that God Himself instituted and blessed. This is important, because it tells us that marriage is a good thing. It is one of the blessings that God has given us from the very beginning.
The Bible puts it like this: From the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, . . . Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate .
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Giving Up Sugar Tasting God’s Goodness
As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still pedaling away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.
Traditional Marriage Vows: What They Mean And Why Theyre Still Important
I was in the middle of performing a wedding ceremony when my daughter Annie, who was 9 at the time, started frantically waving at me.
Since she was a junior bridesmaid, Annie was standing up front with the bride, the groom and one confused father.
What could possibly be so important that Annie needed to interrupt the wedding? I gave her a look that silently communicated What?
And then she mouthed the words, Im bored. Apparently, my wedding sermon wasnt interesting enough for her.
But the best part was yet to come: the vows. Theres nothing boring about the traditional marriage vows that have been around for centuries and usually end up meaning even more to couples later in their marriage than on the day of the wedding.
These days, some couples write their own vows including humorous ones to make their audience laugh. But vows like Ill love you as much as I love my dog and I promise to like your selfie within a reasonable time frame dont quite meet the depth and meaning of till death do us part.
If youre planning to marry, take a close look at the meaning of your vows. And if youve been married a long time, why not revisit your promises to each other? Maybe you can even recite them again at a special anniversary.
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Submission And Respect Must Be There
Firstly, its all about respect. Ephesians 5:33: Nevertheless each of you must also love his own wife even as himself let the wife see that she respects her husband.
If you cant even respect each other, what makes you think that this marriage would work, let alone one based on faith?