What Does The Bible Teach About Marriage?
The Bible teaches that marriage is a lifelong covenant between a man and woman where they leave their parents and unite together to become one flesh. Believers should recognize marriage as created by God and understand its definition, roles, functions and restrictions. Each believer should desire to build a God-glorifying marriage through following the example of the relationship between Christ and the church.
The Establishment Of Marriage
- The Creation of Marriage: God created marriage on the sixth day of creation. He created man, but said it is not good that the man should be alone. Then He made woman from the rib of the man and brought her unto the man. This created a new relationship, that of a husband and wife.
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-23, 25
- The Definition of Marriage: God defined marriage through creating two genders and stating the following process—one male and one female will leave their parents, cleave unto each other and become one flesh. This means that a couple makes a decision to leave their parents, cling to each other in such a way that they should never be separated, and to be sexually active with each other, symbolizing that two people have become one family unit.
Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-5
- The Roles of Marriage: A husband and wife are to properly serve each other in the roles that God has established. The husband is the loving leader in the relationship. He is to be the example of love by nourishing, cherishing and leading his wife. The wife is the submissive helper in the relationship. She is to willingly place herself under the loving leadership of her husband, respectfully serving and helping him.
- The Functions of Marriage: Marriage is designed to create the proper relationship between a male and female. It provides the God-designed companionship that we need. It functions as the means to procreate and raise a family. It symbolizes the relationship between Christ and the church.
Genesis 1:28; 2:18; Ephesians 6:1-4; 5:31-32
- The Restrictions of Marriage: Marriage is only between a man and a woman and cannot be between those of the same gender. Marriage is between one man and one wife and not between many spouses. Marriage is a lifelong commitment, meant only to be broken by the death of a spouse.
Questions About Marriage
- Should believers marry? Every believer should have a desire to fulfill God’s biblical plan for marriage unless they desire to remain single to serve the Lord. Believers are also encouraged to marry, but are only permitted to marry other believers.
1 Corinthians 7:7, 25-38; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Matthew 19:10-12
- Should believers have sex before marriage or outside of marriage? Sexual activity is only permitted in the marriage relationship, and therefore if one desires this they should seek marriage. In marriage, each spouse should have their sexual desire met and they should not withhold sex from the other person.
1 Corinthians 7:1-5; 2 Timothy 2:22
- Should believers divorce? God hates divorce. Divorce means that one or both spouses are not fulfilling their role in marriage as God designed it. God never sanctions divorce in the Bible, but He does allow it for two reasons: (1) for fornication, (2) the spouse is an unbeliever who wants a divorce. To divorce and remarry outside of this would be to commit adultery. Jesus said, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
Matthew 5:31-32; 19:3-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 7:10, 12-16; 27-28; Malachi 2:13-16
- Should believers remarry? Believers should desire to stay married to their spouse. If they do get divorced, they should remain unmarried or be reconciled to their spouse. Believers are permitted to get remarried if: (1) their spouse dies, (2) they divorce because of fornication, or (3) because of an unbelieving spouse.
1 Corinthians 7:8-9, 11, 39-40
Building A Great Marriage
- See your marriage as honorable and be faithful to your spouse. You should have a high view of marriage and choose to be faithful to your spouse, not committing any sexual sins outside of this relationship (sex with another person, pornography, etc.).
Hebrews 13:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7; 1 Corinthians 6:15-20
- Forgive your spouse when they wrong you. Don’t sin when you get angry but seek reconciliation that day. Try to forget their wrongdoing and don’t bring it back up after it is forgiven. You can forgive your spouse because you are forgiven by God.
Colossians 3:13; Ephesians 4:26, 32
- Love your spouse even if they don’t express it back. God loved you first even though you didn’t deserve His love. He took the initiative to love you. You can love your spouse because you are loved by God.
1 John 4:8-11
- Prefer your spouse over yourself. Selfishness is being more concerned with your own benefit or pleasure more than you are with others. It means that you don’t consider the needs of your spouse. Jesus preferred you over His own life when He died on the cross, therefore, you can prefer your spouse over yourself.
- Be a minster of grace to your sinful spouse. Your spouse is a sinner and will always be a sinner until he/she dies. You have an amazing opportunity to minister grace to him/her, the same grace that God showed to you.
- Who created marriage and what is the definition of it?
- What are the roles and functions of marriage?
- Should believers get divorced? Why or why not?
- Should believers get remarried? Why or why not?
- How can I build a great marriage?