What Does the Bible Say About Marriage?
I’m incredibly tentative on sexuality, sexual morality as they pertain to private contracts in public policy. That’s a level of legislation and intense philosophical discussion I’m not entirely certain about at this time nor do I have time to pursue that right now. People get offended anyway and no one is happy. I err on the side of religious freedom and that in secular and government matters, which by default not godly matters, everyone should be treated equal. Meaning, simply, that just because the state considers a man and a woman married does not mean that God sees the couple as married in His eyes, nor does a marriage that God approves need be licensed by the state to be approved by God. Yahweh does not wait for the paperwork to be filed by the county clerk. That said, I usually stand by an interpretation of the Bible, Christian doctrine, that is more or less in the tradition I was raised, American Baptist, Lutheran, Protestant, non-denominational, what have you.
So this work, near as I can tell completely written by Dee Velez, appears meaningful to me. She posted it on her Facebook on the 18th of June 2014. I cleaned up the style and visual organization but kept the original spelling and grammar. If she comes by and actually sees this, I take credit for none of it. She owns all copyright that I know of, and I used it completely without permission without any intention of seeking profit.
What Does the Bible Says About Marriage?
Obviously, we can’t cover all 500-plus verses, so we’ll just look at a few key passages. I hope you will read the selected verses with an open mind, consider the analysis, ask your own questions of the heart, and then come to your own conclusions.
Genesis 2:18, 21-24
The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’…and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh.
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. (NIV)
Here we see the first wedding. We can conclude from this account in Genesis that marriage is God’s idea, designed and instituted by the Creator. In these verses we also discover that at the heart of God’s design for marriage is companionship and intimacy.
What Does the Bible Say?
- Marriage was designed for companionship and intimacy.
An Illustration of Marriage
For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything.
And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church. And we are his body.
As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. (NLT)
The picture of marriage expands into something much broader, with the husband and wife relationship illustrating the relationship between Jesus Christ and the church. Husbands are urged to lay down their lives in sacrificial love and protection. And in this safe and cherished embrace of a loving husband, what wife would not be willing to submit to his leadership?
What Does the Bible Say?
- Husbands – love and sacrifice.
- Wives – submit.
Different Yet Equal
1 Peter 3:1-5, 7
In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words. They will be won over by watching your pure, godly behavior.
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty … You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God … In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. If you don’t treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard. (NLT)
Some readers will quit right here. After all, “husbands taking the authoritative lead in marriage” and “wives submitting” are not popular messages in today’s world.
But this illustration of marriage typifying the relationship between Christ and the church adds further encouragement for wives to submit to their husbands, even those who don’t follow Christ. Although this is a difficult challenge, the verse promises that her godly character and inward beauty will win over her husband more effectively than words.
If we’re not careful, we will miss that these verses highlight the equal partnership of husbands and wives in God’s gift of new life. Though the husband exercises the role of authority and leadership, and the wife fulfills a role of submission, both are equal heirs in God’s kingdom. The roles are different, but equally important.
What Does the Bible Say?
- Wives – demonstrate godly character and quiet inner beauty.
- Husbands – honor their wives and be kind and gentle.
- Husands and wives are equal partners.
The Purpose of Christian Marriage
1 Corinthians 7:1-2
… It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. (NIV)
This verse suggests that it is better not to marry. Those in difficult marriages would quickly agree.
Throughout history it has been believed that a deeper commitment to spirituality can be achieved through a devoted life of celibacy.
Clearly this verse refers to immorality in sexual relations. In other words, it is better to marry than to be sexually immoral. But if we elaborate the meaning to incorporate all forms of immorality, we could easily include self-centeredness, greed, wanting to control, hatred, and all of the issues that surface when we enter into an intimate relationship.
Could one of the deeper purposes of marriage be to make us confront our own character flaws, the behaviors and attitudes we would never have seen nor faced otherwise? If we allow the challenges of marriage to force us to confront ourselves, we will be applying a spiritual discipline of tremendous value.
What Does the Bible Say?
- Strive to overcome immoral living.
I believe God designed marriage as an instrument to make us more like Christ. In his book, Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas asks this question, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?” Is it possible that there is something much more profound in the heart of God than simply to make us happy?
Can we lay down our own ambitions to love and serve our spouse? Through marriage we can learn about unconditional love, respectful honor, and how to forgive and be forgiven. We can see our shortcomings and grow from that insight. We can develop a servant’s heart, and draw closer to God. As a result, true soul happiness can be discovered, and this, I believe is one of God’s ultimate desires and purposes for designing the covenant of marriage.
At my most theological this is obviously not my work and not my words. I post this mostly for reference not to promote my writing, because this is not my writing.
Now, if you feel the need to buy Sacred Marriage, and I don’t, please use my link to go to Amazon and please I beg of you purchase books through Amazon to profit me.
I’m not really going to endorse this work and am not particularly excited by anything she writes so I’m not endorsing her in general, either but how she interprets and presents the Bible has the ring of truth, so I’m going with that. Naturally this might offend somebody and even if that is my problem, that is not my intention. That said, if encountering an idea that is counter to your own dogma, doctrine, beliefs, ideas, or way of life causes you discomfort then you clearly need some sort of help, because healthy living requires that you encounter whatever and whomever makes you uncomfortable.
In the meantime, Katrina Pierson (sp?) was just hired by Donald Trump to be a national spokesbabe and the indicator of how far behind in my writing is I predicted that this would happen…. but I have not yet put the prediction in writing…. so you have no reason to believe I saw this coming except I told you after the fact. Being slow has actually hurt either my credibility or my something else…. pride?
If I haven’t yet posted anything on the Rousy fight by the time you see this then I am definitely behind.
I am also behind on the Fred Thompson obituary.