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What does the Bible say about marriage?

Marriage at Creation

The clear definition of marriage is the Holy loving union of one man and one woman for life. God created marriage before the existence of sin as the most sacred institution between a man and a woman. The Lord blessed it as an honorable commitment. Eden was the scene of the first marriage, ordained by God Himself.

The rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:22,23). Eve was taken from Adam’s side, and so she was literally one flesh with Adam. Because their bond was “in the flesh,” they were together forever.

Then, the Creator set the standard by which all future marriages are defined: “A man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). So, when a man and a woman make a commitment to marry, they “become one flesh,” and that is why they say, “Till death do us part.”

The phrase “one flesh” expresses the deepest physical and spiritual unity of man and woman. These words do not recommend a forsaking of filial duty and respect toward father and mother, but refer mainly to the fact that a man’s wife is to be first in his love and that his first obligation is to her. His love for her is to be more, though certainly not to exceed, a very appropriate love for his parents.

After Sin

Sadly, humans perverted that holy union and introduced evil practices like divorce and adultery. Regarding that, Jesus said, “whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9). The woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives (Romans 7:2).

To protect the sanctity of marriage, the Lord commanded “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). This prohibition includes not only adultery but fornication and every impurity of thoughts, words, and deeds (Matthew 5:27, 28). This commandment is our 3ed duty to our fellowmen. It talks of our need to respect the unity upon which the family is founded upon (Hebrews 13:4; Malachi 2:15).

The Bible teaches that God’s design for marriage is monogamy (Mark 10:6-9). The Hebrew words for “man” and “wife” are singular and do not allow for multiple wives. Even though some Bible characters had multiple wives, that was not God’s original plan (Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:31).

The Bible resembles the marriage relationship between a man and a woman like that between Christ and the church.  “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). The supreme test of love in a marriage relationship is whether one is prepared to give up happiness to please the other. In this respect, the husband is to imitate Christ, giving up personal pleasures to allow for his wife’s happiness.

Christ gave Himself for the church because she was in desperate need; He did that to save her. Likewise, the husband will give himself for the salvation of his wife and she to his. The Bible teaches, “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them” (Colossians 3:19). The husband will adequately provide for his wife’s support (1 Timothy 5:8); he will do everything to make sure she is happy (1 Corinthians 7:33); and he will honor her (1 Peter 3:7).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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