What Does the Bible Say About Marriage?
Marriage is a sacred institution with deep cultural and religious significance. For Christians, the Bible serves as a foundational guide for understanding the principles and values that underlie the concept of marriage. In this blog, we will explore what the Bible says about marriage, including its purpose, design, and the ethical guidelines it offers for building strong and lasting marital relationships.
- Marriage as a Divine Covenant
The Bible presents marriage as a divine covenant between a man and a woman. The book of Genesis establishes the foundation of this union when it states, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). This verse underscores the importance of a strong, lifelong bond and the concept of leaving one’s family to form a new family unit.
- The Role of Love and Respect
Ephesians 5:25-33 offers significant insights into the dynamics of marital relationships. It instructs husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and wives to respect their husbands. This mutual love and respect create a foundation for a healthy and harmonious marriage, characterized by selflessness, care, and support.
- Fidelity and Monogamy
The Bible consistently upholds the sanctity of marriage as a monogamous commitment. In the Ten Commandments, the commandment “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14) underscores the importance of fidelity within marriage. Adultery is seen as a violation of this sacred covenant.
- The Purpose of Marriage
The Bible also emphasizes the purpose of marriage. Procreation is a significant aspect, with Genesis 1:28 stating, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” Marriage is seen as the context within which children are to be raised and nurtured. It is also meant to provide companionship and support for the couple, as Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 highlights the strength found in a cord of three strands (husband, wife, and God).
- Submission and Headship
Ephesians 5:22-24 discusses the concept of submission within marriage. It encourages wives to submit to their husbands as to the Lord, with husbands being the head of the wife. This concept of submission is often misunderstood and misinterpreted, but it is essential to view it in the context of mutual respect and selfless love.
- Dealing with Challenges
Marriage is not always a smooth journey, and the Bible offers guidance on dealing with challenges. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 provides a beautiful description of love, emphasizing its patience, kindness, and endurance. This can serve as a reminder for spouses to show understanding and forgiveness during difficult times.
- Divorce and Remarriage
The Bible acknowledges that divorce can occur due to various circumstances, but it is generally discouraged. In Matthew 19:3-9, Jesus emphasizes that divorce was permitted because of human hardness of heart but originally, it was not so. The Bible encourages reconciliation and working through differences rather than resorting to divorce.
Marriage is a central theme in the Bible, with its principles and values deeply rooted in Christian faith. It is portrayed as a sacred covenant, emphasizing love, respect, fidelity, and unity. While the Bible provides ethical guidelines for marital relationships, it is also a source of wisdom and inspiration for couples seeking to build strong and lasting marriages. Ultimately, the Bible’s teachings on marriage serve as a guide for living out this divine institution in a way that honours God and fulfils the spiritual and emotional needs of both partners.