What does the Bible actually say about Marriage?
It’s open season on many traditional views today. Our culture and church culture are questioning and reshaping ideas on almost everything. Some of this rethinking and reshaping is healthy and needed and some not so good. I like it when I see new generations looking at tradition and saying, “What does the Bible actually say about…?” But many are just adding our cultures fancies on issues, creating new tradition that overlooks centuries and ignores divine voice.
Case in point: Marriage. We’ve ceased to asked the right questions about marriage (history? divine voice? nature?) and determined to redefine and reshape it to be something completely different.
This weekend, our church asked the healthy question: What does the Bible Actually Say? Here’s a bit of our discussion:
How should we think about marriage?
Hebrews 13:4 (NIV)
4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
- Marriage should be honored
- Marriage acts considered sacred
- Judgement occurs when this doesn’t happen.
How should we define marriage?
“…a man will leave his father and mother & be united to his wife, & they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 (cf. Matthew 19:4-6)
Marriage: A LIFE LONG RELATIONSHIP between ONE MAN & ONE WOMAN.
- Permanence, not disposability
- Male/Female, not gender neutral
- Jesus commended this definition in Matthew 19 in one of his few statements about marriage.
What was God’s Purposes for Marriage?
1) COMPANIONSHIP & SUPPORT – Genesis 2:18-25 – “it is not good that man should be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him.” Man was incomplete without a companion.
2) REPRODUCTION – Genesis 1:28 – God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” Marriage is the vehicle for the continuation of the human race.
3) SEXUAL PURITY – 1 Corinthians 7:2 (NIV) – “But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.” Marriage is the safe place for sexual expression.
4) A PICTURE OF SALVATION – Ephesians 5:21-33 – “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Marriage illustrates the union that is our salvation.
Today, marriage is seen as optional and disposable and redefinable. And part of the problem is the high FAILURE rates. Some estimate it over 60%. Some say that’s given us permission to redefine. But again, I think we need to go back to the right question: What does the Bible say about MAINTAINING Marriage? If maintained according to the creator of marriage, it can work to achieve his purpose.