From the beginning of time, marriage has been seen as the ultimate symbol of love and commitment. In Christianity, marriage is considered a spiritual union of two individuals who will be devoted to one another for a lifetime. The importance of marriage is emphasized in many cultures, and the Bible has a lot to say about it.
In this article, we will explore what the Bible has to say about marriage and discuss how Christians should view it. If you are married or considering marriage, then this is a great article for you, so keep on reading to find out more about marriage according to the Bible.
How is marriage defined in the Bible?
The Bible defines marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman, in which they agree to be faithful to each other for the rest of their lives. At the heart of a Christian marriage is mutual love, honor and commitment. The covenant of marriage is not just a contract; it is a sacred vow before God. The Bible also says that marriage is an institution created by God, and that it is not to be taken lightly. This means that when we get married, we are making a promise before God to remain faithful to our spouse for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.
One very important reference to marriage in the Bible can be found in Ephesians 5:22-23, when Paul instructs husbands to love their wives just as Christ loved the church. He also tells wives to respect their husbands and calls on both partners to be faithful to one another.
The book of Genesis clearly states that a man should leave his father and mother and become one with his wife. “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Genesis 2:24.
In order to have a successful Christian marriage, you must start by building a healthy and loyal relationship with your spouse that is founded on the word of God.
What are 3 purposes for marriage according to the Bible?
Companionship. The first purpose for marriage can be found in Genesis 2:18, where the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Thus, a Godly marriage is where husband and wife can come together to help one another while sharing their lives and experiences. This companionship is to be based on love, trust, and communication. Christianity tells us that a biblical marriage is to be a reflection of our relationship with the Lord.
Procreation. God designed marriage in a way that enables couples to have children together and raise them in loving homes. Children are considered a great blessing from God, and the Bible tells us that it is important for them to be raised in a home where they can learn about HIS love. Proverbs 22:6 gives us this instruction, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This would include raising children in an environment where Christ-like behavior is modeled for them in their daily lives.
- Redemption. A third purpose of marriage according to the Bible is redemption. God designed marriage so that a man and woman could be partners who come together to help one another be saved from their sins. When a husband and wife commit to Biblical marriage, they agree to follow God’s plan for their lives. This plan, that they vow to follow, includes helping each other along the path to salvation. Thus, a healthy marriage is built on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
What does the Bible say about a husband?
Ephesians 5:25 reads, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Your unconditional acceptance of your wife is not based upon her performance, but on her worth as God’s gift to you. This is indicative that a wife is not to be married simply for her works, but rather for the love her husband feels for her, and out of gratitude because she is a priceless gift from God.
The Bible also states, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” Ephesians 5:22-24
According to the Bible, being head of your wife does not mean being her master, but her servant. For this type of leadership, Christ as a servant is our role model. Jesus did not just talk about serving; He demonstrated it when he washed His disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17). Christ, the head of the church, took on the very nature of a servant when He was made in human likeness (Philippians 2:7).
Another verse in the Bible that elaborates on the role of a husband comes from the book of Paul, which gives instructions for the husband to assume responsibility for meeting the material needs of the family. Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 5:8, “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
What does the Bible say about a wife?
One key passage from Scripture can be found in Ephesians 5:22-24, which tells us, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”
Many women may interpret the scripture above to mean that their role in marriage is to be a doormat who has no voice. However, we must keep in mind that a Godly husband’s role is to be like Christ and to serve and love his wife as Christ loved the church. Therefore, wives are not being instructed to surrender to a life of tyranny, but to allow themselves to be led by a servant of God.
Another guideline for a woman’s role in marriage can be found in Titus 2:3-5. “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Is marriage compulsory in the Bible?
The bible does not explicitly say that marriage is compulsory, but it does have a lot to say about the importance of marriage. In the Old Testament, marriage was seen as a way to provide for one's family and to create strong social ties.
In 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 Jesus tells us, “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
In the New Testament, marriage is still seen as a means of providing for one's family, but it is also seen as a way to show Christ's love for the church. The Bible says that "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral." (Hebrews 13:4). This verse shows that while marriage is not compulsory, it is still highly valued by God.
How many wives can you marry in the Bible?
The Bible is actually quite clear on the matter of polygamy, and both Old and New Testaments prohibit the practice. In the Old Testament, the book of Leviticus states “Do not have sexual relations with more than one wife, for you will be defiled.” And in the New Testament, 1 Timothy 3:2 says “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife…”
So according to scripture, a man is only to marry one woman. This was likely a difficult command for many men in Biblical times, as polygamy was widely practiced throughout the ancient world. But God’s design for marriage has always been between one man and one woman.
Is it a sin to live together without marriage?
The Bible does not explicitly state whether or not living together without marriage is a sin, but there are several passages that suggest it is not in accordance with God's will. In 1 Corinthians 7:2, Paul says that it is better to marry than to burn with passion, and in Hebrews 13:4, it is stated that marriage should be held in honor among all.
Additionally, many verses speak of the importance of purity and abstaining from sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20), which would likely include living together outside of marriage.
Ultimately, though the Bible doesn't give a definitive answer on this topic, it seems clear that God's ideal for his people is to wait until marriage before engaging in sexual relations.
Other Bible Verses About Love and Marriage:
- Do everything in love. (1 Corinthians 16:14)
- Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. (Proverbs 3:3)
- Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
- Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. (Psalm 143:8)
- Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
- Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)