Marriage can indeed be very difficult at times. In fact, some may wonder if the challenges are even worth it. However, the Bible has much to say about the value and purpose of marriage. Here is an overview of some key biblical principles regarding marriage and why it is worth pursuing despite the difficulties.
Marriage Is God’s Design
Genesis 2:18 states that God decided it was not good for man to be alone, so He created woman to be a companion and helper for him. God designed marriage between a man and woman even before sin entered the world. Therefore, marriage is part of God’s original perfect plan and purpose for humanity. Even though marriage is now lived out in a fallen world with difficulty, it remains God’s design for intimate companionship.
Marriage Is a Covenant
Marriage is intended to be a sacred covenant between a man, a woman, and God (Malachi 2:14). It is not just a human contract but a lifelong commitment made before God. This gives marriage a special status and should encourage spouses to remain faithful to each other even through challenging times. God designed marriage as an unconditional covenant – like His own covenant love for His people.
Marriage Reflects Christ’s Love for the Church
Ephesians 5:22-33 reveals that marriage between a husband and wife is meant to reflect the relationship between Christ and the church. Human marriages have the high calling of mirroring the sacrificial, unconditional love that Christ has for His bride, the church. This amazing truth gives deep meaning and dignity to marriage.
Marriage Is for Companionship and Intimacy
Genesis 2:24-25 indicates that marriage allows a husband and wife to unite together physically, spiritually, and emotionally in a unique bond of intimate companionship. Marriage meets the human need for close friendship and deep connection. This reflects the relational nature of God, who exists as Father, Son and Holy Spirit in perfect union and intimacy.
Marriage Is for Mutual Help and Support
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 notes the value of having someone to help carry the load in life. Marriage provides a God-ordained structure for a husband and wife to support, encourage and help one another as they journey through life together. It mirrors the mutual love and service within the Trinity.
Marriage Is a Picture of Redemption
Since marriage reflects Christ’s relationship with the church, it provides a living illustration of the gospel. The way a husband loves and serves his wife, despite her flaws and failures, models Christ’s unconditional love. And the way a wife respects and submits to her husband pictures the church’s response to Christ. Marriage is a profound object lesson of the gospel.
Marriage Is Good for Raising Children
Malachi 2:15 teaches that a key purpose of marriage is to produce godly offspring. Marriage provides a mom and dad to complement each other in the raising of children. God’s design of marriage between a man and woman supplies what a child needs – both a nurturing mother and a loving father.
Marriage Is a Restraint Against Sin
1 Corinthians 7:2 indicates that marriage provides a legitimate outlet for sexual desires, thus avoiding sexual immorality. More generally, having the intimate companionship of marriage helps restrain selfish tendencies we all have as fallen human beings. It forces us out of an inward focus to love and serve our spouse.
Marriage Will Be Eternal in Heaven
Jesus said that marriage will not exist in heaven in the same way it does on earth (Matthew 22:30). However, this does not mean that all marriages end at death. Rather, earthly marriages are temporal shadows of the perfect marriage that will exist eternally between Christ and the church. So marriage is eternal in its truest essence.
Marriage Brings Blessings from God
Marriage and family are part of God’s common grace – blessings He generously gives to all people. Children, friendship, and human society itself would be impossible without marriage between a man and woman. Even nonbelievers benefit from marriage in these ways. But marriage brings even more blessings to believers who follow God’s principles for marriage.
Marriage Is Sanctifying
Because of sin, marriage will involve struggles. But the difficulties can drive a husband and wife closer to Christ as they rely on Him for strength, wisdom and love. A marriage lived according to biblical principles brings spiritual growth. It exposes sin and glorifies God.
Marriage Is a Ministry
A God-centered, Christ-filled marriage is a powerful statement of the gospel to others. Couples have the privilege of ministering to others both individually and through hospitality in the context of marriage. In this way marriage provides a platform for living out the Great Commission.
Marriage Strengthens the Church
The church is the bride of Christ. Since human marriage mirrors Christ’s relationship with the church, God-honoring marriages between believers strengthen the church. Couples who live out biblical principles in marriage provide an example to other believers of devotion to Christ.
Marriage Is Honorable
Hebrews 13:4 calls marriage “honorable” and keeps the marriage bed “undefiled.” This indicates that marriage is noble and pure by God’s design, despite being marred by sin. Marriage remains honorable in God’s sight when lived according to His principles.
Jesus Performed His First Miracle at a Wedding
The very first miracle Jesus performed was turning water into wine at a wedding feast in Cana (John 2:1-11). By doing this, Jesus demonstrated that marriage is honorable and worthy of celebration. His presence and contribution reflects God’s approval and blessing of marriage.
Marriage Is a Mystery and Parable
In teaching about marriage and divorce, Jesus referred to God’s design for marriage in Genesis 2 as a “mystery”
(Mark 10:2-12). Marriage between a man and woman points to spiritual truths beyond our comprehension. It is a real-life parable meant to reflect the amazing relationship between Christ and the church.
Divorce Is a Concession, Not God’s Ideal
Because of the hardness of human hearts, Moses permitted divorce under certain circumstances. But this was a concession, not God’s original ideal (Matthew 19:8). Divorce is never required or commanded. Reconciliation and forgiveness are always better when possible. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).
Marriage Requires Sacrifice
Husbands must be willing to sacrifice themselves in loving, humble leadership of their wives. And wives must sacrifice their own interests in order to respect and submit to their husbands with a gentle and quiet spirit. Without mutual sacrifice, marriage cannot reflect the selfless love of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-33).
Marriage Requires Dying to Self
Following Christ requires taking up our cross and dying to self-will and sin. This applies in a unique way in marriage. Spouses must die to their own desires, priorities and habits in order to love and serve their spouse. Marriage provides a practical, daily opportunity to deny self and follow Christ.
Marriage Is Not Easy – But Worth It
There is no doubt about it, marriage can be very hard and requires sacrifice, service, understanding and perseverance. However, God promises to bless those who follow His principles for marriage. The blessings far outweigh the difficulties. Marriage gives us an earthly picture of the gospel and the eternal marriage between Christ and the church.