Marriage is an important issue in Christian life. It marks the beginning of a wonderful journey; a journey that can make or mar our relationship with God. It is good to marry but it is better to stay married. In the world today, staying married is a big problem. Statistics shows that between 41 to 45 percent of marriages instituted today are doomed to end in divorce.
We thank God, at least the rate of divorce for Christians (Evangelical Christians who regularly attend church) is a bit lower; about 35% lower than that of secular couples. But the question still remains; why is the rate of divorce so high? What can be done to reduce the rate of divorce? Does the bible have an answer (what does the bible say about marriage)? What can I do to save my marriage? Answers to these questions as well plenty of advice to both married and unmarried couples can be found in this page.
What does the Bible say About Marriage?God instituted marriage from the beginning; He instituted it for some reasons – procreation, companionship and intimacy.
ProcreationGod’s idea of marriage is that of procreation. He created the birds, the fish and the animals in the forest male and female and command them to be fruitful and fill the earth (Genesis 1:21-22). In the same way, God created man in his own image. He created them male and female and blessed them and asked them to fill the earth.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:27-28 KJV)
Today many people including some ministers of God are saying marriage is just for companionship and intimacy. They exclude the most important issue of procreation so that they can justify men marrying men and women marrying women. Where they got this from is what I don’t know. Let’s think about it, how can men fill the earth without producing an offspring (giving birth)? As for me, I don’t know. All I know is that procreation is one of the most important reasons for marriage.
Companionship and IntimacyAnother undeniable fact about God’s plan for marriage is companionship. If God has not created the women, man wouldn’t have been able to procreate and so he would have been in the garden of Aden lonely or at best have the lions, the birds, and the jackals as his friend. God realised this fact, so He created women out of men and gave her to him as a wife.
“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (Genesis 2:18 KJV)
“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman and brought her unto 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
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:21-24 KJV)
Without a doubt, from the scripture above we can see that God instituted marriage not only for procreation but also for intimacy and companionship. God hates loneliness (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11) and that is why he instituted marriage. Jesus Christ our Lord honours marriage though he himself was not married but in other to show to us that he is in full support of it, He quoted the scripture in support of it (Matthew 19:4-6). Jesus did not stop there; He went further to attend a marriage ceremony in Cana and performed his first miracle there. Now let’s see what the bible say concerning the role of men and women in marriage.
Four Commands for Women in marriageHighlighted below are the commands for women in the bible:
- Women are to submit to their husbands as to Christ (Ephesians 5:22, Colossians 3:18); total submissiveness in humility must not be compromised.
- Recognise and accept their husbands as the head of the family (Ephesians 5:23, 1Corinthians 11:3); Women should not assume the headship of the family except the husbands dies.
- Women are also commanded to be subject to their husbands (Ephesians 5:24, 1Peter 3:5); subject to them in everything that is not contrary to the will or command of God.
- Women are not only commanded to accept the authority of their husband but are also commanded to reverence (respect) them (Ephesians 5:33, 1Peter 3:5-6)
Four Commands for Men in marriage
- Head of the wife and the family (Ephesians 5:23, 1Corinthians 11:3); as the head of the wife, the husband is expected to exercise authority in conformance to wish of the wife, this way the exercise of authority will not be abused and there will be peace in the home.
- Husbands are to love the wives as Christ loves the church and gave himself for it (Ephesians 5:25, Colossians 3:19). Not that alone, the husbands are to love their wives as their own body as well (Ephesians 5:28)
- Nourish and cherish the wife (Ephesians 5:29); the husbands are commanded to take good care and also protect of their wives. They are to provide for them, foods, clothing, shelter etc. Not caring for the wife is an act of wickedness and blatant disobedience to the word of God (1Timothy 5:8).
- Leave parents and be joined to wife as one flesh (Ephesians 5:30-31, Matthew 19:4-6); the crux of this command is independence of both the man and the woman of their parents so that they can build their own home. Any man that refuses to separate from his parent for marriage is not mature enough for marriage.
© 2012 Christian Devotions & Resource Centre