In this fast-paced world, a lot of people yearn for connection, love, and marriage. But what does God’s word have to say about the institution of marriage? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s post.
What is God’s definition of marriage?
The biblical definition of marriage is a holy covenant relationship between a man and a woman that is ordained by God. The marriage covenant involves two human beings making a personal commitment to each other and their heavenly father.
As such, they pledge to join together to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives.
As Jesus Christ says in Matthew 19:4-6, when a man leaves his parents and marries his own wife, they become one flesh. He even advises that no one separate a married couple. After all, God is the one who brought them together.
How did God establish marriage?
God instituted marriage in Genesis chapter two when he created Eve to be a helper for Adam. After creating the first man in his own image, God put him into a deep sleep, took out his rib, and created a young woman from it.
When he saw her, he was elated and referred to her as the “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”.
Looking back, it’s clear that this was the first wedding on earth, making Adam the first husband ever. It’s also important to note that God orchestrated it himself and was witness to it. This sets a precedent for future weddings.
Why do we get married according to the Bible?
According to the bible, the main reason we get married is for companionship. I mean, even the Lord God admitted that it’s not good for man to be alone in Genesis 2:18. However, this is not the only purpose God has for the marriage covenant.
He also intends it to be a safe space for two human beings to explore passion and sexual intimacy. That’s why the apostle Paul encourages those with a lack of self-control to get married instead of burning with passion (1 Corinthians 7:9).
Ultimately, it’s better and safer to just settle down with someone you love than to fall into sexual immorality.
What does a godly marriage look like?
A godly marriage is part of God’s plan for us. God has designed it to be a lifelong commitment that mirrors the relationship Christ has with the church. That’s why the apostle Paul even instructs men to love their own wives as Jesus Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25)
Moreover, he instructs women to submit to their own husbands as they submit to Jesus Christ. In this way, the husband is the head of the wife much like Jesus Christ is the head of the church.
How to find a wife according to the Bible
If you want to find a wife of noble character such as the one described in Proverbs 31, there are some things you can do. These include:
Seek the Lord God first
Before you go looking for a suitable wife, you need to first seek God. After all, Matthew 6:33 tells us that if we first seek God and his righteousness, we will get everything else added to us.
Also, as you continue to grow spiritually, you will understand how God expects you to pursue a woman and build an intimate relationship with her.
So by the time you start dating, you will know how to evade sexual immorality and build a meaningful monogamous relationship. Also, you will have learned how to treat your spouse well and how to honor God in a marriage relationship.
Lean into God’s purpose for your life
As a Christian, your main focus should be fulfilling God’s plan for your life. This means that whoever you choose as a wife should find you already pursuing your mission and help you achieve it.
In fact, it’s only by thoroughly pursuing your mission will you meet someone that’s just as passionate about God as you are.
Ultimately, this goes a long way in ensuring that you only pair with people you’re compatible with. It can even make it easier for you to avoid partners that you aren’t equally yoked with.
Like everyone else, women like men who aren’t afraid of hard work. Not only does it signal to them that you will be a good provider but it also lets them know that you won’t run away during hard times. Even Colossians 3:23 encourages us to always work heartily irrespective of what we’re doing.
Another important passage on hard work is 1 Timothy 5:8. It likens anyone who doesn’t work to provide for their family to someone who has rejected the Christian faith.
Don’t be swayed by outer beauty
While we all understand how easy it is for a young man to be swayed by the outer beauty of a young woman, this is not the best way to choose a wife.
In the long run, it’s better to choose a soul mate based on their values, beliefs, and character. As Proverbs 31:30 warns us beauty and charm can be deceitful.
However, a woman who fears the Lord is worthy of praise. Such a woman is not only industrious, but also kind, compassionate, and wise.
What does the Bible say about getting married?
God’s word has a lot to say about married life. Some of its greatest highlights include:
Marriage involves leaving your family
If there’s one thing that everyone knows about the marital relationship, it’s that it requires you to leave your parents and siblings to go join someone else.
This has been repeated again and again throughout God’s word. The phenomenon has even been referred to as a profound mystery in Ephesians 5.
Interestingly, just as God blesses those who choose to embark on the journey of marriage, he also blesses those who pursue him even when it means leaving their families ( Luke 18:29-30).
Sexual union is an important part of marriage
Sexual intercourse is God’s gift to all human beings. He just wants us to do it within the confines of marriage so that we remain safe and uncorrupted. It’s therefore not surprising that having sexual relations with your spouse is a marital duty.
1 Corinthians chapter 7 even teaches that neither of you has authority over your own body. That’s part of the reason why defiling your marriage bed is such a serious indiscretion (Hebrews 13:4) and can even earn you a certificate of divorce.
Ultimately, sexual immorality is one of the most important issues in Christianity, even among single people – the apostle Paul even kept warning believers to be wary of this.
Marriage can be a lifelong commitment
According to God’s original plan, marriage was meant to be a lifelong commitment. It’s just that sometimes challenges like infidelity make it difficult to stay married in this day and age.
After all, sexual immorality is the only grounds for divorce mentioned in the bible (Matthew 5:32).
Marriage can make you better
Many times, two people working together get further than one person working alone. As Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 emphasizes, if one person falls in a team setting, the other will lift them. Moreover, it’s possible for one team member or spouse to positively influence the other’s character.
Another piece of scriptural support is 1 Peter 3:5-6. It tells us that women can influence their own husbands by conducting themselves properly and maintaining a quiet spirit. This means that one spouse can even lead the other one to God.
Marriage provides security for children
Generally, it’s not advisable to have children with someone you’re not married to. Apart from the fact that sex before marriage is a sin, raising a child with someone you’re not married to is difficult.
Things get particularly tricky when the other person has another family and you are also building one with someone else.
Children born out of wedlock were particularly discriminated against in the old testament – they weren’t even allowed to attend the assembly of the Lord God (Deuteronomy 23:2). However, things changed in new testament times – your physical lineage and family setup no longer matter.
Even Mary the mother of Jesus conceived him outside the confines of marriage – in the eyes of God, we are all equal.
How to get married under God
Interestingly, the bible contains no instructions on conducting marriage ceremonies – it doesn’t even say anything about any legal requirements.
All we know is that most biblical marriage ceremonies involved a kind of formal wedding ceremony, mutual consent, and witnesses. Ultimately, there are three ways that people got married in biblical times:
This is one of the most common types of marriage today. It involves following a legal process to seal your union with your spouse – this usually involves filling out some paperwork and signing a marriage license. Interestingly, this type of marriage has scriptural support, particularly from Romans 13:1-7.
In this bible verse, the apostle Paul advises members of the Christian church in Rome to submit themselves to their governing authorities, particularly because they were instituted by God. So even today, God expects us to follow our government’s laws, even when it comes to marriage.
However, it’s important to note that people used to get married way before the establishment of any organized governments – even those living in countries with no legal requirements for marriage can be considered married.
This type of marriage involves some kind of formal wedding ceremony with some witnesses and the exchange of marriage vows. While some people prefer a marriage ceremony based on their culture and heritage, believers usually opt for a Christian wedding ceremony.
This usually involves bringing together a priest and family members – the father of the groom is even expected to give her away.
Whatever route you go through, these marriage ceremonies are acceptable in God’s sight. The scriptural support for this type of marriage is in John chapter 2 where Jesus Christ attended a wedding day ceremony in Cana.
While his attendance doesn’t indicate that every married couple needs to have had a wedding day, it does indicate that such marriage ceremonies count in God’s eyes.
In biblical times and even in some societies today, two people are considered a married couple once they’ve had sexual intercourse for the first time.
Some even go as far as declaring marriages that haven’t been consummated null and void. Such people usually point to the marriage of Isaac as an example of this principle.
However, Isaac and Rebekah weren’t considered a married couple just because they had sexual relations – they had some verbal contracts and even fulfilled dowry requirements.
If sexual intercourse alone was a valid basis for marriage, there would be no such thing as fornication. Instead, you would just be considered married the first time you engaged in sexual relations.
Common law marriage
This is a type of marriage that doesn’t require any type of ceremony or legal process. The two people just start living together and behaving like a married couple – they can even have sexual relations. This is commonly referred to as cohabitation and is popular in many parts of the world.
However, it’s not part of God’s original plan for us – he wants us to be rightfully married before behaving accordingly. Ultimately, you need to get married in a way that honors God and places him at the center.
So make sure you choose a path that has a clear process that is acknowledged both legally and in the Christian faith.
In this day and age, the best way for a Christian to get married is by having a public ceremony in a local church and then signing a marriage license. This ensures that your marriage is valid in the eyes of God and of the government.