The Bible portrays marriage as a sacred union established by God, with Genesis 2:24 stating, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh,” emphasizing unity and commitment. It outlines roles and responsibilities within marriage, such as in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” and provides guidance on love, respect, fidelity, and conflict resolution, ultimately depicting marriage as a covenant based on mutual love and respect.
Biblical Verses and Teachings on Marriage
The Bible is rich with verses and teachings that illuminate the essence, roles, and principles of marriage, providing a framework for understanding this divine institution. Below are some pivotal scriptures along with succinct interpretations to directly address what the Bible says about marriage.
Creation of Marriage:
For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.Mark 10:7-8
This verse reiterates the concept of unity and oneness in marriage, depicting the deep, inseparable connection between husband and wife.
Purpose of Marriage:
Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring.Malachi 2:15
This scripture underscores marriage as a divine union with purposes including companionship and procreation, highlighting the spiritual dimension of marital bonds.
Roles within Marriage:
- Ephesians 5:22-33: These verses delineate the roles of husbands and wives, instructing wives to submit to their husbands “as to the Lord” and husbands to love their wives “as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” emphasizing mutual respect and sacrificial love.
Love and Respect:
Love is patient, love is kind… it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.1 Corinthians 13:4-7
This renowned passage defines the nature of true love, setting the standard for love within marriage.
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.Ephesians 5:33
This scripture reinforces the reciprocal principles of love and respect between spouses.
Illustrative Marriages in the Bible
Exploring the stories of biblical couples provides tangible insights into the essence and dynamics of marriage as depicted in the scriptures.
Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:22-24):
- Their union sets the foundational precedent for marriage, emphasizing unity and companionship: “…and they shall become one flesh.”
Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 17:15-19):
- Their journey illustrates enduring faith and divine blessings within marriage, showcasing patience and commitment.
Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 24:67):
- Their story reflects divine providence and comfort within marriage: “…and she became his wife, and he loved her.”
Jacob, Rachel, and Leah (Genesis 29:16-30):
- This narrative reveals the complexities and conflicts in marriage and underscores the importance of respect and love.
Ruth and Boaz (Ruth 4:13):
- Their union is a testament to loyalty, redemption, and divine orchestration: “…and the Lord enabled her to conceive…”
Biblical Depictions of Marriage Ceremonies and Jesus’ Teachings
The Bible provides glimpses into marriage ceremonies and the sanctity associated with them, offering insights into the divine significance of these unions. Additionally, the life and teachings of Jesus bring forth profound revelations about marriage.
Cana Wedding (John 2:1-11):
- Jesus performed His first miracle at a wedding in Cana, turning water into wine, symbolizing the divine blessing and joy in marriage ceremonies.
Jesus’ Teachings on Marriage (Matthew 19:4-6):
- Jesus emphasized the divine origin and indissolubility of marriage, stating, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate,” reinforcing the sanctity of marital unions.
Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1-14):
- Through this parable, Jesus illustrated the kingdom of heaven and extended an invitation to the eternal wedding feast, symbolizing divine communion and eternal union with God.
Role of Witnesses and Blessings:
- Biblical ceremonies often included witnesses and blessings, emphasizing the communal and divine aspects of marriage, as seen in Ruth 4:9-11.
The depiction of marriage ceremonies and the teachings of Jesus in the Bible highlight the divine significance and sanctity of marriage. They illustrate the joy, blessing, and eternal implications of marital unions, serving as reminders of God’s presence and intentions in marriage. By reflecting on these ceremonies and teachings, we gain a deeper understanding of the spiritual dimensions of marriage and are called to uphold its sanctity and divine purpose.
Marriage Challenges and Solutions
Marriage is a divine institution, but it is not without its challenges. The Bible provides not only acknowledgment of these challenges but also offers solutions and guidance on overcoming them, emphasizing love, mutual respect, and faithfulness.
Facing Trials (1 Corinthians 7:28):
- The Bible acknowledges that those who marry will face troubles, but it also teaches the importance of perseverance, mutual support, and reliance on God’s strength to overcome these trials.
Right Age for Marriage (1 Corinthians 7:36):
- While there is no explicit age mentioned, the emphasis is on proper conduct, maturity, and mutual commitment when entering into marriage, ensuring both parties are ready and willing.
Wedding Night and Its Etiquette (Hebrews 13:4):
- The sanctity of the marriage bed is emphasized, and couples are guided to maintain purity and honor in their intimate relations, respecting each other and the sanctity of marriage.
First Two Years of Marriage (Ephesians 4:2-3):
- Newlyweds are advised to be humble, gentle, and patient, bearing with one another in love and making every effort to maintain unity and peace, laying a strong foundation for a lasting marriage.
Divorce (Matthew 19:9):
- Divorce is considered grave, but the Bible guides maintaining fidelity and resolving conflicts to preserve the marital bond. For a deeper understanding of biblical teachings on divorce, refer to this article.
Further Reads and Exploration: on Biblical Teachings about Marriage
Dive deeper into understanding the sanctity and principles of marriage as per the Bible with these carefully selected books and insightful articles.
- What the Bible Says about Marriage by Barbour Publishing
- This book provides a concise, easy-to-read resource on the biblical teachings of marriage.
- What the Bible Says about Love Marriage & Sex by Dr. David Jeremiah
- Dr. Jeremiah’s book lays out God’s views on physical love, sex, and Biblical marriage, exploring the Song of Solomon or Song of Songs.
- 5 Surprising Things That the Bible Says about Marriage
- The Gospel Coalition discusses five surprising things that the Bible says about marriage, emphasizing that the Bible is mainly a book about God and how God saves people.