What is Marriage
So the Bible begins with marriage and it ends with marriage. But it also talks a lot about marriage in between. Marriage is a biblical norm. You see good marriages in Scripture, and you see bad marriages. You see patterns of faithfulness, purity and devotion to God, but you also see patterns of betrayal, divorce, polygamy, interfaith marriage, marriage for political purposes and more.
Even though humans have messed up marriage in every generation throughout history, that doesn’t change what marriage is. Marriage is a covenant, a sacrament, a reflection of Christ and his bride, the church. It’s an institution for one man and one woman for one lifetime. The definition of marriage isn’t determined by popular opinion; it was delivered by God in the Garden, then affirmed by Jesus in the New Testament. Consider the words of Matthew 19:4-6. There’s a lot to be said for marriage and about marriage in Scripture. We’d be wise to pay attention.
Marriage also has a bunch of benefits. Marriage polishes our edges. The fancy word for this is sanctification. Pastor Gary Thomas says that marriage isn’t meant to make us happy, but holy. How many of us sit around and ask how we can be holier? No me. (I do, however, ask myself how others can be holier. Just trying to help!) Marriage accomplishes this naturally. If you’re going to have a successful marriage, be prepared to get over yourself. Fast.
But there’s great companionship in marriage, too. Newsflash: Marriage can actually be fun! Most people dream of that person who will walk through life with them. The one who will make memories with them, share hobbies, go on trips, celebrate holidays, dream big, raise a family, set up a home, and ultimately grow old with them. We are created for relationship. In a culture that throws away relationships with Friday’s trash, it’s easy to lose sight of this. Don’t. Sure, many of you don’t have family photo albums that span decades.
At some point, Dad walked out, or your parents calmly divided up possessions and kids like candy and started over in different cities. Maybe your parents were never married. This is far from God’s plan. Don’t let what you never experienced taint your understanding of what could be.
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Matthew 19:4-6 KJV
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