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BIBLICAL BASIS OF MARRIAGE

Love and relationships are a central theme in the Bible, beginning in Genesis and culminating in Revelation. St. Augustine made the statement, our hearts are restless until we find our rest in Thee. God designed us for a relationship with Him. The whole of Scripture speaks of our relationship with Him: how to have it, how to hold onto it, how to rest in it, how to communicate it, how to enjoy it. But, God did not want us to just have relationship with Him alone. He created others that we might also learn to live with and love those He places in our lives. He said in 1 Corinthians 12:18-21, But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. The Importance of Marriage to Gods Plan for Mankind Marriage also has purposes beyond each individual marriage that relate to Gods plan for mankind. In fact there are three clear purposes outlined in Genesis: 1. Reflect Christian marriages are to reflect Gods image: Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness. So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:26-27). Each individual (as a male and as a female) is created in the image of God. However, a married couple has a unique capacity to reflect His image as husband and wife. When we recognize our purpose is to reflect the image of God, we see that we have an opportunity to be a witness to a lost world.

2. Reproduce Gods second purpose for marriage is to reproduce: God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it (Genesis 1:28a). Marriage is an opportunity for men and women to produce children. Children are a gift from God and with them comes great responsibility: children are to be raised in His likeness. (Though many married couples do not have children, they still have an opportunity to disciple others to conform to His likeness.)

3. Reign The third purpose for marriage is to reign: God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it (Genesis 1:28a).According to this verse, married couples are to subdue the earth. To accomplish this requires good stewardship in the physical realm over that which God has given. It also requires diligence in the spiritual realm. Together married couples are to be soldiers directed by God to accomplish His intentions on earth.

Marriage As a Witness to the World By this shall all men know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another (John 13:35). Marriage is a significant institution by which a lost world can see Christianity in action. Marriage is the most intimate of human relationships in which husbands and wives learn to model Christs love. Gen. 2:18, 21-24 The Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him'...and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man.' For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Here we see the first wedding. We can conclude from this account in Genesis that marriage is God's idea, designed and instituted by the Creator. In these verses we also discover that at the heart of God's design for marriage is companionship and intimacy. What Does the Bible Say? Marriage was designed for companionship and intimacy. Eph. 5:23-32 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior. As the church

submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything. And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God's word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church. And we are his body. As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one." This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. The picture of marriage expands into something much broader, with the husband and wife relationship illustrating the relationship between Christ and the church. Husbands are urged to lay down their lives in sacrificial love and protection. And in this safe and cherished embrace of a loving husband, what wife would not be willing to submit to his leadership? What Does the Bible Say? Husbands - love and sacrifice. Wives - submit. 1 Peter 3:1-5, 7 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words. They will be won over by watching your pure, godly behavior. Don't be concerned about the outward beauty ... You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God ... In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God's gift of new life. If you don't treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard. But this illustration of marriage typifying the relationship between Christ and the church adds further encouragement for wives to submit to their husbands, even those who don't follow Christ. Although this is a difficult

challenge, the verse promises that her godly character and inward beauty will win over her husband more effectively than words. Though the husband exercises the role of authority and leadership, and the wife fulfills a role of submission, both are equal heirs in God's kingdom. The roles are different, but equally important. What Does the Bible Say? Wives - demonstrate godly character and quiet inner beauty. Husbands - honor their wives and be kind and gentle. Husands and wives are equal partners. 1 Corinthians 7:1-2 ... It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. Clearly this verse refers to immorality in sexual relations. In other words, it is better to marry than to be sexually immoral. But if we elaborate the meaning to incorporate all forms of immorality, we could easily include selfcenteredness, greed, wanting to control, hatred, and all of the issues that surface when we enter into an intimate relationship. What Does the Bible Say? Strive to overcome immoral living.