What Does The Bible Say About Marraige

The Bible is a source of instructions and revelation on life, faith, and marriage. It serves as an example of how God desires for people to live and provides counsel on relationships. Yet, many people have widely varying interpretations of what the Bible says about marriage. To gain a better understanding of what the Bible does say about marriage, it is important to look at some key passages and themes.

The Bible is clear that God designed marriage for a covenantal relationship between one man and one woman. In the beginning, God created “Adam and His wife” (Genesis 2:24) and made man and woman to come together and join in marriage. This reinforces that marriage is not a human invention, but a divine institution. The Bible also notes that it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). For this reason, God created Eve and commanded that “a man should leave his father and mother and cling to his wife” (Genesis 2:24).

Another key theme from the Bible is that marriage is meant to reflect Christ’s relationship with the Church. Ephesians 5:22-33 exhorts wives to follow God’s example for submission to their husbands, as Jesus does to the Father. Husbands are commanded to love their wives like Christ loves the church, by sacrificing himself and giving himself up in service to them. This reflects the selfless and loving relationship that Jesus has with his followers.

The Bible also promotes lifelong commitment in a marriage. Divorce is allowed in certain situations, such as when a spouse has committed adultery. However, it is strongly discouraged. In a divorce situation, Jesus encourages reconciliation of the two spouses whenever possible (Matthew 5:31-32). He notes that humans do not have the authority to divorce another, as “what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 10:9).

The aforementioned passages and themes demonstrate the importance that God places on marriage. He created marriage for companionship, to build families, and to show the world a taste of His relationship to us. Since marriage is so important, it should be entered into with prayer, thought, and mutual commitment. Ultimately, the Bible encourages marriage to be a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman and that it should imitate the selfless and sacrificial love of Jesus.

Conflict Resolution

When it comes to marital conflict, the Bible encourages spouses to pursue forgiveness and reconciliation rather than division. Rather than holding grudges and harboring anger, people are called to “love their neighbors as they love themselves” (Luke 10:27) and to seek peace in relationships (Romans 12:14-18). While conflicts are inevitable in any relationship, the Bible calls people to put relationships ahead of their own interests (Philippians 2:1-4). Making relationships and mutual resolution the priority can lead to healthy, long-lasting marriages.

In addition, people are encouraged to forgive one another as they have been forgiven by God (Colossians 3:12-13). This can often be a difficult task, but with the help of God’s grace and strength, people can learn to overcome challenges in the marriage. Even when one spouse has done wrong, the Bible encourages the faithful spouse to show mercy, understanding, and compassion, just as God showed mercy, understanding, and compassion toward them (Matthew 6:14-15).

The Bible also encourages spouses to be gentle with each other. People are called to be meek and humble, rather than domineering or manipulative. The Bible notes that this gentleness can have a great impact on the relationship, as “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). Therefore, responding with gentleness and humility can help to de-escalate conflicts and create stronger relationships.

Duties and Responsibilities of a Marriage

Marriage is a lifelong commitment and partnership, and both spouses have shared duties and responsibilities. In a marriage, the husband and wife must both cultivate faithfulness, trust, and selflessness. Therefore, the Bible encourages both spouses to love and honor one another and to treat each other as equal partners (1 Peter 3:7).

The husband is called to be the head of the household and to “love his wife as he loves himself” (Ephesians 5:28). This requires him to take responsibility for the family, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to serve as the spiritual leader of the family. The wife is to “respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33) and submit to him in love (Ephesians 5:22). This requires her to demonstrate loyalty, understanding, and support for her husband, and to strive to live in unity and harmony with him.

For a marriage to be successful, both spouses must be devoted to each other and to God. The Bible encourages people to strive for “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). These virtues are key for couples to cultivate in a marriage and can help to maintain harmony in the relationship.

Guidance for a Marriage

Finally, the Bible provides guidance for couples on how to maintain a healthy and successful marriage. Solomon, the wisest man on Earth, wrote: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). Holding people accountable and striving to do the right thing can help couples to build strong relationships. Solomon also notes that “an honest answer turns away wrath” (Proverbs 15:1). Therefore, communication is key in a successful marriage, and couples should strive to be open and honest with each other.

Solomon’s wisdom also encourages couples to strive for patience and understanding in their relationships. He notes that “a man’s discretion makes him slow to anger” (Proverbs 19:11). Couples should also strive to treat each other with respect and kindness. This can be done by avoiding angry outbursts, listening more than talking, and refraining from criticism.

The Bible also provides guidance for couples on how to build trust in a marriage. Solomon notes that “a wife’s charms please her husband” (Proverbs 5:18), and that “a cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). Therefore, couples should strive to be affectionate and supportive, and to cultivate a sense of joy and warmth in their relationships.

Sexual Intimacy in Marriage

The Bible notes that sexual intimacy is a precious gift given by God to be enjoyed within the boundaries of marriage. In the Song of Solomon 2:16, God lovingly encourages spouses to “arise and come away,” hinting at the beautiful relationship between man and wife that is meant to be shared within marriage. This passage illustrates that sex is not just a physical act, but an intimate experience that binds two people in unity and love.

God designed sexual relations to be an expression of marital love. Therefore, when sex is not shared in the context of a committed, lifelong, and faithful marriage between a man and a woman, it is a sinful act according to God’s Word. The Bible notes that sexual immorality is a breaking of God’s commandments (1 Corinthians 10:8). Therefore, God desires for married couples to keep their sexual relations focused within the boundaries and commitment of marriage.

The Bible also affirms and celebrates sexual intimacy in a marriage. In 1 Corinthians 7:1-5, God notes that sexual relations should remain exclusive to the marriage relationship, and that it should be free of sin and enjoyment for both spouses. This depicts a beautiful, fulfilling, and selfless picture of marital sex that is meant to bring glory to God and joy to the couple.

Adultery in Marriage

The Bible also forbids adultery and unfaithfulness in marriage. In Matthew 5:27-28, Jesus declares that any sexual activity outside of marriage is registered as a sin before God, and that people should strive to remain sexually pure. The Bible gives a clear and firm commandment against adultery, noting that it is one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:14).

The Bible also notes that adultery, or any form of unfaithfulness, is destructive to a marriage. In Proverbs 6:32, people are warned not to entice a married woman, as this can lead to brokenness, shame, fear, and secrets. In addition, adultery can have a negative effect on the couple’s relationship with each other and with God. The Bible notes that faithfulness and repentance are necessary for the marriage to be restored.

The Bible does not just forbid adultery, but encourages loving faithfulness in marriage. In Proverbs 5:18-19, people are commanded to “be intoxicated with love” for their spouse. This passage encourages spouses to freely express love and affection for each other, to be emotionally and physically intimate, and to remain devoted to one another in times of trials. Ultimately, God desires for married couples to remain faithful to each other and to enjoy the blessings of a lifelong, committed relationship.

Family and Parenting in Marriage

The Bible places great value on marriage and it also offers instruction on how we should parent our children. In Ephesians 6:1-3, children are instructed to “Obey their parents in the Lord,” meaning they should submit to parents in a way that pleases God. Parents are to show kindness, gentleness, and patience towards their children and to guide them in Christian principles. In addition, parents are to train their children up in the discipline and instruction of God’s Word (Proverbs 22:6).

The Bible also calls parents to be diligent in teaching and living God’s Word. Parents are to model the teachings of Jesus and strive to raise children with a love for God, service to others, and respect for themselves and others. In addition, parents are to keep their children and family in prayer, seek godly counsel, and lead their families in spiritual devotion. The Bible is clear that it is the role of the parents to spiritually nurture and protect their children so they will grow in their faith.

The Bible also calls parents to nurture and build strong relationships with their children. Proverbs 13:24 reminds us that “whoever spares the rod hates their children,” indicating that there should be some discipline in parenting, but the Bible also encourages parents to nurture and encourage their children. Proverbs 22:6 notes that “Train a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not turn from it.” This illustrates that while discipline is necessary, building relationships is key to raising godly children.

Marriage and Financial Responsibility

The Bible also provides guidelines for financial stewardship and responsibility in a marriage. 1 Timothy 5:

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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