What does the Bible say about marriage? What does a Biblical marriage look like?
The Bible has a lot to say about marriage. And much of what it says runs contrary to what the culture around us believes. For followers of Jesus, we should go to God’s Word to see how we should be living.
In this post, we are going to look at what the Bible teaches and how it applies to our lives. And I believe that if you follow what the Bible teaches about marriage it will profoundly change your marriage. It’s not just true, it’s helpful.
Table of Contents
Looking Through The Lens Of Biblical Marriage
Before we look at what the Bible says about marriage we need to make sure we are on the same page. In this article we will be looking at marriage through a Biblical lens. If you are not a Christian then there will obviously be disagreement. That’s okay.
If you are not following Jesus, what the Bible says about marriage shouldn’t be the primary question that should concern you. Instead you should wrestle through who Jesus is, what Jesus did, and what impact that holds for you. That comes first.
I say that because many Christians try to force a Christian ethic upon non-Christians. That’s not what Jesus did nor the goal of this article. We simply want to examine what Biblical marriage is according to the Bible.
With that in mind let’s check out a few Bible verses about marriage.
What Does The Bible Say About Marriage?
So, what does the Bible say about marriage? In short, quite a lot.
There’s too many Bible verses about marriage for us to look at each individually. Rather than diving into each verse we are going to take an overview look at what the Bible says. And then we will look at seven truths that we can pull from these verses.
If you want a more compressive list check out: 100 Bible Verses About Marriage
Bible Verses About Marriage
Here’s some of the most common verses that describe Biblical marriage:
- Hebrews 13:4, marriage should be held in high honor.
- Genesis 2:24, marriage was established from the beginning as an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman.
- Proverbs 18:22, marriage is a blessing.
- 1 Corinthians 7:6-7, singleness is also a gift.
- Genesis 2:18, God designed men and women to need each other. (Learn more here: What Helpmate Means)
- Matthew 5:31-32, marriage was designed to last a lifetime.
- Ephesians 5:21-27, Jesus is the example for sacrificial love in marriages.
- Matthew 19:4-6, a husband and wife are bonded together.
- Ephesians 5:31-32, marriage reflects the image of God.
- Genesis 1:27, men and woman are different… but equal.
That’s a brief overview of some of the main teachings the Bible gives us on marriage. Again, this isn’t a comprehensive list, rather an overview.
7 Truths About Marriage In The Bible
I want to take the above verses and take a closer look at what they teach us about Biblical marriage. Here’s seven truths that we can learn about marriage in the Bible.
1. Marriage Is Good… But So Is Singleness.
We tend to overvalue marriage in Christian circles. We act like marriage is the pinnacle of relationships, and we look down on those that are not married. Especially in the leadership circles within Christianity.
Now, I’m not saying marriage isn’t good. It is, the Bible is clear it is a blessing from God. But so is being single.
We should not assume that because some, or even most, benefit from marriage that all benefit. Some people will not and should not experience marriage. God has other plans for them. And that’s a good thing to be celebrated. In fact it’s a blessing according to the Bible. (1 Corinthians 7:6-7)
Not being married allows certain freedoms and abilities that those married simply don’t have. That should be celebrated AS MUCH as those who are married. Both singleness and marriage are a gift from God.
We should view marriage AND singleness as a gift from God.
2. Marriage Is About Companionship
Marriage should center around companionship. This is the first thing that God does when he creates marriage in Genesis 2:18. He lays out that the foundation of marriage is a friendship of two co-equals coming together as one.
According to the story of creation human beings are built deficient in a way. We were designed for each other. This isn’t a consequence of the fall, instead it’s an intentional part of our design. God created Adam with a deficiency that would cause him to seek out an intimate relationship.
Humans are social beings, and we are made for each other. We need each other. This isn’t just for marriage but in life; we are designed to go through life with others. And marriage exists to meet the needs that exist within us.
Want to learn more about Genesis 2:18? Check out: The True Meaning Of Helpmate (4 powerful truths from Genesis 2:18)
3. Marriage Is Irreversible By Design
When we enter into a marriage we are united with each other. The two become one in ways that we don’t fully comprehend. Jesus makes this clear in Matthew 5:31-32 and Matthew 19:1-12. Marriage is a union that is irreversible.
What is a union? A union is when two things become joined together in such a fashion that they cannot go back to their original state. When two become one it is impossible for the two to go back to the original state they existed in before.
Think of the last meal you ate. In a way, you entered into a union with that food. You and the food were joined together and became one. You cannot go back to the two separate states you were before. Even if you threw it up… I know gross, but hang with me… parts of you would come up with the food and parts of the food would stay in you. Because a union is the intertwining of two separate things into one. And you cannot separate back into the state they were prior.
That’s why God designed marriage to last a lifetime. And that’s why divorce is always messy. There’s no such thing as a clean break in marriage. Parts of one will always be with the other.
4. Marriage Reflects The Image Of God
God designed our marriages to be a demonstration, a picture, to a watching world of the relationship of Christ to His bride, the church. Marriage is a way in which God speaks to the world around us through our changed lives.
This is what Paul is arguing for in Ephesians 5:31-32, Christian marriages say something visually and representatively about Christ and the church to those around us. (Ephesians 5:31-32)
Your marriage is a witness; whether you like it or not, your marriage is saying something about God to those around you. Kids’ biggest influence about what they believe about God will largely come from their parents’ marriage. God designed marriage to reflect His image and tell those around us about Him.
When people see a married couple they should see a picture of beauty, wholeness, and love. It should give them a picture of who God is. In essence, your marriage is a sermon.
5. Marriage Is About Your Transformation
Many enter into marriage to find bliss and happiness. But God designed marriage to refine us into who he created us to be.
Of course that does’t mean that there isn’t joy and happiness in a marriage. There certainly should be. In fact, every healthy marriage I’ve seen contains an abundance of happiness and joy. But that’s a by-product, not the primary goal.
When we enter into a marriage expecting to only find happiness we will be sorely disappointed. Marriage is difficult. But those hardships will help us become who God has created us to be.
Ironically when we understand marriage isn’t primarily about our happiness that’s when we will find deep levels of happiness.
6. Husband/Wife Are Different But Equal
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
Adam and Eve were created equal in value and dignity. Both men and women are created in the image of God. One is not greater than the other. For much of human history men have been valued over women. We can see this is clearly not God’s design through the work of Jesus. He continually elevated women in a society which put them down.
You can read more about Jesus’ treatment of women here: How Jesus Treated Women
While Adam and Eve are equal, they are also different. Where Adam is weak, Eve is strong. Where Eve is weak, Adam is strong. Together they can do what they could not do individually.
This is true in every marriage. Each spouse has strengths and weaknesses. They can do things the other cannot. That doesn’t make them better, just different. When a couple learns to leverage their differences they grow stronger.
Men and women are equal, but they are different. God has given each of us different strengths and abilities. We shouldn’t use those differences to beat our spouses down, but rather use our differences to elevate our marriages. Our differences in our marriage are what makes us stronger.
For more about this, check out: The True Meaning Of Helpmate (4 powerful truths from Genesis 2:18)
7. Sex Is Reserved For Marriage
A good and loving parent always gives their children rules. Letting a child do whatever they want is not loving. Rules keep children safe, healthy, and help them develop. They are what is best for them, even if the child doesn’t understand why.
We all know that. But for some reason we fail to take that same reasoning to God. We think a loving God should let us do what we want, what we think is best. A good God should have no rules.
But because God is a good and loving father He has given us rules. Not to kill our joy and end our fun. But to protect us, to keep us healthy, and to help us grow into who we are created to be.
That’s why God has put rules around sex for Christians to follow. Because he loves us and wants what’s best for us.
Yet many Christians have reasoned their way to a belief that it doesn’t really matter who you sleep with. The problem is we are finite beings who can’t possibility understand everything. God is infinite, and he created us and knows what’s best.
As followers of Jesus we are called to submit to what He says is the correct way to live because we believe He has our best interests in mind. Even when it doesn’t make sense to us.
So yes, sex has rules. But probably not as many as you think…
The Bible clearly and consistently says sex is reserved for marriage. Anything outside of that is going against what God says is best. That’s not God being a killjoy. It’s God protecting us from harm and wanting the best for us.
The Bible makes clear time and time again that sex was designed for the confines of marriage. The Bible’s view on sexuality is rather straight forward. Basically the Bible says that sex is beautiful within certain boundaries and typically brutal, dehumanizing, and harmful outside of those boundaries.
For more check out: What Does The Bible Say About Sex? (4 surprising truths about sex in the Bible)
More Resources About Biblical Marriage
Obviously there’s much more that could be said about marriage. But I think these 7 lessons help us understand the overview of what the Bible teaches us about marriage.
Again, this is written from a Biblical prospective. If you aren’t following Jesus there’s obviously going to be disagreement, that’s okay. Keep wrestling with who He is and what He did. The rest will follow.
If you want to dive a little further into this question, “what does the Bible say about marriage?” let me offer you some resources. These are books I have read and benefited from, not just random books. They are great resources that can help you come to a deeper understanding of how God designed marriage and how to live that out.
Thanks for reading! I hope that this teaching on what the Bible says about marriage has helped you rethink parts of your life and faith. If it did would you share this post with a friend or two? That way they can benefit from it as you have. See you next time!
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