One of the first and greatest blessings God gave to man was woman. Perhaps this gift was delayed (Genesis 2:15-25) so as to be appreciated. Being a gift from God, we can look to the Bible to see how to have the best marriage possible.
A Marriage Commitment
The commitment in marriage is what makes the difference. This commitment is part of agape (αγαπη) love. This love is “patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (1 Corinthians 13:4–8).
Like the love God has for us, marital love is a decision and not purely emotional. We may struggle with the emotional side of love, but we remember the commitment we made in deciding to love our spouse. That commitment makes marriage sweeter, troubles easier, and the future brighter.
The Marriage Ceremony
Here is the first wedding ceremony. Marriage is the joining of man and woman into one flesh (Genesis 2:21-25; Matthew 19:6). Any “joining” outside of marriage is viewed by God as fornication (Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 6:18-19). More than half of the Millennial generation believes “living together” to be appropriate without marriage. However, this is wrong Biblically and statistically as the majority of these relationships end in separation even after a marriage.
The ceremony need not be fancy, however, it is to be for forever. It is the joining of two into one. It is the cutting off of former relationships in order to bind to one other. The ceremony sets the tone for the new couple’s life and eternity.
The Marriage Comparison
Our marriages will be better when we remember that the union between man and woman is a symbol of the union between God and man and an expression of the triune nature of God. The symbolic nature of marriage is seen in Ephesians 5:22-23. Paul described his discussion of marriage this way, “this is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:32).
The concept of marriage is also used in the Old Testament to describe the relationship between God and his people. Hosea’s life and ministry is, perhaps, a prime example of this description. When God chose his people, it was as though he was married to them. When they went after other god’s, it was as if they were unfaithful to him. Upon their unfaithfulness, God divorced his people and wed another–the church (Romans 7:1-6). Perhaps this is why God forbids divorce and remarriage for any reason other that fornication (Matthew 19:9).
Remembering that our marriages are reflections of this heavenly glory, we should be encouraged to have both happy and holy unions. What a tremendous privilege to honor God in our lives by our marriages.