What Is Marriage?

Many in our society are trying to change the historical definition of marriage. They are trying to say that marriage can be between two members of the same sex. In fact, some have gone so far as to say that they want to be married to their pet (dog, cat, etc.). Where have we gone wrong? We need to remember what the Bible says about marriage. God is the one who created marriage. He should be the One to determine what it is.

The Biblical Description of Marriage

First of all, marriage is an institution that God created for our use while we are here on the earth. When Jesus was asked about marriage in heaven, He said: Matthew 22:30 (NKJV) “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.”

Thus, the question then is: “Why did God create marriage for us here on the earth?” If it was simply for procreation, it really is not necessary. Animals procreate all the time and they have no marriage. There must be more important reasons. I will not into all of them right now. I will simply refer you to some of my other articles on marriage.

But notice what happened in the Garden of Eden. God had created the first man, Adam. But God noticed that something was wrong. He was lonely. So God brought all of the animals that He had created and showed them to Adam to name them. But notice what happened. Genesis 2:20 (NKJV): “So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.”

God Created Eve

It is very interesting what God did about this. Read Genesis 2:21-22 (NKJV): “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.”

It is interesting to note that to create this woman; God took a rib from Adam and created her from it. Why? Why didn’t God just create a woman in the same way He created Adam, from nothing? God wanted to teach us something very important. Men and women are connected. They belong to each other. They complement and fulfill each other. They need each other. And this is all fulfilled through marriage.

Also, notice that God did not create another man. He created another creature that was of the same species, but different from him. Why? What did God actually do? He created a creature that would complement him. What Adam lacked, Eve would fulfill in him. Of course, the opposite is also true. What Eve lacked, Adam would fulfill in her.

This was God’s plan. God created us so that we would know that we need each other. We fulfill each other through marriage. We will not have this need when we get to heaven (paradise), because we will neither be male nor female. But while we live in this physical world, we were created to need each other.

The story of Adam illustrates the need that is in most of us. I say most of us because some people seem to function perfectly fine as singles. Read my article on “Marriage and Society” to understand this better.

Most of us do not feel complete living by ourselves. Why? It is because we feel that there is something lacking in our lives. We need someone to complete us. And it is not someone exactly like us but someone that has qualities that we do not possess. This is what marriage does for us.

Til Death Do Us Part

So what happens when we marry our spouse? God explains it to us in Genesis 2:24 (NKJV): “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

How can this be? We still see ourselves as two individuals. We still have our own wishes and desires. Each of us can still do different things. So what actually does happen? It is something that happens on the spiritual level and not just on the physical level. Yes, it begins through the physical act of intercourse. That is why society calls it consummating the marriage.

However, in God’s eyes, we have created a spiritual bond and it is permanent, as long as we are alive here on this physical earth. To understand more about this, read my article on “Sex Within Marriage.”

What About Divorce?

In the Old Testament, divorce was possible. In fact it was rather easy. But what did Jesus say about this? Matthew 19:8 (NKJV): “He said to them, ‘Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.’”

Malachi tells us God’s real feelings about divorce. Malachi 2:16 (NKJV): “For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, ‘For it covers one’s garment with violence,’” So why does God hate divorce. Look at the passage. It is saying that divorce tears apart what God joined together. It is a violent act. It destroys what God created.

There is only one time that God says that it is alright to divorce your spouse. Listen to what Jesus said. Matthew 19:9 (NKJV): “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

Why does God grant divorce in this situation? It is because the unfaithful spouse has already broken the spiritual bond between them. Thus, a legal separation is can be granted. But notice this. The innocent spouse is free to marry another. However, the immoral spouse is not. In other words, when we commit adultery, we remain convicted in the eyes of God, but at the same time we free our innocent spouse to marry again. I believe this is the case because God does not want to punish the innocent party that was wronged.

Keep this in mind. If you have committed adultery and your spouse has divorced you (or you divorced your spouse), you only have one option. And that is to reconcile with your spouse. Is this easy? Absolutely not! It will be the hardest thing you have ever done. But if you want to be married and be blessed by God, it is your only option.

What About Remarriage?

If you have divorced your first spouse and have already married another, what can you do? Keep in mind that God will forgive all sin. You cannot divorce your second spouse and remarry your first spouse. However, if you are sincerely sorry for breaking God’s law of marriage, God will forgive you.

However, keep in mind that repentance includes the understanding that you want to make right the wrong that you did. You cannot remarry your divorced spouse, but you can see to it that he/she is well taken care of. This will show God that you are truly repentant.

However, if you go ahead and divorce your spouse with the intention of marrying someone else and then asking God to forgive you for the divorce, you will probably have a problem. When you ask for forgiveness, God looks at your heart. You are going to have a very hard time convincing God that you are truly sorry for what you did. My best advice is: “Don’t do it.”

Mutual Submission

Keep in mind that marriage is mutual submission to each other. Yes, the Bible says that the husband is the head of the family. But just before God talks about this, He says: Ephes. 5:21 (Living Bible): “Honor Christ by submitting to each other.”

Mutual submission is actually one of the greatest secrets of a happy marriage. Yes, God has established the line of authority within a marriage. But it is this first statement that makes the line of authority work. Without it, there cannot be a happy or a successful marriage.


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