It’s that moment where you said your “I do.” You have publicly made your vow to commit to each other spending the rest of your lives together. It is a loving partnership to a lifetime of myriad circumstances, through richer or poorer, in sickness and health. How do you define marriage? What is the significance of marriage in Christianity?
Most, if not all, Christians see their marital status as a holy institution and God’s gift to the couple. In the world where a lot of things can go wrong, finding the person (created for you) and spending the rest of your lives together, it surely is God’s greatest blessings for the two of you. However, even some mature believers, do not have a sound perspective and clear biblical basis for their beliefs. In the world where society are giving a different meaning to how a marriage should be (fitting political and social agendas), Christian’s perspective on marriage is of vital importance.
“So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then 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.’ That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:21-24
Marriage Is Created For Relationships
The central theme in the Bible is about love and relationships from the creation of man in Genesis to the presentation of John of salvation’s plan in Revelation. God created us, and we will only be complete when we have a loving relationship with Him. The entire Scripture tells the story of our relationship with God: how to start your relationship, how to keep it, how to trust in it, how to communicate, and how to enjoy your relationship.
However, God’s purpose does not just entail a relationship with Him alone. He created us that we might enjoy and foster a loving and harmonious relationship with others that He places in our lives (1 Corinthians 12:18-21). Since God purportedly set us in the body of Christ (His Church), doesn’t it also mean that He places us with the wife or husband of His choice? Do we need to ask ourselves now that one-million dollar question of, “Why marriage?” Why is marriage so important to God? What is it about marriage that it is so vital to me?
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:12
Importance of Marriage To Each Partner
Maybe marriage, human relationship’s most intimate, was created by God for the purpose of honing us, wearing away our innate human selfishness, and molding us to think of others more than ourselves. I believe there is no superior way to mold us into His image than presenting us with our spouse, explicitly different from us.
In Genesis, there are three distinct purposes outlined for marriage, beyond each partner’s relationship to each other.
- To reflect God’s image. Christian marriage is to reflect His image (Genesis 1:26-27). Remember God purportedly letting Adam slumber so that He could fashion Eve from one of his ribs? Each of us (as man and woman) is created in God’s image. But, a married couple has an extraordinary capacity of reflecting His image as each other’s partner to sickness and in health, until death does them part.
- To reproduce. God’s second design for marriage is to reproduce (Genesis 1:28a). Not that married couples without children are not living according to His purpose. Remember, everything is already set and God has a reason for allowing things to happen, even things we could never understand. Marriage is a man and a woman’s opportunity to procreate children. One of the greatest gifts from God, with your kids, comes great responsibility. Your kids should be raised in the “likeness” of God.
- To reign over your portion of the world. “…Fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28a) Every married couple should subdue the earth, that is, your portion of it. Together, you should guard and diligently accomplish your purpose set in place by God.
The Heart Of The Matter
Most women may agree with me (albeit secretly for some) that wearing the epitomized white dress and walking down the aisle seeing your dream man waiting for you at the end of the line has always been a childhood dream. As we grow older even with occasional heartbreak in between, that childhood dream persists developing into a desire for sincere affection, security, companionship, and nurturing your family.
The secular world promotes that desire for marriage by strong marketing. Your dream is enhanced, and every detail sets the trend – from the wedding party apparel, the order of ceremony, that fancy cake, even the requirements of giving gifts. The tourist industry even participates with promotional honeymoon packages. Given secular input influence, how should one view the significance of marriage in Christianity?
The central point why marriage is important to God is because it is His ordained plan for all the world to see what is the real picture of His love for men and women. Marriage, then, becomes the means for couples to demonstrate their professed love for God.
In a traditional wedding ceremony, a couple may make this marriage vow (except one or two words):
“I, take thee, to be my lawfully wedded spouse. To hold you from this day forward; for all the good times, and even the bad times; in abundance, even in lack; in sickness and health; to cherish and to love; until the day we both shall die, according to God’s holy law; and this is my solemn vow.”
You may pledge a different version, or maybe you have done your own, but your promise that one beautiful afternoon, in front of God and all your witnesses, is lasting. A promise that no man (or woman) should be the reason to keep both of you asunder.