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5 Reasons Biblical Marriage Is Relevant for Current Generations
Posted by Temmy
Wed, March 27, 2024 1:27pm




Marriage is declining in America. According to a 2019 study by the Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans who have cohabited was larger than that of those who have been married. This is not surprising, considering that “most Americans find it acceptable for unmarried couples to live together, even for those who don’t plan to get married.”

Since Western societies are becoming more secularized, we should expect the rejection of religiously grounded practices like marriage. People have tried to redefine marriage, wanting to abandon the biblical practice and definition of it. For example, in 2015, the American Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision. This expanded “marriage” to include same-sex couples, granting them legal rights and privileges. Those who practice consensual non-monogamy (also called ethical non-monogamy) argue that dating or being in a sexual relationship with another person outside of their spouse is not adultery if all individuals involved give their consent. According to an article by Psych Central, this arrangement in which husband and wife are willing for their spouse to have additional partners is seen as a healthy way to cope with being “attracted to multiple people at once.”

Amid this whirlwind of ideas and changes to the definition of marriage, where should Christians stand? Do we give in to the whims of an ever-changing culture so that we are relevant? Are we supposed to ignore or reinterpret the verses in Scripture that define marriage and discuss sexual relationships just to appease the world? Even though the culture will continually shift, the Bible does not change. We should follow God’s Word and remain steadfast to its truth. This includes being faithful to what Scripture teaches about marriage.

Although society increasingly wants to move beyond it, marriage is still important. Here’s why:

1. God Instituted Marriage

The first marriage took place in the Garden of Eden. God knew it was not good for the first man (Adam) to be alone (Genesis 2:18). He needed a suitable helper not found among the animals. To meet this need, the Lord created the first woman, Eve. He then brought them together in marriage, making the two into one flesh (Genesis 2:20-24).

Based on the example of Adam and Eve’s union, we know what God intended marriage to be. He gave this union as a covenant relationship between one biological man and one biological woman (Matthew 19:4-5). Within the marriage union, both parties are responsible to the other for maintaining faithfulness. They are also answerable to the Lord – the Founder of marriage. As Jesus said,

“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” - Matthew 19:6, NIV

The Lord specifically restricted sexual activity within the confines of this relationship. Thus, a biblical definition of marriage excludes polygamy, homosexuality, and any form of polyamorous relationships. Despite its popularity and prevalence, Cohabitation is not the Lord’s design.

Believers should recognize that marriage is still important. A biblical view of matrimony will never grow outdated or irrelevant because the Lord instituted it. What He has created will continue until the end of age at the resurrection. After that time, people will neither marry nor be given in marriage (Matthew 22:30). Until then, what the Lord has set in place remains.

2. Marriage Provides a Picture of Christ’s Love for the Church

In Western culture, people often assume that marriage is an optional choice meant only to express a couple's love for one another. However, the Bible teaches that marriage is so much more.

The relationship between a husband and wife is meant to represent Christ's love for the church.

Paul's epistle to the church in Ephesus discusses this special aspect of marriage. Husbands are supposed to love their wives just as Jesus loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). He gave His life for her. Also, a husband should care for his wife as he would his own body by properly feeding and caring for it (Ephesians 5:28-29). In lovingly and sacrificially caring for his wife, he provides an analogy of what Jesus does for the church.

Likewise, a wife's behavior toward her husband provides an analogy of the church's relationship to Christ. Just as the body of believers submit to the Lord, a wife must respect and listen to her husband (Ephesians 5:22-24, 33). When both sides are living in obedience to Scripture, they provide an image of Jesus' loving care and the church's reverent submission to Him.

Marriage points to a greater truth. Jesus took on the form of a servant and died for the world's sins (Philippians 2:6-8). He purchased the church with His blood (Acts 20:28). Today, He is actively washing and purifying her for His future wedding (Ephesians 5:26-27). The church, Jesus' bride, will be beautifully adorned on that day with righteous works done in love and reverence for her Lord and Savior (Revelation 19:7-8).

3. Marriage is the Foundation of the Family

In the beginning, God instructed the first couple to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). The earth was meant to be filled with all the Lord’s good creations. Later, He gave Noah and his sons the same instructions (Genesis 9:1). These examples show that populating the world was important because there were few humans.

Today, married couples are not required to have children. The earth is already full of people, so if a husband and wife decide not to have kids, they are not sinning. However, marriage continues to serve as the foundation of the family unit.

Scripture’s instructions to children and parents assume this reality. As Paul wrote, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth” (Ephesians 6:1-3, NIV). The Apostle quoted from the Law in Deuteronomy 5:16 and mentioned both a father and a mother.

Other passages in Scripture also discuss the need for the father and mother to be involved in raising children (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Proverbs 1:8-9; Ephesians 6:4). The family is the main unit through which kids learn about the Lord and are equipped for life.

Although broken families and single-parent homes have become commonplace around the world, this was not God’s original design for the family. He intended children to grow up in a home where their parents love and serve each other.

When a child does not have this, either because they are orphaned, fatherless, or live in a broken home, they suffer. God expresses great care and concern for these little ones, calling others to do the same (Psalm 68:5; 82:3-4; James 1:27). Marriage is still relevant because it is the biblical foundation for raising a family.

4. Scripture Tells Us to Honor Marriage

Marriage is a special relationship created by God. The author of Hebrews wrote,

“Marriage should be honored by all.” - Hebrews 13:4, NIV

John Piper describes the biblical meaning of this verse in a message about Hebrews 13:1-6 on Desiring God. As he said, “[W]hen you think of marriage, let yourself be gripped by emotions of tremendous respect and sanctity. In relation to marriage, cultivate the feeling that this [is] not to be touched quickly, handled casually, or treated commonly.”

Believers can honor marriage by upholding the biblical definition of marriage in the church and among unbelievers. We might be viewed negatively for doing so, but obeying the Lord is more important. We should not be afraid to speak the truth in love.

Guarding against sexual immorality in our lives is also another way to honor this union. Hebrews 13:4 mentions explicitly that the sexually immoral and adulterer will be punished. They defile the sanctity of a relationship that the Lord created.

As our moral relativistic culture encourages us to embrace sexually immoral practices, we need to stand firm in biblical truth. God tells us to honor biblical marriage and not to confuse it with what the world accepts as “marriage.” Let us remember the seriousness of marital unions and treat them with the sanctity they deserve.

5. Upholding Biblical Marriage Contributes to Our Gospel Witness

Upholding our belief in the Bible’s definition of marriage strengthens our ability to witness. We do not move with the currents of culture but remain steadfast in scriptural teaching.

People around us create different versions of truth – what they want to believe to be true and right. They will notice when someone clings to beliefs and principles that remain true regardless of cultural or societal changes. Christians who uphold biblical truth in all areas, including marriage, act with integrity and consistency. Their ability to witness will not be undermined because they are standing on the authority of God’s Word, not their own opinions or feelings. For instance, they can discuss the beautiful picture that marriage gives of Jesus’ love of the church, pointing to the gospel's message because they support a biblical view of marriage.

If we discard the God-ordained husband-and-wife relationship, we lose the analogy of Christ’s love for the church and dishonor what the Lord has established. Marriage may seem unnecessary and insignificant in today’s culture, but it is just as important as ever.





 

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