Many of the cultural norms regarding marriage are under assault today. As a result, it’s important to reflect on how Biblical marriage is defined and described. United States marriage trends published from Pew Research (February, 2019) found that individuals are staying single longer (median ages of 30 and 28 for men, women respectively), divorce rates have increased with older Americans (tripled with those aged 65+), cohabiting is up to about 18 million (about half are under 35 but over 50 is rising quickly), and support for same-sex marriage continues to rise.
The Bible is clear on certain characteristics and parameters about marriage (e.g “Biblical marriage”). With the understanding that the Bible is the Word of God, defining “Biblical marriage” is the same as knowing what God thinks about marriage.
How Scripture answers "What is Biblical marriage?"
Biblical marriage is a man and woman being joined together as “one flesh” – established at Creation1, reiterated by God through His prophet Malachi2, and repeated by Jesus4 and Paul6,8. God enters into the marriage covenant2,4 – likened to Christ and the church5,6 – which can only be annulled through adultery3,8 or death7,8. The couple is an independent unit/family1, where the husband is head over the wife5 while loving and cherishing her2,4 as Christ does the church6.
Answer built on scripture-blocks below
Man and woman were created by God for each other and become “one flesh” in marriage.
Malachi confirms the ‘oneness’ of marriage from Genesis1 but also introduces the ‘covenant’ between not only man and woman, but also God. Marriage is a contract between the man, woman, and God.
Divorce for any reason other than sexual immorality causes any subsequent marriages to be in sin.
Jesus carries the marriage law forward from Creation1; God joins man and woman in marriage, making one flesh that man can’t separate.
Wives are to submit to their husbands.
Husbands are to care for and cherish their wives as Christ does His church. Paul concludes with the same truth from Creation1 – that the two become “one flesh” in marriage.
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