Marriage as God Intended it to be

"For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." - Genesis 2:24 


From the beginning of time, God created marriage to be a sacred union; A divine bond between man and woman that signifies His love and purpose for humanity. However, cultural and social trends have corroded this perspective from the intended purpose outlined in the Bible. Currently, divorce rates have soared due to wavering commitment levels, with individuals prioritizing individualism, self-fulfillment, and temporary companionship over the sacredness of the marital bond. As marriage is a union defined in by God, we will exploit its true nature by drawing wisdom from the scriptures to understand God’s intended design.

 

In Genesis 2:24, God acclaims this union as a covenant between man and woman to love and unite and form a single unit of existence. Two distinct individuals, each with their individual characteristics and family are joined together through a binding covenant. During the process of creation, God made all animals, “But for Adam, no suitable helper was found.” So God made woman for Him, from his rib. “bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” In marriage, a woman returns back to their bone, and together with the man, they become one flesh.

 

This verse shows the singularity of marriage, where only one man unites with one woman, and they become one flesh. This Bible chapter supports monogamous marriages as the true design of God. As per God’s design, the marital union is expected to be exclusive and committed. God didn’t intend to create multiple partners for man but rather established a single individual (woman), whereby together they establish a profound and lifelong connection. These two individuals intertwine their lives and live in unity and intimacy, where their basis of love, purpose, and devotion is God.

 

Further, it portrays marriage as a lifetime commitment. These two individuals end up becoming one body. Jesus reiterates this in Matthew 19: 4-5. In verse 6, he adds that “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together let no one separate.It is vital to note that the union between a man and a woman is ordained by God, “what God has joined,” and not by man. Thus, the bonds that hold marriage are strong and permanent until the end of days. There is permanence in marriage, throughout the different seasons of life.

 

A cultural question arises on how can you live and love one individual for eternity. Some argue that individuals are constantly growing and changing, and thus can be difficult to make a long-term commitment to one person. Due to this personal growth, it is quite easy to outgrow your partner, lose interest and desire new experiences and connections over time. Unfortunately, this argument is the basis of the current perspective on marriage which is rooted in instant gratification, personal fulfillment, and self-fulfillment. It understands marriage as a choice for personal fulfillment rather than the sacred covenant that God designed it to be.

 

In the context of the world, people have the capability to fall in love and also fall out of love, leading to separation and high rates of divorce. This raises the question of: what is love? Jesus defines love as the greatest commandment of all, where He commands His followers to Love God and to love their neighbors as they love themselves. The concept of love in marriage is defined based on Christ’s love for the Church. It is further expounded in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, where it is described,

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

 

As per these standards of love denoted in the Bible, falling out of love is an impossibility. It perseveres through the high and lows. The changes a Christian undergoes are in line with their spiritual growth, and thus impossible for one partner to grow in a different pattern with the other. As Christians, growth is defined as from faith to faith. Through the Bible, God has left numerous instructions on how man and woman should live in marriage and how to ensure their growth and unity is not tampered with by the ways of the world. Christian, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." - Romans 12:2.

 

Within its pages, you can find invaluable guidance on how to navigate the complexities of marriage. This is to say, that, it is true that people change in marriage. However, the Bible offers us a roadmap for managing these changes, specifically through building a strong foundation of marriage in Christ. The role of a man and woman in marriage is built on the foundation of Christ.  The Bible presents the teachings and principles that married individuals can use to gain the wisdom and strength needed to navigate the ever-evolving dynamics of a relationship. With Christ as the foundation, these two independent individuals understand the values and beliefs that govern their relationship, what is expected of them, and how to handle each other. The relationship of a man and woman in marriage should be modeled to that of Christ and his Church; where Christ laid down His life for the church.

 

Marriage is a divine institution designed by God Himself. It is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman, symbolizing the profound love and purpose that God has for humanity. In a world where divorce rates are high and commitment levels are wavering, it is crucial to return to the biblical understanding of marriage. Marriage is a lifelong commitment between two individuals who become one flesh, united by God Himself. It is a union that requires exclusivity, commitment, and selflessness. While the world may present alternative views on marriage and love, as Christians, we are called to align ourselves with God's design. Love in marriage is not based on fleeting emotions or personal fulfillment but on the selfless and enduring love exemplified by Christ. By adhering to the biblical principles of love and commitment, we can build strong and lasting marriages that reflect God's intended design.