A Godly Marriage From a Christian Perspective
“God is for marriage, He is for loving companionship, He is for sex, and He is for having children. In His plan, they all go together but in proper order.” — — — Grunlan, Stephen A.
When Jesus was on the earth before His ministry, He went to a wedding and performed His first miracle. I think Jesus was happy to see people on the earth get married. And in the God’s creation, marriage was the last but not the least established by God. When God saw Adam was walking alone in the garden, He said “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” So God created a woman named Eve. Therefore, marriage is established by God.
Why God created the marriage? Three verses from the book of Genesis 1:26–28, 2:18 and Malachi 2:15 can give us a hint why God established marriage. First is to serve God together, second is to start a family and manage what God gives, and third is to increase in number. God was involved directly in the first marriage. The relationship between God, Adam and Eve perfect. There are two relations in this relationship, vertically and horizontally. Horizontally, Adam and Eve. Vertically, God and couple. Marriage would be very stable when the relationship is a triangle. As King Solomon said Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
As a Christian, I believe that the marriage is a covenant, between bride and bridegroom. Covenant is different with a contract. Today, I think many of marriages are looks like a deal. I want to marry you because I like you, if I am not interested you anymore, I will try to take you out of my life because “me” is the center of my life. This kind of phenomena happens very frequently. But the covenant is not based on personal right or self-interesting, it is based on sacrificial love. Even though wife or husband has personal responsibilities in a covenant, wife doesn’t have to give husband something to stimulate husband to do something for his wife. In the Old Testament history, God made a covenant with Abraham, and God said He chose Abraham’s descendant as a chosen nation which is Israelites. Chosen people was horrible in the history. They married with other nations, worshiped other gods, sexual immorality, complained to God about everything. They violated almost every God’s command. If God treated His relationship with Israel people as a contract, the whole nation would not exist at all. Instead, God has been showing His great love and mercy to them. God didn’t ask Israelites to pay back a penny. Instead, He gave, provided everything His people needed. It was a sacrificial love.
In the marriage covenant, husband and wife are equal. Although God said, the woman is a helper for man doesn’t mean the woman is ignoble. One of my favorite pastors said this: “only good student help an ill student with his homework.” Also St. Augustine said man and woman are equal in God’s eye. God didn’t use the skull to create woman to avoid woman to rule over man, and he didn’t use the toe’s bone to create woman to avoid man to enslave the woman. He used man’s rib to create the woman because ribs are the closest to the man’s heart. It means the woman was close to Adam’s heart. Therefore, the marriage represents the most intimate relationship in the world. It is united spiritually, emotionally and physically. As Adam said when he first met Eve “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”
Bible also tells us that man should leave his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Obviously, we need to leave our parents and be united with our spouse. It is not saying you have to cut relationship with your parents but to be independent psychologically. As a Chinese, I don’t think we are doing good on this part, because of culture background, we keep relying on parents until thirty years old normally. Because of that, parents are playing a big role in their children’s marriages. Some parents just tell their kids who should marry with for their own sake. This tradition has been caused many family conflicts.
When Paul talked about marriage, he thought it was a great mystery because it represents the relationship between Church and Christ. As Paul said in the book of Ephesians, “…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Christ loved the Church and he didn’t reserve his life, his love for the Church never ends. Paul said the husband should love his wife as Christ loves the Church. Many young Christian couples today are looking for their own satisfaction in the marriage, so many of them end up with divorce. Divorce is not pleased to God but deviates from God’s original purpose for the marriage. In the book of Matthew, when a Pharisees came to Jesus and asked Jesus about divorce, Jesus answered to him that Moses permitted people to divorce their wives because of their hearts were hard. However, it was not God’s will.
Sex is a gift from God for godly people to enjoy. Through sex, man and woman become one physically. Sex is for the marriage, and it is holy and pure. God gave this privilege to man not only to increase the numbers on the earth but also to make wife and husband become as one through physical copulation. And legitimate sexual life can avoid extramarital affair which is a sin to against God. Having children is the next step. The Bible says that “See, sons are a heritage from the Lord; the fruit of the body is his reward.” Today, many abortions are happening around the world. Every year, 44,000,000 unformed life has been killed in mothers’ womb. We have to face this problem today, and we have to confess that ungodly sexual relationship is bringing many disasters to this word. However, a godly family can create a better environment for kids to grow up healthily. Therefore, from Christian perspective, purity and holiness are imperative before the marriage and in the marriage. Christianity hates sins because God is sinless, and Christianity is the only religion that emphasizes body purity. In the book of 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 says that “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”
In conclusion, from Christian perspective, the marriage is a gift from God, and every single marriage is a unique creation. The most important are God has a purpose on our marriages. We can experience God’s relentless love and the mystery of new life through the marriage. We can taste the covenant that God made with us through marriage. We can glorify God’s name through our marriage.
Grunlan, Stephen A., and Milton Reimer. Christian Perspectives on Sociology. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1982. Print.
Fleischacker, David. “Part 6: Horizontal and Vertical Finality in Marriage, Love, and Finality.”The Lonergan Institute. N.p., 19 July 2015. Web. 28 Jan. 2017.
“Number of Abortions — Abortion Counters.” Number of Abortions in US & Worldwide — Number of Abortions since 1973. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2017.