Marriage in the Bible speaks of:
- Creation ordinance (Gen.2:4) Marriage (the union of one man and one woman) is God’s idea, it’s his design.
- Completion/Complementarity (Gen.2:18) “It is not good for man to be alone.” God makes a helper suitable for Adam. Equal but different in order to fulfil significantly different roles and thus image forth a clear reflection of God, in all his Trinitarian glory. There is order in God, and in marriage.
- Cleaving (Gen.2:24) Two become one. For the new bond of ‘oneness’ to develop there must be a significant ‘leaving’ of the former family ties. At least emotionally.
- Covenant/Commitment (Prov.2:17; Mal.2:13,14) Beyond the emotional ties lies a deeper bond of commitment in God.
- Companionship (Eccl.4:9, 12) “Two are better than one… a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
- Celebration (Jn.2:1-11) Jesus celebrates at the wedding at Cana. Marriage is worthy of celebration. His presence dignifies and hallows the sacred estate of marriage.
- Conditions/Commands (Matt.19:6; Ex.20:14; Mal.2 :16) Marriage is for life, “Till death do us part.” There should be no third party intrusion. God forbids adultery and hates divorce.
- Conjugal rights (1Cor.7:3-5) Selfless, self-giving for the sexual pleasure of your spouse.
- Children (Ps.127:3) “Children are a reward from the Lord.” The marriage covenant protects the husband’s and wife’s natural God-given inclination to sexual intimacy, and provides the stable environment, and God-reflecting context, to nurture children for the glory of God.
- Consecration (1Cor.7:14) The believing partner makes common grace possible in greater measure. Hopefully leading to special grace received in salvation.
- Concerns (1Cor.7:28, 32-35) Worldly troubles divide time and energy often to the detriment of devotion to Christ. Extra grace-fuelled effort is required to maintain discipleship within marriage. Singleness should be seen as a blessing and a good thing, as well as the married estate.
- Conflict (Gen.3) With the entrance of sin there is separation from God and breakdown in human relationships. The blame-shifting begins. The curse on Eve results in the woman’s desire to supplant her husband’s authority and the husband’s desire to dominate/subjugate his wife. The only hope lies in the promised Seed of the woman who will crush the serpent’s head (at the cross).
- Christ and the Church (Eph.5:22-33) Christ’s own redeeming love (in the gospel) provides the cure for marriage and the pattern for marriage. Husband’s love their wives like Jesus loved the church – sacrificially. Wives submit to their husbands like the church follows the lead/Lordship of Christ. Christian marriages have all the potential, in the grace of God, to be a revelation/reflection of the ultimate relationship, namely, God’s relation to his people in Christ.
- Consummation (Rev.19:7-9) Perhaps the most sublime metaphor for the Church is the Bride of Christ. The Church, now, is in process of preparation (applying justification, sanctification, glorification – the daily dynamic of discipleship) for the coming of her bridegroom, Jesus. “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen, Come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev.22:20)