Question: "What does the Bible say about marriage?"
Answer: The creation of marriage is recorded in Genesis 2:23-24: "The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman,” for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." God created man and then made woman to complement him. Marriage is God’s “fix” for the fact that “it is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18).
The word “helper” used to describe Eve in Genesis 2:20 means “to surround, to protect or aid, help.” Eve was created to be alongside Adam as his "other half," to be his aid and his helper. A man and woman, when married, become "one flesh." This oneness is manifested most fully in the physical union of sexual intimacy. The New Testament adds a warning regarding this oneness. "So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate" (Matthew 19:6).
There are several epistles written by the apostle Paul that refer to marriage and how believers are to operate within the marriage relationship. One such passage is 1 Corinthians chapter 7, and another is Ephesians 5:22-33. When studied together, these two passages provide biblical principles that form a framework for a God-pleasing marriage relationship.
The Ephesians passage is especially profound in reference to a successful biblical marriage. "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior" (Ephesians 5:22-23). "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:25). "In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church” (Ephesians 5:28-29). “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31).
When a believing husband and wife institute God’s principles, a biblical marriage results. A biblically based marriage is one that is in balance, with Christ as the head of the man and the wife together. The biblical concept of marriage is a oneness between two individuals that pictures the oneness of Christ with His church.
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