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Why should I get married?

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Many cultures in the world today are losing the understanding of what marriage was designed to be. We live in a world that says we should get what we want any way we can get it. Marriage is sometimes seen as confinement that may hamper our ability to have what we want when we want it. Marriage today is sometimes mocked as an archaic institution that has lost its relevance. Yet marriage is just as valid and to be honored today as it ever was (Hebrews 13:4).

The first marriage occurred when God created Adam and Eve, joined them in covenant, and they became one flesh. The idea of "one flesh" implies an unbreakable seal meant to last a lifetime. When Jesus was asked about divorce, He answered, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.... So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:5-6). Notice that it is God who joins a man and woman in marriage. In Malachi 2:14, God reminds us that He was "a witness between you and the wife of your youth." God designed marriage as one man and one woman for a lifetime, and any deviation from that plan is a distortion of His intent (Matthew 19:8; Romans 1:26-27). God takes marriage very seriously.

God, not man, created marriage and defined it in Eden (Genesis 2:24). When God created the first man in His own image (Genesis 1:27; 2:7), He gave that man everything he needed to be content. Yet, God said, "It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him" (Genesis 2:18). So God created a woman from Adam’s side and brought her to him. He created a woman from the man’s own body and brought her to the man (Genesis 2:21–22). Both man and woman were created in God’s image, and marriage is the means by which male and female are most intimately connected. Together, in a lifelong covenant relationship, they reflect a vibrant picture of God’s character, unity, and fellowship.

Notice that God intentionally provided a woman who would be different from Adam but also well suited to him. When God made Eve, Adam was no longer alone and could work with Eve to fulfill God’s purposes and design for marriage. In intimate companionship, a husband and wife live out the ways of God, love one another, and spur one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24) uniquely different from other relationships.

God also created male and female bodies and souls to complement each other in such a way that they physically become “one flesh” in marriage (Genesis 2:24). In a committed, loving, lifelong relationship, a man and woman are able to love one another practically as well as physically. Sexual intercourse is an exclusive gift between husband and wife meant to selflessly unite the married couple in pleasure, delight, oneness, and protection. Hebrews 13:4 talks about the importance of honoring the sexual relationship of a married couple: “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” God designed sex to be enjoyed only within the boundaries of marriage. Engaging in sexual activity with someone other than one’s own spouse is sin and leads to heartache and disaster (Proverbs 6:26-29; 1 Corinthians 6:18).

The sexual union was designed, in part, to bring forth children (Genesis 1:28) and produce godly offspring who bear God’s name and reflect His image (Genesis 1:26–28; 2:22–24; Malachi 2:15). Human reproduction was God’s first stated mandate for the united Adam and Eve. Marriage, God’s first and most fundamental institution, is designed to be the foundation for the family unit. In a stable home, children can be raised in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). By following God’s design for the family and the roles of each member, a family can grow and thrive (1 Corinthians 7:2-5, 10-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18-21).

Throughout the Bible, God uses marriage as a metaphor for His relationship with His people (Hosea 2:19–20). In the Old Testament, God used imagery related to marriage to explain His love and commitment toward Israel. When the nation of Israel rebelled against Him, God expressed the sorrow and jealousy of a man who has a cheating wife. “Like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you, Israel, have been unfaithful to me,” the Lord says in Jeremiah 3:20. In the New Testament, marriage is used as an illustration of Christ and His relationship with His Bride, the Church. Paul writes, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him” (2 Corinthians 11:2; cf. Ephesians 5:31–32). God’s design for marriage is that it be an unbreakable covenant such as God has made with His people.

So why should anyone get married?

1. Commitment and covenant — God created marriage to be an unbreakable covenant. In this lifelong commitment there is safety in knowing that no matter what comes your way—sickness or health, poverty or riches, disaster or celebration—your spouse is there for you, committed to loving you, and seeking your best.

2. Companionship and support — God said it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). Marriage creates built-in companionship and committed support for all of life’s ups and downs. You are seen and loved for who you are. Encouragement, a different perspective, a listening ear, etc., also help sharpen you into the man or woman God has made you to be (Proverbs 27:17). Husband and wife can run the race of life with endurance (Hebrews 12:1), on mission together.

3. Stable families — Families are the building blocks of society, and families begin with a husband and wife. God brought man and woman together in marriage in part to produce godly children (Genesis 1:26–28; 2:22–24; Malachi 2:15). Stable families give children the stability to thrive. Stable families create stable societies.

4. Intimacy — Marriages are meant to thrive in safety and security, being naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25). This applies not just sexually but spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Intimacy in a healthy, godly marriage grows stronger with time.

5. Christlikeness — Marriage is a unique setting of two becoming one. In this committed, loving, and intimate relationship, men and women can allow their sin to be exposed and can experience a loving environment where they can grow in Christlikeness.

6. Christ and the Church — Marriage represents Christ and His relationship to the Church (Ephesians 5:22-32). A godly marriage is a powerful evangelistic tool to reach the world.

While marriage is a gift that God intentionally designed with specific purposes, there is no command in Scripture that everyone must be married. In fact, the apostle Paul favored singleness as a way to devote more time to serving God (1 Corinthians 7:7-9, 32-35). There are some who do not feel the need to be married and some who end up not finding a suitable spouse, and there is nothing wrong with that. Single people reflect and bear God’s image and can have fulfilling lives as well. They can find emotional support through friends, family, and ministry opportunities. However, our society has begun to equate singleness with sexual immorality, and that is very wrong. Paul’s promotion of singleness was so a person could devote his or her full attention to the things of Christ. Singleness should never be used as an excuse to live in sexual sin. But if a single person can control his or her passions and live a morally pure life, there is no need to feel pressured to marry (1 Corinthians 7:37). God can be glorified whether we are married or not married.

For those who do marry, marriage is still equally valid and to be honored as it was back in the Garden of Eden. As Paul urges all believers to live, may the husband and wife “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3). As we follow God’s design and purposes, may our marriages reflect the character, love, and unity of God.

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Why should I get married?
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This page last updated: March 3, 2023