CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
Reasons to get Married
By Jerry Smith
Throughout the Bible, we see references, allusions to, and even teaching on the covenant of marriage. Marriage is the fundamental social unit for humans in God's creation. As such, the Bible shows us that it is a lifelong commitment that God takes seriously (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:6). Only under special circumstances such as the death of a spouse (Romans 7:2-3) or adultery (Matthew 19:9) can one be removed from such a commitment. However, little is said directly regarding the motivations behind marriage, which makes this an interesting question. Nevertheless, we can glean from Scripture at least four:
(1) For companionship (Genesis 2:18, 24). God made a companion, Eve, for Adam, from Adam, saying that it was not good for man to be alone. This indicates that marriage is the norm for mankind rather than the exception, and that men and women do not feel complete unless they are married. Wanting to share one's life with someone of the opposite sex is in line with God's plan for marriage.
(2) To raise godly children (Genesis 1:28; Ephesians 6:4). God commanded Adam and Eve to multiply and fill the earth. For some, the motivation to marry may be based on a couple's desire to obey God's commands. Since God has never commanded that marriages cease producing and raising children, this motivation is also in line with God's plan for marriage.
(3) To avoid sexual impurity (1 Corinthians 7:8-9). Paul was saying that to avoid fornication, it is better to marry (1 Corinthians 7:2) where sex is honorable and the bed undefiled (Hebrews 13:4). In that light, a couple may be motivated to marry to avoid the struggle with sexual urges, lust, and temptation (Colossians 3:5; James 1:15). Wanting to be married to avoid sexual sin and to exercise God-ordained sexual relations within the bounds of marriage is also in line with God's plan for marriage.
(4) To emulate and reflect the glory of the relationship between Jesus Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:25, 32). Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:32 that marriage is a reflection of the relationship between Jesus Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:21-33 presents a wonderful parallel between the relationship between husbands and wives and Christ and the church in terms of submission (Ephesians 5:22), respect (Ephesians 5:33), sacrificial love (Ephesians 5:25), and unity (Ephesians 5:31). A desire to be married so that a couple can experience the Christian life more fully is also a motivation that is in line with God's plan for marriage.
These references provide examples of motivations for marriage from Scripture that are compatible with God's plan. However, the Bible also gives us some indicators of some poor motivations such as for money (c/w 1 Timothy 6:10), for selfish reasons such as because "this person makes me happy" (c/w Ephesians 5:25), and idolatry such as "this person is all I need to be happy" or "they are all that matters to me'"(c/w Exodus 20:3-5; Matthew 22:37; and 2 Corinthians 10:5).
These four points are an excellent guide for us to examine our own motivations for marriage, but we cannot condemn anyone for wanting to marry without them, nor can we say that someone should have them. But, we can pray that those who do marry have motivations that bring honor to God, Christ Jesus, and His church. Thus, it is always wise and commendable to seek good counsel before marriage (Proverbs 15:22). In the end, whatever the motivation, whether of these four mentioned here or another, we must remember one thing: that God has given every eligible believer the freedom to marry or not based on their own will (1 Corinthians 7:36-40). That means a couple can marry if they simply want to. There is no command to marry (1 Corinthians 7:6) just as there is no command not to marry.
Finally, one should be ready to marry (Proverbs 24:27). First and foremost, that means being in the Lord (Philippians 3:9) through trusting Jesus Christ as our righteousness before God (2 Corinthians 5:21). After that, one of the best things we can do is prayerfully examine our own selves and our motivations and remember that our first priority should always be that our motivations for marriage honor the Lord.
Image Credit: Caroline Veronez; untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life | Family-Life | Personal-Relationships
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Published on 4-4-17