With all its challenges, why even consider marriage?

God's structure for marriage, despite what the world may say otherwise, remains the building block of society. The Bible tells us that God sees marriage as the lifelong commitment between one man and one woman in a God-honoring relationship. Hebrews 13:4 says, "Let marriage be held in honor among all …" It is often said that God instituted marriage in the garden of Eden, and He did. The first married couple was Adam and Eve. Marriage has been God's design for family ever since.

Because God designed men and women, He knows that a lifelong commitment provides stabilization, security, and hope within a marriage. That commitment is expressed through vows to both God and the bride and groom in a marriage ceremony.

God says man and woman are created in His image, therefore the most complete reflection of Him on earth is the lifelong bond of a man and woman (Genesis 1:27–31). His initial purpose of marriage between a God-honoring man and woman was to produce more God-honoring men and women. When men and women enter into a God-honoring marriage, they produce a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:22–32).

God knows, and wise people understand, that people change over time. But marriage is about commitment. A husband's and wife's commitment to love one another are crucial to holding a marriage together through those changes, through difficulties and challenges, and through decades of many circumstances.

Marriage is not intended to be a temporary, self-gratifying arrangement. Marriage is primarily to honor God and then to serve your spouse for a lifetime. Through that unselfishness, each spouse will find contentment and joy. A person's role in a marriage is not primarily to be loved, but to love.

Marriage does have many challenges, but it is also a union in which husband and wife can feel fully accepted and safe. It is a relationship that God uses to encourage His people and to display His love for them. It is a place where husband and wife can both experience and give true agape love. It is also a relationship that God uses to sanctify believers. That is not to say that every Christian must marry. Some people should not (1 Corinthians 7). Both marriage and singleness are gifts from God. Christians reflect God in both life situations.

When a person decides to enter into marriage, they do so by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). With God's help, marriage can be a solid foundation through the storms of life. Also with God's help, marriages can remain strong and even grow in the midst of challenging circumstances, disappointments, changes, anger, mistakes, and even disasters.

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