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What is the purpose of marriage?

After God created Adam and placed him in the garden of Eden, He said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him" (Genesis 2:18). None of the animals would be a suitable helper; Adam needed someone also made in God's image. So God created Eve, from the rib of Adam, as his helper and companion. Eve was there to help, to comfort, to be as one with Adam. This was the first marriage between man and woman. God created marriage so that no one needed to be alone. God says here that one purpose of marriage is to provide companionship and mutual help and comfort.

Jesus makes reference to Genesis when the Pharisees asked Him about divorce. "He answered, 'Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh"? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate'" (Matthew 19:4-6). Marriage is a union in which two different people—male and female—who both bear the image of God are united and become one. In a marriage, the partners are meant to complement one another, each bringing different things to the relationship and yet becoming as one.

Another purpose of marriage is to produce godly offspring (Malachi 2:15). Marriage brings a sense of stability in the home and one where our children can feel safe, loved, and prosper. Second Corinthians 6:14 is applicable to marriage—the best marriage is that of two believers. God's desire for this holy marriage and offspring is so that we can continue to share the Good News, proclaiming our faith to one another.

The Bible paints a beautiful picture of what marriage should look like, but as sinners, we will stumble. There will be arguments, difficulties, and trials. As believers, if we keep God at the center of our marriage, He can help us navigate these difficulties in a way that brings Him glory. Marriage will teach us to listen to others, to rid ourselves of selfishness, and to love others, just as God loves us (John 13:34–35). Marriage is fertile ground for God's work of sanctification. If we can come together and discuss our shortcomings and then lift them to God in prayer, He will lead us. Our marriage will thrive.

In a world that is full of sexual temptations, marriage also protects us. Having a husband or wife gives us the security of having a committed sexual relationship that is healthier than the alternative. Any sexual relations or temptations outside of marriage will often to lead to destruction emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Marriage is also a picture of Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:21–33). In part, this is what makes sexual sin such a big issue. God is completely faithful to us, and calls us to be completely faithful both to Him and to our spouse. Marriage is thought to be a holy institution because it was created at the beginning. The image of marriage related to Christ and the church also helps us understand why marriage is distinct and to be honored.

Proverbs 18:22 says, "He who finds a wife [or husband] finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD" (Proverbs 18:22). Indeed, marriage is a gift from God and filled with purpose.



Related Truth:

What does the Bible teach about marriage?

In marriage how do the two become one flesh?

What does it mean to leave and cleave?

How will I know when I've found the right spouse for me?

With all its challenges, why even consider marriage?


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