Are you planning to participate in our marriage conference at Ingleside on Saturday? At this writing, more than 425 people have registered, but there’s still room for you!
Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the Five Love Languages, will be our leader in a conference called, “The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.” More information and registration are here.
This conference is part of our effort to help Christian couples build strong, healthy marriages . . . for our good and for God’s glory! So, perhaps this is a good time for us all to be reminded of some of the biblical basics about marriage.
First, marriage is God’s idea. More than merely a cultural norm to be tailored to the tastes of the age, marriage is rooted in the very creative intention of God. In the Garden of Eden, God saw the man whom he had made and said: “It is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18, ESV).
Second, marriage is between one man and one woman. Jesus spoke unambiguously about marriage. He said: “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’” (Matthew 19:4-5, ESV).
Third, marriage is intended for both procreation and pleasure. God said to Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28, ESV). It’s part of God’s plan for a man and a woman to marry, have children, and to “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4, ESV).
It’s also God’s plan for a man and a woman to enjoy intimacy and companionship in marriage. The Proverb writer put it this way: “Rejoice in the wife of your youth . . . let her breasts fill you at all times with delight, be intoxicated always in her love” (Proverbs 5:18-19, ESV).
Fourth, marriage is to be patterned after the relationship between Jesus Christ and his bride, the church. “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” says Scripture. “Wives, submit to your own husband, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church” (Ephesians 5:22-23, ESV). In the mystery of marriage, husbands and wives are to reflect the relationship between Jesus and the church.
Fifth, marriage is to be valued and cherished. “Let marriage be held in honor among all,” Scripture says. “And, let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Hebrews 13:4, ESV). It’s clear that God values marriage . . . and so should we!
Of course, the Bible has so much more to say about marriage than just these basics. But, at a cultural moment where some are exchanging “natural relations for those that are contrary to nature” and where many are exchanging “the truth about God for a lie,” it’s good for us to re-affirm these biblical foundations for marriage (Romans 1:21-27). Join me as we renew our commitment to building marriages that bring glory to God!