What is the purpose of marriage?

by Matt Slick

The purpose of marriage is ultimately to glorify God since he tells us he made us for his glory (Isaiah 43:7).  Marriage is the covenant union of a man and a woman for the purpose of committing to each other in companionship, provision of food and shelter, sexual privileges, children, and protection.  A lot of people think marriage is merely for companionship and love; but when self-serving reasons are the basis of marriage, those often fail to be a proper support for lasting marriage.  Instead, the Bible tells us a lot about marriage; and when we submit to God's plan for it, we not only bring glory to God but we also develop healthy, good, and loving relationships within marriage.

Following is a list of topics with Scriptures that tell us what the reasons for marriage are per the Bible.

  1. To populate the world
    1. Genesis 1:28, "And God blessed them; and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'"
    2. Genesis 9:1, "And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth."
  2. To provide companionship
    1. Genesis 2:24, "For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh."
    2. Matt. 19:4-6, "And He answered and said, “Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 “Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."
  3. To provide proper sexual union
    1. Exodus 20:14, "You shall not commit adultery."
    2. 1 Corinthians 7:2-3, "But because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband."
    3. Hebrews 13:4, "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge."
  4. To provide protection for the woman
    1. Malachi 2:15, " . . . Take heed then, to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth."
    2. Eph. 5:28-29, "So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church."
  5. To provide children
    1. Psalm 127:3, "Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward."
    2. Psalm 128:3, "Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine, within your house, your children like olive plants around your table. Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed."
  6. To avoid sexual immorality
    1. Exodus 20:14, "You shall not commit adultery."
    2. Proverbs 5:15-19, "Drink water from your own cistern, And fresh water from your own well. 16 Should your springs be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be yours alone, And not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love."
    3. 1 Corinthians 7:2-4, "But because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does."
    4. 1 Corinthians 7:9, "But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn."
  7. To be blessed from the Lord
    1. Proverbs 12:4, "An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is as rottenness in his bones."
    2. Proverbs 18:22, "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord."
    3. Proverbs 31:10, "An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels."
  8. To actualize the roles of husband and wife in God's covenant
    1. Malachi 2:14, "Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant."
  9. To complete man in the formation of the marriage union of male and female
    1. Genesis 2:23, "And the man said, 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'"
  10. To publicly testify of mutual commitment and exclusion of others in that family unit
    1. Genesis 2:24, "For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh."
  11. To establish order in the family
    1. 1 Corinthians 11:3, "But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ."
    2. Ephesians 5:23, "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body."
  12. To represent our union with Christ
    1. Ephesians 5:23-25, "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her."

 

 

 

 
 
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