Marriage – A Biblical Perspective
Author: Jancy James 21 Dec 2021
Mark bolts out of the room with an air of significance about him, glancing casually across the hall for his better half.
With an exaggerated frown, and displeasure writ large on his face, he hollers,
“Margaret, it’s getting late! Haven’t you packed my lunch yet?
Mark, it’s on the table, please take it. I have an important meeting today!
I have a meeting to attend too! Will you please hand it over to me here, or else I am gonna leave without it.
He dashes out, whirs the engine to life, swerves in swift strokes, and speeds off, leaving a puff of smoke, dust and dry leaves to settle on the face of a visibly shaken Margaret.
She stares in disbelief as her eyes begin to well up…
Margaret is exasperated, tired, and at her wit’s end.
She chucks her breakfast to drop kids to school, rushes back home to make a semblance of sanity on her face and attire to lead a bunch of accomplished executives at the meeting.
Margaret feels that she is neglected and not being understood.
Mark feels that his wife does not tend to his basic requests.
The neighbours feel that they are entitled to some peace and respite from this messed up lyrics that they hear every single day without fail; their alarm clock for the morning- minus the life-saving “snooze function”.
Everyone in the neighbourhood knows Mark and Margaret all too well. Hushed whispers, suppressed laughter, ridicule, and all that mess!
How long, how long can you go on like this?
Years and years of fights, frustration, and endless complaints… Life becomes a medley of unspeakable hurts and inhibited curses. The family court becomes a farce, and cases of divorce, separation and complaints pile up in endless numbers…
In this world of fickle mindedness and frivolous associations, the term ‘marriage’ comes across as a misdemeanor; a violation of one’s rights.
Are marriages really made in heaven?
Many of us do not know that marriage is a sacred gift, instituted by the Lord almighty Himself, and hence has great eternal significance.
For God so loved His creation-‘man and woman’ with such passionate vigor that He went into great lengths to ensure that they were made in His very likeness. The marriage Vow -“bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” depicts the deep connect and oneness that God desired for Human kind.
The culmination of this oneness of soul, body and spirit can be seen in God’s sending His only son to die on the cross for the Church-His Bride.
Marriage between a man and woman is meant to reflect this gift of oneness of body and mind. Just as Christ the bridegroom sacrificed His life for His bride, God’s love for His creation is compared to the love of a husband for his wife.
As married couples, we miss God’s purpose in our lives, and hence fail to understand the significance of marriage. We live in total misery, commit sin, or end up in divorce or separation.
So, what happens when we do not know the function of a gadget? We tend to misuse it, spoil it, totally misinterpret its usage, or damage it beyond repair. Just as the maker knows how to operate a product to get optimum results, as God’s superior creation, mustn’t we all look towards His product manual in living our marital lives to attain total bliss?
God’s plan for marriage
Genesis 2:24: Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
The Lord was keenly aware that it was not good for man to be alone, and hence created a helper who will offer him companionship and purpose in life.
When God created man and woman in His own likeness, he proclaimed, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”
He gave mankind supremacy over everything on earth.
Through the union of marriage, we reflect God and His image, and his beautiful gift of passion, companionship and procreation.
Marriage and Passion
“The Song of Songs”, one of the most beautiful songs, and penned by the wisest of men-Solomon, talks about passion, intimacy and attraction in its highest and purest form; something that is very overwhelming and otherworldly, and which can be attained only through marital unions of the perfect kind. God’s primary plan for marriage was passion and companionship as a single unit, both attainable through marriage when two become one flesh. Do you know that when you approach a prostitute, you are becoming one with her flesh?
Now comes the question of how important physical union is in a marriage, or what is right and wrong in the eyes of God.
Marriage and Physical Union
God put ‘desire’ as a sacred emotion that is connected to attraction and physical union with your spouse. A marital relationship suffers and culminates in extreme frustration if there is no physical union and lack of understanding in this matter. Remember that God very clearly mentions, “two become one in flesh” in a marital union.
The husband is bound by scripture to fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:1-40)
When pornography, unnatural sex, bisexual, and homosexual relations are all too common, and are the accepted norm, one wonders what is right and wrong within the marital bed.
1 Corinthians 13:7-8 again shifts our focus to look towards ‘love’ in enduring and bearing all things worldly. If there is love in a relationship, there will be understanding, union, and perfect partnership. Love never hurts.
Ephesians 5:21-23 ,entreats us to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. When we submit to each other in reverence for Christ, we instinctively know what is right and wrong in the eyes of our Lord.
“It is God’s will that you keep away from sexual sin as a mark of your devotion to him” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
Marriage and Submission
Without further ado, let’s get to God’s plan here. Wives must submit themselves to their husbands, and husbands must love their wives.
Would you be bold enough to proclaim this to a crowd today?
“What! Such a weirdo!” would be the likely response that you could elicit from them.
Ephesians 5:25-27 speaks about how husbands must love their wives, and how wives must submit to their husbands in everything. This is not an authoritarian kind of submission or love. When husbands love their wives just as Christ loved the church, wives naturally submit themselves to their husbands without coercion. It is a nurturing and pure kind of love and submission, and is mutually respectful and beneficial to each other. The love of a husband must be a sacrificial, and not the oppressive kind, and must lead the wife to spirituality and submission.
The dominant nature of a wife should be one of submission, and the husband, one of love. When this balance is tilted, we see a distorted image of God in the middle of two distraught individuals, waiting to flee in opposite directions at the slightest available opportunity. This is why many marriages end in divorce, separation, disrespect, and mudslinging.
Marriage for procreation and creation of family
God’s foremost plan for marriage was union and submission, just like the Trinitarian union of the Father God, Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father loves The Son, and The Son submits to The Father; the Holy Spirit submits to both of them.
God wants this to be reflected in every marriage. Once this plan is attained, God wills us to procreate and bring up Godly children.
For this to be realized, it is essential for the man to leave his father and mother and unite with his wife.
Though it is necessary to take care of the parents during old age, a husband can attain true love and unity with his wife only if the filial connection is eased, and the cords united with the wife.
Whom should you Marry?
God has given us the choice to marry whomever we like or fall in love with, as long as they are in the Lord.
However, one must choose with careful contemplation. Once you decide to marry, ‘the chosen one’ automatically becomes the right one in the sight of the Lord. There is no scope for regret or re-assessment once the sacrament of marriage is performed on the altar. This is the beauty and enigma of marriage and this is what God has willed for His creation.
We see in today’s world that many couples regret their choices and create discord and disharmony within the marriage.
Proverbs 31 calls young men to choose their women judiciously; to look for character and devoutness, while making the choice. Husbands must be considerate, patient and kind with their wives, without being given to envy or boasting, and must give them respect as co-heirs in their existence on earth.
In 1 Peter 3:7 our Lord very sternly warns husbands to treat and respect their wives as the weaker partners so that a husband’s prayers and entreaties to the Lord do not go unanswered.
Protection from the Evil One
One of the greatest blessings of marriage is protection. The husband and wife must use their spiritual weapons to protect one another from the evil one. Satan knows too well the power of a unified family, and how strong the kingdom of God can dwell in such an atmosphere.
Reading the word of God, family prayer, association with the Church, and protecting each other through personal prayers are all important aspects of living in unity with Christ, and in warding off the attacks of negative forces in your marital life and family.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 states : “And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Of Divorce and Separation
In Matthew 19:9, we see Jesus responding to the Pharisees thus – “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
Marriage cannot be dissolved unless under very special circumstances.
My dear brothers and sisters, marriage is by no means a bed of red roses. Unless you have the spirit of tolerance, adjustment, and consideration for each other, things can go very very wrong!
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, (1 Corinthians 7:7), we see him quite earnestly wishing that all were single like him, “I wish that all of you were as I am.”
He even goes on to tell widows and the unmarried to stay unmarried unless they are consumed by burning passion. “But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.” 1 Corinthians 7:28
Each of us is called to remain in different situations in life and we must make an earnest effort to be as responsible as we can to God our father. Marriage is a spiritual gift, just as celibacy is too.
Let us not defile our marriage beds and bring upon ourselves the terrible wrath of God.
May God bless you all with the right partners to live a blissful life on earth.
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