What is Marriage?

There is no surprise that the institution of marriage is under attack today in our culture.  We see the devastation of divorce, couples cohabitating before marriage, and the proliferation and nation-wide acceptance of gay marriage.  Many look to sociology, biology, and cultural opinions to arrive at their definition of marriage, but as believers in Christ our sole and final authority on this issue is the inspired, infallible Bible. What does the Bible say about the sanctity of marriage?

We find God’s definition of marriage in Genesis 2:18–24: “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

What is the Biblical definition of marriage? It is this: Marriage is a lifelong and sacred covenantal bond between one man and one woman instituted and defined by and publicly entered into before God, (whether or not this is actually acknowledged by the married couple).  According to the Bible, we discover the sacredness of marriage.

God is acting as the Sovereign Creator King. He brought the woman to man. This is the first marriage ceremony ever. God in essence, walks Eve down the aisle to be given away to Adam. God orchestrates this union in His power and sovereignty. It is a sacred union and covenant that God is performing.  Because God is the one performing this first marriage, He sets the rules. It is a sacred union where God unites a couple together.  

That is why marriage is not merely a human or civil agreement between two consenting adults.  Marriage is not a “civil union”, but instead is a covenantal bond before and under God’s sovereign authority.  Since marriage is a sacred covenantal bond between one man and one woman, there can be no such thing as a same sex marriage. In view of the Scriptures, that terminology is an oxymoron. You cannot put “same sex” in the same sentence as marriage, because in God’s eyes it is not a marriage.

Many people will say that Jesus never said anything about homosexual marriage and since He is silent on this, we can take a huge jump and condone and even endorse same sex marriages.  Matthew 19:4–6: 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.”  

First of all, notice that Jesus appeals to the written Scripture as His authority. He says, “Have you not read?”  He doesn’t appeal to the general consensus or to the poll numbers or to what Hollywood or politicians or social media says. He appeals to the Scriptures as the authority. And this is very important in the discussion, because Jesus always went back to the written word of God.

Notice secondly, that Jesus makes that statement “From the beginning” meaning that this was God’s ordained and instituted plan from the beginning. In other words, how God defines marriage and gender and sexual roles does not change over time. As it was in the beginning, so it is today.

Thirdly, also notice that Jesus emphatically says, “God has joined the two together in marriage”.  Marriage is a sacred covenantal bond in which God performs the actual marriage whether the couple acknowledges this or not.

So therefore, if God’s ordained plan from the very beginning as revealed in the Scriptures to which Jesus appeals to as His authority says that God joins a couple together, why in the world would God join together two people that are living in direct violation of His will?

Whether or not culture or even non-Christian couples who are getting married acknowledge it or not, marriage is a sacred covenantal bond that God ordains, defines, and creates and we have no right to redefine it and we need to protect its sacredness.

I know that many readers will find this view offensive, narrow-minded, and maybe even consider it bigoted hate speech. But on the final Day of Judgment, I will not have to answer to any human court for my stance of marriage, but will have to stand before the Lord of the universe, Jesus Christ, and answer to Him and His opinion is all that counts. I write this article with love for those who may disagree and offer the life-changing gospel of Christ to forgive us all of our sins. But in the end, as a man of God I must answer to Him and hold fast to how He sovereignly defines the institution of marriage.

 

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