Tuesday, March 7, 2023

The Institution of Marriage (Genesis 2)

"A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife …" (Gen. 2:24).

If you want to build a godly family, you must have a solid foundation—a marriage dictated by the principles of Christ. Because marriage is so important to the development and preservation of families and society as a whole, we will spend the next two weeks examining this most holy subject. We will begin by looking at various themes dealing with marriage in general, then we will study a few proverbs on marriage.

Before we examine the roles of husband and wife in the marriage relationship, let us explore the meaning of marriage according to the Scriptures. Marriage is instituted by God, regulated by His commandments, designed for the welfare and happiness of mankind, and established as a covenant before witnesses.

Contrary to popular beliefs, marriage is not an arrangement made by two people who can discard it on a whim. Marriage is an institution established and sanctified by God for all mankind. God instituted marriage between one man and one woman at Creation. Anything contrary is not sanctioned by God. The Bible condemns homosexuality explicitly and polygamy implicitly.

Marriage is shaped not by man’s rules but God’s. Man might recognize the marriage of two men or two women, but this is not marriage in God’s sight. God has also restricted marriage in that a believer must not marry an unbeliever. If a Christian woman, for example, marries an unbelieving man, her loyalties are divided. To be submissive to her husband, which is integral in the marriage relationship, she would be serving two masters. Likewise, an unbelieving husband could never love his wife as Christ loves the church.

Lastly, marriage is a covenant designed for the welfare of men and women. Marriages regulated by God’s commands will create a solid foundation from which all of society can prosper. Marriage is not a simple agreement between two people privately. It is a public commitment between two people—a commitment that cannot be dissolved at the first sign of trouble. Only in the case of adultery or desertion can this covenant be broken. Marriage is a serious joining before God and men that affects all those around the couple as well as generations to come.

Read the verses below and Genesis 2. Why is marriage a pillar of society? How is marriage being undermined by our culture? If you are married, do you treat your marriage with holy reverence in obedience to the Lord? If you are not married, are your opinions about marriage in accord with God’s Word?