Mark Alan Williams
Why Did God Create Marriage?
Some of His reasons might surprise you!
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The recent gay marriage debate and decisions by the US Supreme Court have triggered reflection on the roots and the purpose of marriage. How do we know the meaning of marriage? In order to know, we have to go to the source—the Creator of marriage, Almighty God.
Carolyn and I on vacation this fall, with our cruise ship in the background.
The government and courts of the USA are choosing an increasingly secular approach to this question and many others. However, still 96.9% of the population believes in God, and in the USA we typically believe in the God of the Bible.
So what does the Bible say about why God created marriage? Getting to the roots of why God created marriage will help eliminate confusion over what a marriage can and cannot be:
Knowing God’s purposes can help us determine when to get married and when not to.
Knowing this can help us endure the challenges every marriage faces.
It helps form a solid foundation that can carry us through all kinds of storms.
So here is what the Bible says about the question, “Why did God create marriage?”:
Genesis 2:18 (NLT) says about the first union (Adam and Eve), “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.’”
When Adam was without a wife, he was “alone.” God said that was not good.
I can relate to that. Without Carolyn I would be a lonely, sad, pitiful little puppy.
So God made a “helper” or ideal partner who was just right for him. The word translated “helper” is ‘ezer in the original Hebrew. The same word is used of God helping us in many passages such as Psalm 115:9-11.
The idea of a “helper” means meeting needs for companionship and partnership. This happens on many levels: relationally, emotionally, socially, financially, parentally, intellectually, recreationally and so on.
I could go on all day about how Carolyn is my compliment and “better half” in all these ways. That’s the way it is supposed to be. Not just for me, but for my companionship with her as well.
02. Sexual Fulfillment
Who created sex? Surprise—it was God.
Marriage is meant to be the fulfillment and release of our sex drives: “So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am. But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.” (1 Corinthians 7:8-9 NLT)
Paul wasn’t saying marriage is bad, but that he found it helpful to be single so that he could focus on ministry. But he admitted that for most “it’s better to marry than to burn.”
God created sex as a wonderful gift for the union of a man and woman in marriage. He even said that sex is so important that married couples are not to stop having sex unless for a very good reason: “Don’t withhold yourselves from each other unless you agree to do so for a set time to devote yourselves to prayer. Then you should get back together so that Satan doesn’t use your lack of self-control to tempt you.” (1 Corinthians 7:5 GW)
Other Scripture passages affirm sex between a husband and wife. I list several in contrast to homosexual sex which the Bible calls sin in my article “What the Bible Says About Homosexuality: Uncut, Uncensored and Unedited.”
One of God’s original commands to Adam and Eve was that they have children: “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28a KJV)
Having children is the natural desire of most couples. When it is not possible, our hearts go out to the childless.
04. Raising Godly Children
Not only are we to have children, we are to raise them in God’s ways: “So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors.” (Deuteronomy 11:18-21 NLT)
For a helpful perspective on how challenging it can be to raise children, see my article, “I Was a Perfect Parent…Then I Had Kids.”
05. To Demonstrate Christ’s Symbolic Marriage to His Bride, the Church
Ephesians 5:22-33 makes it clear that marriages are meant to reflect the wonderful love relationship between Jesus and His church.
This passage tells husbands and wives to meet the most basic need of their spouse:
The instruction for a husband is to love his wife.
The instruction for a wife is to honor her husband.
When husbands and wives do these, they demonstrate Christ’s symbolic marriage to his bride, the Church.
06. The Basic Building Block of Society
Throughout the Bible we see that the family is the basic unit and building block of society:
The children of Israel camped and were protected by families during the Exodus
The rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem was done in sections by families, as recorded in Nehemiah, and they were willing to fight to protect their families
Jesus was raised in the Holy Family
People were often converted to Christ as whole familes (see Acts 16:33)
Research shows that when families are weak, societies are weak:
It is no wonder that the only one of the ten commandments that has promises attached to it is this one: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12 ESV)
Note in this commandment that when parents and therefore families are honored, there is:
A promise of long life
A promise of living in the Promised Land (prosperity)
For these reasons we must do all we can to protect marriage against threats such as:
And any other threats
Finally, a reminder: there is one overriding purpose for marriage and all of life: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17 NIV)
Our purpose in marriage and all we do is to glorify God. May He be glorified in every way in your life, marriage and family.