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How does the Bible define marriage?

“And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”

Matthew 19:5-6 NLT

Receiving Jesus Christ is the most important decision you will ever make in your life. Who you marry is the second most important decision you will ever make in life. Your spouse will either make you or break you. This is not a decision that you want to take lightly. It must be noted that once you are married the person that you married has now become the right person. When entering into marriage, you are entering into a covenant with your spouse “for better or worse, for richer or poorer and in sickness and health until death do us part.” Society today may try to define marriage in many ways, but let's examine a few characteristics of marriage according to the Bible.

Notice in the passage above that marriage is held between a man and his wife. “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife.” Marriage is clearly seen to be between a male and his female counterpart. Any other union is not recognized in the Bible and is condemned as sin. There is no such thing as a marriage between two men or a marriage between two women.

Next I want you to notice how the verse above says “ a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his WIFE.” Notice how the scripture reads wife and not girlfriend. Living together does not qualify you as married. In fact, having sex with someone you are not married to is defined in the Bible as fornicating and the participants of such actions cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven without repentance ( 1 Corinthians 6). If you find yourself in that situation, you have two options. One, end that relationship and move out in order to make things right with God. Two, join that person in marriage and make things right before God. The NKJV reads “leaves and cleaves.” This is absolutely crucial for a healthy marriage. Once you are married you need to look for your own residence. Many want marriage for the sexual benefit, but they want to live in mom and dads basement on mom and dads bill. Men, when you enter into a marriage, the woman and family becomes your financial responsibility. It is important when entering into a marriage that spouses step out from the authority of their parents and form their own life together. You cannot allow your parents to dictate your children, marriage or life. A man must become the decision maker and head of his own home, and a woman must leave the covering of her father and come under the authority of her husband. Many marriages are ruined because a mother in law or father in law whispers into one of the spouses ears, pushing them in a direction that is different from the flow of the marriage. You must recognize that any voice that comes into your marriage and causes division is coming from the enemy. The Bible says “what God has joined together let no man separate.” Parents, you must allow your children to leave and cleave and stop trying to hold on to them in an unhealthy manner. All of these keys along with many others are critical for a healthy and happy marriage.

Today: Take a moment and begin to reflect. Is your marriage out of line in any of the specified areas? Are there some changes that must be made? If you make an effort to obey the Word of God, the grace of God will come on your life and cause you to succeed.

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