What does the Bible teach about marriage? from Compelling Truth
Marriage is such a ubiquitous part of every human culture that we tend to forget we didn’t create the institution. It is God who created marriage, and He gave some very specific guidance in His word.
What the Bible says about marriage
The Bible uses marriage as a metaphor for the relationship between God and His people. The entire book of Hosea is a story about the unfaithfulness of Israel as allegorized by Hosea’s wife—a not-quite reformed prostitute. In Ephesians 5:32, Paul applies the metaphor to the church age. John concurred in Revelation 19:7-10 where he describes the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Marriage is the ideal situation in which to raise children. Although the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary while she was engaged, God made sure Jesus was born to two loving parents. Several women in the Bible (Genesis 19:30-38; 38:12-26) went to extraordinary lengths to get pregnant, but such measures were not endorsed by Scripture.
Marriage is the only legitimate place for sex (1 Corinthians 7:2-5). The Bible is clear: marriage is the only relationship in which people are to have sex.
Marriage takes two people and joins them in purpose. God’s mission to rule and subdue and fill the earth is given to all mankind. In marriage, two people work together to fulfill their part of the mission. Perhaps the best example of this is in Aquila and Priscilla. After hearing Apollos preach the limited Gospel he’d heard from John the Baptist, Aquila and Priscilla pulled him aside together and explained the full Gospel of Christ (Acts 18:24-26). It must have worked, as some of the Corinthians revered Apollos more than even Paul (1 Corinthians 3:4-7).
What the Bible doesn’t say about marriage
The Bible does not say marriage is mandatory. God does not plan for everyone to marry (1 Corinthians 7:38). Jesus didn’t. Jeremiah didn’t (Jeremiah 16:2). Likely neither did Paul (1 Corinthians 7:7-8). God has gifted some of His followers to make extreme sacrifices in service to Him without the help or obligation of a spouse.