Why do people get married? I’m sure some quick answers come to mind: we love each other, we wanted to have kids and start a family, we want to spend the rest of our lives together. I’m sure there are also some people out there whose answers come to mind that don’t sound as positive as these examples. One alternate point of view is that according to a story in The New York Times, “Marriage has become a status symbol — a highly regarded marker of a successful personal life.”
When we look at God’s reason and purpose for marriage, some of our explanations of why we marry often seem rather selfish in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, some of those reasons listed above may be noble reasons to marry, but just not the best reasons. So, how do we know what are the best reasons for getting married, or better yet what is the purpose of marriage? Let’s see what scripture says about why we should marry, because I think if you can really get this into your spirit it will open up a whole new perspective in your own marriage.
By taking a look in Ephesians 5, it points to the most basic principle of God’s original intention and design for marriage.
Ephesians 5:31 (NIV), For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.
If you dig further in the Ephesians 5 (verses 21-33 below), you will see that in our earthly marriages we should strive to be the mirror image or model of the heavenly example of Christ and His bride. Husbands are called to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Remember, Jesus died for his bride. So, maybe when it says that wives are called to submit to their husbands as you do unto the Lord, knowing that, it might make her task a bit easier. Granted…there is a laundry list of difficult tasks to accomplish, but what is the purpose of all of this?
It is about relationship, but more importantly it is about glorifying God. There is scripture after scripture in the bible speaking about how God is being glorified through His people. Time after time the various characters in the bible are praising God and giving Him glory. No matter what we are doing, we are to do it with the intention of giving glory to God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV), So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Isiah 43:7 (NIV), …everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made…
God also created us for relationship. The first and most important relationship is with Christ, but immediately following that is the relationship with our spouse. We should combine both of the purposes mentioned above by glorifying God in our marital relationship. We can actually glorify God by honoring Him in our own marriages. We do that by honoring marriage itself and following His principles in marriage in the way He intended.
Hebrews 13:4 (NIV), Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure…
We also give God glory by providing a good example to those who are observing our behavior in marriage. We are called to be salt and light in the world, but how flavorful is that salt? How bright is that light we are emanating, are we glorifying God in our marriage? One indicator of success in this area and in marriage is how we view our relationship with God. If you want to know if you have a relationship with God that glorifies Him, you should take a look at your marriage. Chances are, if you are a Christian and things are going good in your marriage, I would think your relationship with Christ is probably good too. The reverse concept is also valid, if both your spouse and your relationship with Christ is good, then chances are things are going well in your marriage. These things are connected, remember our earthly marriages are supposed to be reflections of the Heavenly marriage of Christ and His bride. If that mirror image is broken or faded, then maybe you should take a close look at your relationship with God and your marriage.
The bottom line is that we were created to glorify God. We are also given that purpose in relationship with Him and others. When we put our lives in this context you must ask yourself, “Are you glorifying God in your marriage? Have you found that purpose in your life and in your marriage? Do you know why you are married?”
Scriptures for Meditation
Ephesians 5:21-33 (NIV), 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.