Marriage is one of those relationships that seems to be on the decline in terms of importance in today’s society. What was once a sacred, covenant relationship has turned into a suffrage combat and has little importance to some people. In this article, we are going to look at marriage from a biblical perspective. Although this will not be an article of marriage advice and counseling, it will give us some biblical wisdom into the heart of marriage in the eyes of God. Let’s begin.
Marriage has been something God has instituted since the beginning of human existence. We see the first humans being joined in what we would later coin the term “marriage”. Genesis 2:24 gives us this image, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” This idea of unity and becoming as one is evidenced right from the beginning. Therefore, the idea of a power struggle in a marriage relationship stems from the effects of our corrupt human nature and sin. The ideal marriage is unity, but the reality is division and corruption.
So how do we combat this division that seems to creep into our marriage? We can first look at other ideas of marriage that are depicted in the Bible. A marriage covenant between a man and a woman is not the only marriage covenant we see in the Bible. Another covenant we see is between Yahweh God and the people of Israel. This relationship between God and the chosen nation of Israel is depicted as a marriage. The prophets often gave this marriage imagery to the people. Isaiah 54:5 says, “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts”. Here, God calls Israel’s husband Himself. He is the husband of the nation of Israel and that makes Israel the bride in this case. Time and time again, Israel breaks the marriage covenant with God by serving and worshipping other gods. The marriage covenant was that Israel would serve Yahweh only, and He would be their God. But many times, Israel would worship other gods and break the “marriage” covenant. God would even call them in Ezekiel 16, an “adulterous wife” because of their unfaithfulness. When we are unfaithful in our marriage to each other, we are doing the same thing as Israel was doing to God.
Now, however, a new covenant has been set in place between God and His people. Now instead of the covenant being between God and the nation of Israel, it is now between God and all who believe in the Messiah as a group called the Church. The New Testament uses this terminology of a universal church, not one specific local congregation, that all of God’s people are a part of. The church is now the bride as Israel once was and Jesus Christ is our husband. This imagery is depicted in Ephesians 5. Ephesians 5:24-25 says, “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her”. Paul lays out how this relationship works both at a human marriage level and global church level. As the church submits to Christ, so the wife is to submit to the husband. Likewise, as Christ loved the church, so husbands are to love their wives. Both are equally responsible for the covenant relationship and both are unified together by the bond of love.
We see this idea be brought to its full glory in Revelation 19. Revelation 19:7 says, “Let us be glad, rejoice, and give him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has prepared herself.” This is when the ultimate marriage ceremony takes place in the end. All of those who are in Christ will take place in this wedding feast. Christ is the Lamb and we (his bride will be forever unified to Him in heaven and for eternity. This idea of marriage between God and His people will be fully played out in the end and the covenant will never be broken again. It will be a covenant established forever in love, peace, and unity.
The covenant relationship we participate in on earth between a man and a woman is meant to reflect this idea of Revelation 19 and is meant to give us a taste of this marriage that will take place. Of course, we live in a broken world with broken people and corrupt minds. Our marriage on earth will never live up to the Revelation 19 ideal. Marriage on earth is a symbol and a sign of the covenant relationship we hold with our Creator and it is meant to reflect the same features. Although we will have trouble in our marriage, God is the one who created this type of covenant and He can heal any wounds that the relationship endures.