According to the Bible, marriage was given as a gift of God at the time of creation. (Genesis 1-3) The Creator made humans in His own image, both male and female. God’s stated intention still is that the two shall become one in a blessed partnership, to give birth and nurture children.
Marriage is the institution that ensures that future generations have a pattern for living that reflects the design of the creator. That design is for all people to know God’s love for them. It is also the institution through which God wants to create successive generations of people who will form and maintain a just and moral society.
Marriage and family life are central themes of the Bible beginning with the first family, continuing through Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David and Solomon, and on into the family of Jesus.
So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[b] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.Genesis 2:21-24
God’s gift of intimate sexual relations symbolizes and sustains this divine union. The sexual act for humans is intended only within the boundaries of marriage. Marriage is intended to be a life-long relationship, “Until death do us part,” based on mutual trust, fidelity, and chastity.
Unfortunately, God’s beautiful dream of what marriage was meant to be has been tainted by sin. Throughout history men and women have rejected God-ordained marriage engaging in divorce, adultery, sexual slavery, spousal abuse, open marriages, same-sex unions and broken homes with single parents.
The gift of marriage as God intends yields a loving, healthy family life in stark contrast to our broken world. It is the fundamental nurturing institution of any nation.