A Right Understanding of Marriage

A Right Understanding of Marriage

NOTE: This post is the second in a 5-post series by Andrew Courtis, Pastor of Hills Bible Church. In it, Andrew discusses some of the most contentious issues facing society. In response to these issues, he turns to the Scriptures to present the biblical perspective on each.


Marriage is a Divine institution. The opening chapters of the Bible give the record of the first marriage in history (Gen. 1 & 2). This was the wedding between a man and a woman. Before this union occurred, it is helpful to consider the events leading up to it. God made Adam (the first man in history) on the sixth day and declared, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:18). After this the Lord created land animals and the birds of which were brought to Adam to see what he would name them. Of course, none of these were suitable to be “a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:20). So then, the Lord caused Adam to sleep and from his side created the first woman (Gen. 2:21-22).

After the Lord brought these two together in marital union, He said to them “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28). It was essential that if this mandate of procreation was to be fulfilled, Adam needed a wife and Eve needed a husband. The Lord provided the gift of sexual relations within the confines of marital union between a male and female.

This first act of marital union was not intended to be first simply so that there may be a further population, thus allowing for other forms of union (homosexuality etc.). Instead, this first marriage provided the Divine standard and pattern for marital union. As a result of Adam and Eve coming together we read, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). The pattern is simple – a man (male) will leave the confines of parental authority (again male and female) and cleave to his wife (female) and thus become one flesh.

This creation ordinance was also affirmed in the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ. When questioned on the issue of the validity of divorce, He reminds His audience that the first couple were male and female and then quotes Genesis 2:24 (Matt. 19:5). The repetition of this text in this passage indicates His affirmation of the continuance of this Divine design of marital union (See also 1 Cor. 6:16 and Eph. 5:31).

What is marriage? From the earliest chapters of Scripture along with others we learn that marriage was created and instituted by God in creation. It was between a man and a woman with the purpose of procreation (Gen. 1:28), pleasure (Proverbs 5:18-19), partnership (Gen. 2:18) and productivity (Gen. 1:28). Such an understanding of marriage is an exclusion of same sex marriage.

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