is intended to be a companionship of two people who stick closer than anybody else to each other - who genuinely love at all times. In other words, marriage is a relationship in which two friends come together, care for each other, confront each other to build each other up, and counsel each other, in order that there might be growth as individuals and growth together. That's what marriage is intended to be. It is covenant. It is companionship.
What is Marriage?
When two people are married in church by a minister, they are tacitly saying, "We want to be married in church by a minister because we recognize the divine dimension of marriage." Secular thought assumes that marriage is mankind's idea and that it is evolutionary in its development. If better ideas emerge, it's acceptable to re-evaluate marriage and re-define family. The Bible affirms that marriage is a covenant before God...God is our witness. We are making this solemn covenant commitment to each other before the Lord.
But there is more. Marriage is a divine idea and Christian marriage understands and accepts that. When we make a covenant before God something is done to us by God. And what is that? He takes two very different people, and in some remarkable way through marriage he makes them one. Remember Malachi's words, "has not the Lord made them one?" In flesh and in spirit they are his.
To make two people one "in spirit" is different from making them one "in flesh". Put in very simple terms, when two people become one "in flesh", it means they have sex. But when two people are one "in spirit" it means something far beyond having sex. It means God is binding their two lives together in marriage, so that over the years, as they pass through changing circumstances, they will discover a oneness of spirit that enables them to repond in ways that serve only to deepen their love and commitment to each other.
The Christian view of marriage is that God joins two people together and they become "one flesh". This unique relationship holds great promise and presents great challenges for all concerned.
Are you curious to know more about what the Bible has to say about marriage? We invite you to browse the resources below and hope that you will find answers to the urgent questions facing you and the hot topics of your own life.
Stuart and Jill Briscoe are uniquely qualified to speak on the topic of marriage, having recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. In the messages below they, and their son Pete Briscoe, combine solid Bible teaching with real world advice.