Imagine that someone asked you, “What is the purpose of marriage?” Your answer would probably be different than another person’s because different belief systems have different takes on this foundational human relationship.
What does the Bible say about marriage? Finding out how God defines marriage in the Bible, and applying his wisdom to your married life, can change your relationship.
8 Marriage Verses in the Bible
Here are eight Bible verses for married couples:
1. The beauty of companionship in marriage
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone? – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
These may not seem to be Bible verses about love and marriage, but they describe the value of human companionship. In Genesis 2:18, God says that it is not good for man to be alone, so he creates Eve to be a helper for Adam.
You don’t have to be married to enjoy friendship, but marriage is one way God provides in that area. Sometimes, as the years pass by, and life’s stressors become overwhelming, spouses can forget the value of having someone by their side for life. It’s worth viewing your spouse not only as a lover but as a friend.
And if your marriage is going through hard times, you might struggle with seeing your spouse as the enemy. Recognizing the value of your spouse as a companion can help you view them as a whole person who adds meaning to your life, and needs your companionship in return.
2. God’s favor for getting married
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord. – Proverbs 18:22
In the New Testament, the apostle Paul teaches that singleness for the sake of devotion to the Lord can be superior to married life (cf. 1 Corinthians 7). In this marriage verse, we are reminded that God provides a wife (or husband) as a blessing. If you are married, remember that your spouse is a gift from God, and treat them as such.
This proverb also reassures us that it’s not wrong to pursue marriage if you feel called to do so. God created marriage and looks with favor on a husband and wife who’ve committed themselves to each other in lifelong love.
3. God’s purpose for oneness in marriage
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. – Genesis 2:24
The marriage relationship takes a unique departure from other earthly relationships. Not only does it have a sexual component, but its bond also supersedes relationships with each spouse’s family of origin, friendships, and other connections.
Does this mean that all other relationships should be put on the back burner, or abandoned? Definitely not. Throughout the New Testament, we can read many descriptions of relationships among believers and family members that are meant to be prioritized in love.
However, it does mean that loyalty to one’s marriage must come first, and God creates a unique bond between husband and wife that can’t be replicated or replaced by other relationships.
4. Mutual submission
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. – Ephesians 5:33
Among Bible verses for married couples, passages like this one in Ephesians can often cause controversy. What does it mean for a wife to respect her husband? Does he have authority over her? By reading these verses in their broader context, we can see the meaning of Paul’s exhortation.
All believers are commanded to submit to one another in love (Ephesians 5:21). Husbands are commanded to live in an understanding way with their wives, showing honor to them (1 Peter 3:7) and sacrificing their own needs and desires (Ephesians 5:25). Wives are commanded to respect their husbands and submit to them (Colossians 3:18).
Each spouse is responsible for his or her behavior. These verses do not give husbands a right to order their wives around. God’s command to husbands to sacrifice should not be taken to an extreme – it’s meant to be a standard of love that is lived out with grace.
In the same way, the command for a wife to respect her husband means she should cultivate an attitude of courtesy, regard, and appreciation – not that she has to give him authority over every detail of her life.
Again, all believers must submit to one another (5:21), but that doesn’t mean we give other church members authority over personal or family decisions. Honor, sacrifice, and submission must mark our lives and relationships, and wives and husbands can take special note of God’s commands to them and live them out in freedom and grace.
5. The permanence of marriage
Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. – Mark 10:9
The issue of divorce also controversy in Christian circles. When, if ever, is divorce allowed? Although it seems clear in Scripture that God allows divorce for adultery (Matthew 5:32), we will set aside other specific possibilities for the moment and focus on the general principle that marriage is meant to be permanent.
This marriage verse also reminds us that God creates unity between husband and wife. It’s not something human beings can conjure up. Therefore, if we separate a marriage for a trivial reason, we are tearing apart a bond God has created.
6. The sacredness of sex in marriage
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. –Hebrews 13:4
Scripture teaches us that cultivating a marriage isn’t just up to the husband and wife. The church as a whole should honor the institution of marriage, and individual believers should respect others’ marriages.
Spouses should recognize the dangers of adultery, and realize that God takes sexual immorality very seriously. He has created sexual union to take place only within the context of marriage, and when we disobey his commands, there are consequences – we must face his judgment.
7. The importance of humility
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. – Ephesians 4:2
No matter how amazing your spouse is, you will eventually have a conflict with them. They will sometimes be challenging to live with. Pride can make your life and marriage miserable.
Humility is defined as “a modest or low view of one’s own importance,” and gentleness means “the quality of being kind, tender, or mild-mannered.” Living with kindness, making your spouse important to you, and bearing with his or her sins, faults, and weakness, will enable your marriage to grow and thrive in a way it could not otherwise.
8. A prayer for unity
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Romans 15:5-6
When learning about marriage in the Bible, we can refer to other passages about unity and fellowship, and these verses apply well to the marriage relationship when both spouses are believers.
This passage can be used as a prayer for unity in married life. God helps us endure through the difficult times of marriage, and he encourages us to thrive in love for one another. He has the power to grant harmony in difficult relationships, especially when we are walking in fellowship with his Son and focused on bringing glory to him with how we live our lives.
Christian Marriage Counseling in Santa Monica
If you’re looking for Christian marriage counseling in Santa Monica, feel free to browse our counselor directory or call our office directly to schedule an appointment. May your marriage be enriched with God’s blessings as you walk in love, bringing glory to the one who created you, your spouse, and the gift of marriage to enjoy.
“Holding Hands at the Beach”, Courtesy of Joanna Nix, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Woman with Bible”, Courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Watching the Waves”, Courtesy of Taylor L. Spurgeon, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “What God Has Joined Together…” Courtesy of Katarina Sikuljak, Unsplash.com, CC0 License