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Genesis 2:18–25

“Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him' " (v. 18).

In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul gives us much teaching on marriage and married life. However, this is not the only place in Scripture where we read about the marriage relationship. Given the importance of marriage to human society and the confusion regarding marriage in our own day, it is vital that we understand what the Bible as a whole says about matrimony. To help us do that, we will now pause our study of 1 Corinthians to look at some of the other key biblical teachings on the marriage covenant. Dr. R.C. Sproul's teaching series Christian Marriage will be our guide.

Key for understanding marriage is understanding it in the original framework wherein it was given. Marriage is not some late addition to human culture; rather, we find it at the very beginning of history. Today's passage describes the creation of Eve and the ensuing institution of marriage. Importantly, the Lord created marriage before He entered into a covenant to save His people. Consequently, marriage does not come to us as a unique part of the Lord’s saving relationship with men and women. Instead, marriage exists as a gift to all people. It was ordained in creation before the fall, and so it is essential for healthy human societies as long as the present order endures. A marriage does not have to be conducted in a church or under the watch of a priest or minister to be valid. It requires only the joining of the appropriate partners in the context of public covenantal declaration. Marriages presided over by non-Christian clergy or even secular officials are therefore valid.

As noted, marriage requires the joining of appropriate partners. Both Genesis 1:26–27 and 2:18–25 show that the appropriate partners in a marriage are one man and one woman. God created man male and female in His image, sexual complements who together fulfill the mandate to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (1:28). Any so-called marriage that does not consist of the joining of the two different but complementary sexes is therefore not a valid marriage. This should go without saying, but there is strong cultural pressure to accept other partnerships as valid marriages. Such partnerships are not and cannot be valid marriages in the eyes of God.

God, as a relational being Himself—three persons in one essence—created His image bearers for relationship. Marriage is one of the key relationships in which our relational nature is expressed.

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

Many of the problems confronting marriage in our day are related to a poor understanding of the origin of marriage. As a relationship divinely instituted in creation, marriage is nothing to take lightly or to redefine as we please. Christians must be courageous witnesses to this, refusing to bow the knee to cultural redefinitions of marriage.

For Further Study
  • Genesis 9:1
  • Exodus 2:16–22
  • Matthew 19:1–6
  • 1 Corinthians 7

Widows and Remarriage

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From the March 2021 Issue
Mar 2021 Issue