14 A Fresh look At The Christian Concept of Marriage


(By David Clarke 23rd June 1996 amended June 1999 amended 27th June 2013)

God, from the beginning of creation, instituted marriage. Adam was made first and Eve was made from Adam’s flesh and bone, as his helpmeet. This relationship between the man and wife existed before the fall and so before sin entered the world. This foreshadowed the relationship between Christ and the Church. In there words God had a plan for the marriage relationship to reflect that everlasting purpose of God in Christ as spoken about in Ephesians- behold I show unto you a mystery:

Ephesians 5. 31: For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.


The Need For Instruction

After they had fallen into sin God spoke reprovingly to Adam for harkening to the voice of his wife after she had sinned in the Garden of Eden. God also spoke to the woman in condemnation saying,

Gen. 2 18.

“I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee “.

Gen. 3 17

To Adam he said because you have harkened to the voice of your wife and disobeyed my voice he cursed the ground saying in sorrow would he eat of it all the days of his life. Thorns and thistles would grow and in the sweat of his brow would he eat bread. Until he die.

As women suffer in childbirth and thorns and thistles grow and men have to work by the sweat of their brow so this curse remains and has not been removed because God uses this for his own glory. We may learn from it if we listen and hearken to his voice.

The Christian view of marriage has always been clear

Ephesians 5 22

“ Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be subject to their own husband in every thing.

Husbands love you wives even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. Etc. So ought men to love their wives as their own body. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

1 Cor 12 3

Before God the head of every man is Christ and the head of the woman is the man and the head of Christ is God.

There is clarity about the position of men and women before God. In this light we can view marriage.

To Ignore The Scriptural Pattern Is Stupidity

There is no direct indication in the scripture as to how a marriage is entered into but it is generally agreed the man and woman wishing to marry:

1 Marriage promises are made in public before witnesses.

2 Must do so willingly

3 There is a leaving the parental home and a cleaving too each other.

4 The intention is for life

5 Partners cannot leave the marriage

6 A marriage can only be devolved if;

a) Adultery takes place and that only by the injured party. Divorce does not have to take place if adultery happens.

b) The unbelieving partner wishes to leave (this leaving being an act of the will and ceasing to behave as a married person) and the believer releases them.

7 The legal part to marriage and divorce is only a technical aspect. It is not the actuality. Just like a death certificate does not make the person dead or a birth certificate give life to the baby, neither does a marriage or divorce certificate make a marriage or give rise to divorce. Christian marriage involves the marriage partners promising each other certain things. The following marriage vows are derived from scripture and are long-standing Christian beliefs.

A The man promises his bride to love, honour, cherish, care and look after her even as Christ loves and cares for his church. (Christ is his pattern). Col 3 19, Eph. 5 25, 1 Pet. 3. 7.

B The woman in return promises to love honour and obey her man (as the church does to Christ). This is the pattern spoken of in Eph. 5 22-24. This order and pattern of promises are only derived from the scripture and has been the order of things throughout the Church age.

These promises form a covenant, it is not a contract, and they are made before God and in the presence of witnesses. It is not a contract but a covenant and should not be broken. Even if partners fail to fulfil their promises they are still bound by promise to fulfil their vows. Even if they ignore their vows they are still married. Each partner is responsible to go the second mile in making the relationship work. In the marriage all that the husband has is his wife’s even his body and likewise all the wife has belongs to her husband.

This form of marriage is how God intends it to be and I would argue to depart from the scriptural view of marriage is to turn from what God has revealed. I cannot see how any one in their right mind would turn from Gods way of things.

Youtube Video (Click to view) Sermon On This Subject Preaching In New Bilibid Prison Philippines

Practice Makes Perfect Or So They Say

It is my conviction that both man and wife must work at their relationship because the world and its ways wishes to destroy the last resemblance of God in our lives. A marriage should reflect that relationship between Christ and His Church whilst man and wife live together. How ever by following the Lord we too can overcome the world.

Open to discussion. It sounds all right to me I would value any feedback.

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