Bible Principles Relative to Marriage

Bible Principles Relative to Marriage

"Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself;
and the wife see that she reverence her husband." (Eph. 5:33)

1. The Institution of Marriage.

  • Follow God's instructions regarding marriage. (Gen 2:23-24; Matt. 19:4-6)
  • Pray and rely on God in selecting a mate. (Gen. 24; Deut. 7:1-4; Prov. 3:5-6; Luke 11:9-10; Rom. 8:28; 2 Cor. 6:14-18)
  • Fulfill and maintain the marriage vows. (Eph. 5:21-33; Heb. 13:4)
  • Marriage is bound by one unbreakable covenant. (Mal. 2:14-16; Mark 10:9; 1 Cor. 7:10-11, 39)
  • Marriage results in a relationship which is one flesh in the Lord, so that things that would be shameful before marriage are honorable, undefiled, and sanctified. (Gen 2:23-25; Matt. 19:5; Heb. 13:4)
  • Love one another as Christ loved the ecclesia, remembering that love is longsuffering, kind, bearing all things, enduring all things. (1 Cor. 13; Eph. 5:2,25; 1 Pet. 3:8-9)

2. The Selection of a Mate.

  • Be mutually committed to seeking God's Kingdom first and to Christ's principles, with the goal of being heirs together of the grace of life. (Gen. 24:7-14; Deut. 6:4-9; Matt. 6:31-33; Matt. 22:37; 1 Pet. 3:7)
  • Pray for, seek, and accept God's providence and guidance in seeking a godly mate. (Gen. 24:12-14,48; Prov. 3:5-6; Prov. 18:22; Prov. 19:14; Matt. 7:7-8)
  • Seek noble and godly characteristics in a spouse who is in the Lord. (Prov. 31:10-31; 1 Cor. 6:18-20; Gal. 5:22-23; Col. 3:12-24; Titus 2:1-15)
  • Ensure there are common beliefs and spiritual as well as temporal goals. (2 Cor. 6:14-18; Gal. 5:22-25)

3. Responsibilities between a husband and wife.

  • Husbands and wives are to use the relationship of Christ to the ecclesia (his espoused bride) as a pattern for our marriage relationship. (1 Cor. 11:3, 8-12; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:21-33; Rev. 19:7; Rev. 21:2-3, 9)
  • Wives are to be submissive in love; husbands are to love their wives in submission to Christ. (Gen. 3:16; Eph. 5:21-25)
  • Physical relationships are permitted only between one man and one woman in the marriage bond. (Gen. 2:23-24; Rom. 1:26-27)
  • Husbands and wives should be united in purpose and love, supporting and encouraging one another in the way of salvation, faithfully honoring the marriage covenant. (Prov. 5:18-21; Eccles. 9:9; Mal. 2:14-15; 2 Cor. 11:1-2; Phil. 2: 1-8, 16; Col. 3:18-19; 1 Pet. 3:1-9)
  • There should be both natural and spiritual provision for the family. (1 Tim. 5:8; Titus 2:1-5)
  • Husbands and wives are to raise children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, if the marriage is blessed with natural seed. If no children are born to a couple, they still have the "godly seed" of the ecclesia to assist in nurturing. (Gen. 9:1; Deut. 6:6-9; Psa. 127:3-5; Isa. 53:10-11; Mal. 2:14-16; Eph. 6:4)

4. The Duration of Marriage and Dealing With Trials.

  • Be God-focused with the same goals in life. (Matt. 6:33; 1 Cor. 13:4-7; Phil. 2:3; 1 Pet. 3:7)
  • Make sure all things are motivated by love, seeking both the eternal and temporal good of one's spouse at all times. (Rom. 13:10; 1 Cor. 13:4-7; Gal. 5:22-23)
  • Live in peace without bitterness and anger. (Psa. 119:165; 1 Cor. 7:15; Col. 3:19)
  • Physical and verbal abuse in marriage is contrary to the principles of Christ. (1 Tim.3:2)
  • Adversity is the time for the manifestation of love and true friendship. (Prov. 17:17)
  • Extend forgiveness. (Eph. 4:32)
  • Marriage is an arrangement for this life only and will not be continued in the Kingdom of God. (Luke 20:34-35)

5. Sexual relationships.

  • Sex is reserved for the marriage bond. (1 Cor. 7:2-4; 1 Thess. 4:3-5; Heb. 13:4)
  • This relationship is for a man and his wife (woman) exclusively. (Gen. 2:23-25; Mal. 2:14-16)
  • Sex outside of marriage is sin that will keep an unrepentant person from the Kingdom of God. (Rom. 1:23-32; 1 Cor. 6:13-20)
  • Share sexual fulfillment within the marriage as a source of comfort and pleasure to husband and wife. (1 Cor. 7:3; Eph. 5:28)
  • Do not withhold sexual intimacy, except by mutual consent for spiritual reasons, that neither spouse place temptation in the other's path. (1 Cor. 7:5; 1 Thess. 4:3-6)
  • Effective communication is essential to a good marriage. Speak often to one another of things both natural and spiritual. (Mal. 3:16; Rom. 15:1; 1 Cor. 15:44-48; Gal. 6:2)
  • Avoid even beginning any other relationship. (Prov. 6:27-28; Matt. 5:28)
  • Abhor that which is evil, including homosexual relationships, which are abomination to our Father in heaven. (Rom. 1:26-27)
  • Avoid speaking about, viewing, and being entertained by impure things practiced by the Gentiles (Eph. 5:3-4,11-12), recognizing that developing the thought of adultery is sin (Matt. 5:28; 2 Pet. 2:14).

6. The Roles of the Family and the Extended Family.

  • Husbands and wives have a responsibility to "provide" for the family. (Josh. 24:15; Prov. 31:15, 27; Matt. 7:9-11; 1 Tim.5:8)
  • We must consider the needs of our brethren, "serving" others. (Psa. 2:11; Psa. 100:2; Matt. 25:40, 45; Rom. 12:1-2; Gal. 5:13; 1 Tim. 5:1-2; James 1:22-23)
  • We must "teach" our children as the Lord teaches us. (Gen. 18:19; Deut. 6:7-9; Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:1-4; 2 Tim. 3:14-17; Titus 2:2-8; Heb. 12:6-11;
  • We should exercise "love" in all our relationships. (Matt. 12:46-50; Luke 10:27; John 14:15; John 15:12; Rom. 12:10; Rom. 13:10; 1 Cor. 13:4-8, 13; Gal. 5:22-23, 25; Eph. 4:16; 1 Thess. 5:11-15; Titus 2:4; 1 Pet. 3:7)

7. Principles of Marriage Related in the Examples and Types in Scripture.

  • Marriage is a life-long commitment based on the original example of one man with one woman for life with mutual help of one for the other. (Gen. 2:18, 24; Matt. 19:4-6)
  • Marriage requires covenant faithfulness. In the Old Testament, God compared His relationship to His people Israel, under the old covenant, to the relationship of a husband to his wife. Faithfulness was one essential requirement of the covenant relationship. (Jer. 31:32; Ezek. 16:8, 60; Hos. 2:19-20)
  • Marriage is a type of Christ and his bride, the ecclesia. (Eph. 5; 2 Cor. 11:2; Rev. 21:2-3)
  • It is necessary to practice love first towards those whom we can see in order to be able to love God whom we cannot see. (1 John 4:20)

This set of principles was developed from the cooperative efforts of the brethren (representing Christadelphian Unamended Ecclesias from throughout the US and Canada) who attended the "Conference on Marriage" at Singing Hills in Plainfield, NH, Sept. 13-15, 2002.