Purpose of Marriage

purpose of marriageAsk any person what the purpose of marriage is and the answer seems to be as diverse as the number of people on this planet. Look to the Bible and you get a much different answer.

As far as I know there is only one statement about marriage that God includes four times in the Bible. The statement is:

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

He makes it once in the Old Testament and three times in the New Testament. He makes it one time before man fell into sin and three times after man fell into sin.

What is the purpose of marriage?

This statement contains God’s marital purpose for perfect man and for sinful man. This is God’s blueprint for marriage, to leave, cleave and unite.

The first step in the purpose of  marriage directs husbands and wives to leave their fathers and mothers. But what does this mean to leave?

It doesn’t mean to abandon them, We are told to honor our mother and father. It also doesn’t mean that we have to be far away geographically speaking. We can be on the other side of the world and still never leave our parents.

To leave your parents means your relationship needs to change. It means you establish an adult relationship with them. It means you must be more concerned with your spouse’s ideas, opinions and practices than your parents.

It means you must stop trying to change your spouse because your parents don’t like something about them. It means you make your relationship with your spouse your primary relationship.

The next step in the purpose of marriage is to cleave to one another. These days many couples think that if their marriage doesn’t work out they can just get a divorce. But God planned marriage to be a permanent relationship.

A good marriage is based more on a commitment than a feeling. When two people get married they promise to be faithful to each other regardless of what happens. In many ways getting married is like becoming a Christian.

When a person becomes a Christian he leaves his former way of life, his self-righteousness, and turns to Jesus Christ. In this act he commits himself to Christ regardless of how he feels or what problems may arise.

This is what God intends for us in marriage. It is a total and irrevocable commitment of two people to each other.

The next step in the purpose of marriage is to become one flesh. It is widely believed that this refers to the act of sexual intercourse. While this is one factor it is not the complete picture.

For two to become one flesh means that the two enter a relationship that is so close, so intimate, that this new unity can be referred to as becoming “one person.” But this does not mean total uniformity or sameness.

Our bodies are made up of different parts. They all work together as one body, but are different parts.

We’re like that in marriage. Our differences, however should not be allowed to hinder our unity, because God’s purpose in marriage is total unity.

The answer to the problems in the purpose of marriage is in leaving, cleaving and uniting. We are able to withstand the difficulties in every day life that seeks to drive us back to being dependent on our parents, becoming an enemy to our spouse and becoming isolated from God’s guidance and safety which He provides in the marriage relationship His way.