Expert Insights: The Definition Of Marriage In The Bible

Christian Mingle is a dating designed to help marriage-minded Christian singles connect and find lasting love. We love hearing about the couples who met on our site and who turned Christian dating into Christian marriage. We also  love hearing about what exactly ‘Christian marriage’ means to our members and to those in the community. Here, Christian artist and author Samantha Cabrera shares her thoughts on the definition of marriage in the Bible – and how it can help you love.

The Definition of Marriage in the Bible

Marriage is a covenant between two equally yoked people. Society’s definition of marriage differs greatly from the definition of marriage in the Bible. Marriage is not just two people who fell in love and got married; marriage is (1) a sacrifice, (2) a glorification of God’s image and (3) a mirror of Christ’s relationship with his church.

When two people understand that marriage is the greatest commitment you can make to another human being, it makes for an exciting and lasting relationship. It means they understand God’s design and intent of marriage. Let’s take a closer look at the three parts of the Biblical definition of marriage to see what this kind of relationship looks like in practice.

1. Sacrifice

Marriage means sacrifice – of time, of your needs and of your own desires. Marriage is one of the ultimate sacrifices because you’re willingly giving of yourself for the rest of your life. You’re committing to one person until God calls you home. This sacrifice in marriage reflects the giving nature and grace of God.

2. Glorification Of God’s Image

The Biblical definition of marriage also seeks to reflect the image of God. It may not be perfect and the road may be long, as Paul notes:

“Those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.” 1 Corinthians 7:28

But God, in His ultimate perfection, created marriage to reflect His goodness, tenderness, faithfulness, steadfastness and love. A husband and a wife will show all of these traits to one another, especially during difficult times. Marriage also means not being afraid to openly rebuke in love; a couple should still sharpen one another in kindness.

3. Mirroring Christ’s Relationship With The Church

The union between two people mirrors Christ’s relationship with His church. As the Bible defines marriage in Colossians and Ephesians, a Godly husband should love his wife as Christ loves His church and the wife should respect her husband. This doesn’t have to be interpreted as degrading or submissive. Instead, it’s gentle and giving. The husband and wife are equal to God, but play different roles. This ultimately allows a husband and a wife to become nurturing to one another while becoming holy and blameless before God. One way to visualize this is to imagine Jesus at the end of the aisle, waiting for His bride to be presented. In this scenario, the bride is us – His church. That’s what is so exciting about marriage; two people should be going uphill towards the image of Christ. A marriage seeks to serve others together. It seeks to become the very bearer of Christ.

The definition of marriage in the Bible can come down to one simple thing: Marriage filters in grace and breathes out grace. It means that a couple shows the same patience and grace to one another that God shows us daily. A couple doesn’t choose certain days to show grace; it’s a daily pouring out. They don’t give up when times get hellish; they get stronger and braver. In 1 Corinthians 13:8, it reads, “Love never fails.” God never fails. Therefore, a marriage centered upon Christ should never fail.

You might also be interested in 11 Ways to Use Prayer for Relationship Strengthening and Marriage Bliss