What Does the Bible Say About Marriage? 

The Bible has a lot to say about marriage. Perhaps the most helpful Scripture on marriage comes in Ephesians 5.21-33. It details how husbands and wives should treat and take care of each other. It holds the key to a successful marriage that is pleasing to God.

Ephesians 5:21-23:

21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

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This Scripture delineates the roles assigned to both husband and wife. But have you wondered why they are defined this way? It is a picture of Christ and the church.

First of all, Ephesians 5 shows us the best way to be attractive to our spouses. Men’s highest need is for respect, and for a woman, it is security. So these needs are addressed in order to make us attractive to each other. Women are told to respect their husbands. When she does this, showing respect and honor, he is attracted to her.

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For the woman’s part, when her husband makes her feel secure in his love and demonstrates that he would lay his life down for her, she is attracted to him. Both these roles are compared to the way Christ loves the church.

Secondly, taking these roles seriously releases potential in our spouses. God designed marriage to realize the potential each person has. When a husband nurtures and cherishes his wife, she is free to reach her potential. Likewise, a submitted wife who encourages and honors her husband helps him reach his potential.

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Finally, the marriage covenant is to help us resist our sin nature. Men and women struggle with sin in different ways. Think of Adam and Eve in the garden. Adam struggled with apathy, and did not stand against doing what he knew God had forbidden him to do. Eve struggled with independence, wanting to find her own power apart from God. When a marriage is based on both husband’s and wife’s submission to God, they help each other resist their own sin-tendencies.

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When the roles in Ephesians 5 are held to, they provide an extra level of covering for women and gives men extra responsibilities. These aspects of marriage are for our strengthening. And a marriage founded upon God is a strong marriage.

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