Purposes of Marriage
Marriage is not only binding together two individuals but is also joining together two families. When you leave your homes of rearing and establish a family unit together you cannot sever past family relationships. The Holy Scriptures still require us to honor our father and mother. (Deuteronomy 5:16, Ephesians 6:2) We will continue to love our parents, siblings, and extended family and seek to spend time together with them. For this reason choosing a spouse is not limited to choosing that person but it also includes accepting their family and fulfilling appropriate obligations to them. God intends that both families will accept the bride and groom, and have peace with and be supportive to the other family. (Mark 10:8-10) Together these families are looking for the purposes of marriage to be fulfilled in your union as husband and wife. (1 John 4:7)
Companionship is the first purpose as shown in Amos 3:3 which reads "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" In order to maintain companionship three things must be done. Both of you must value each other for your skills, talents, character strengths, zeal and other qualities. (Philippians 2:3) You must respect each other because you will have individual ideas, perspectives, and insights based upon your understanding and experience. (Romans 12:10) Last, you need to offer praise and appreciation for each other's accomplishments and wise use of skills and resources. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Enjoyment is the second purpose and it is shown in Hebrews 13:4 where it says "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled." It is also spoken about in Proverbs 5:18 saying, "Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth." The joy and pleasure of a friendship with the sharing of thoughts, feelings, moods, joys and sorrows is precious. The tender touch and caress and the intimacy of marriage are given to you by God to enjoy. To enrich that enjoyment you must learn to listen to, share with, pray for, and pray with each other.
Completeness is the third purpose in marriage. When God said in Genesis 2:18 "It is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him an help meet for him." he was referring to marriage. Our weakness and foolishness is offset by our mate's strength and wisdom. This is why Solomon said "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor" and "a threefold cord is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) This third cord is our relationship with God himself. You will be complete when your marriage has its focus upon God and Christ.
Nothing is so undesirable as a barren tree or an empty marriage. Fruitfulness is God's desire for your marriage. (Psalm 127:3-5) Serving each other with a humble spirit and a faithful devotion is one way to bear fruit. (John 13:14-15, Romans 13:8, Ephesians 4:32, 5:21). Another is to bring forth children and invest yourself in their lives to bring them to also serve God. (Malachi 2:15)A third way is to serve others (Romans 14:17-19) and help them to possess the salvation Christ wants to give to them. (1 John 4:7) To this end Christ spoke saying, "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be my disciples." (John 15:8)
The fifth purpose is for you, husband, to protect and guard your wife. Ephesians 5:25 expresses the great cost Christ paid to redeem his church. Because Christ paid his life for her, you are to stand by her as a wall of defense to protect and defend her from the foolishness of this world. (Hebrews 3:13 & 10:24) This world will offer excuses and enticements to both of you to diminish or abandon your marriage covenant. (Matthew 5:32) By keeping close to the Lord and his word you will have power to defend your family unit. (Ephesians 5:1-7) As a wife you are to protect the home's climate of love, tenderness and compassion. You are to assure all who come to your door that they are loved and welcomed. (1 Timothy 5:10, Hebrews 13:2)
The final purpose of your marriage is to portray Christ and his church. (Ephesians 5:25-33) Everyone who observes your marriage is to see how Christ loves his church and how his church admires and honors him in everything. You are to portray that consuming love for each other in the midst of this world. (Romans 12:10) When we stumble and make mistakes, the way we confess our mistakes and correct them is important. (Hebrews 10:24, James 5:16) Remember to forgive one another even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13, James 1:5)
Purity before and during marriage includes personal holiness and integrity. (Philippians 4:8, Hebrews 12:14) Have you been and will you, with God's help, continue to grow more and more to be godly in your marriage?